Kalank’s art director, Amrita Mahal Nakai, on what went into the making of the period drama’s grand sets

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The promos of Abhishek Varman’s upcoming magnum opus, Kalank — set in the pre-Independence era — has already created a buzz. Now, the grandeur of the film’s set is also becoming one of the talking points. Art director Amrita Mahal Nakai, the woman behind the design of the majestic set talks about designing the set.

Amrita credits director Abhishek Varman for giving specific instruction. She says, “We followed Abhishek’s vision and also, the script left no margin for error. We started working on the design around the end of 2016.”

The set showcases Hira Mandi — the famous market of Lahore — in all its glory. Amrita shares, “Our set of Hira Mandi is a rather fantastical version of Lahore in the 1940s, though we have retained the essence of the city as it was back then.

Talking about the colour palette used, she says, “We have shown restraint in the use of colours, so that it doesn’t look jarring. We have taken our liberties, but well within the canvas of the film. Red colour has been used extensively in Kalank. It’s a strong colour and is pretty much there in every frame of the film. We used various shades of it. Hira Mandi is the most vibrant of all the sets, so we used colours depicting the same.”

On the challenges she adds, “To make Abhishek’s vision real was a challenge. In today’s day and age, people are hardly putting up grand sets. They rely more on VFX to make sets look grand, but we built a set to give it a more real look. Of course, the makers will be using visual effects to enhance scenes, but we have kept it as real as possible. This would probably be the largest set I have ever designed.”

Kalank stars Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur and Sanjay Dutt. Fox Star Studios presents Kalank, A Dharma Productions & Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment film, directed by Abhishek Varman, to release on 17th April 2019. Produced by Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala, Hiroo Yash Johar & Apoorva Mehta. Co-Produced by Fox Star Studios.

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