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Friday, December 8, 2023

Kedarnath Movie Review

After several delays and changes, Kedarnath has finally released.

The movie is quite special as it marks the debut of Saif’s daughter Sara Ali Khan who features alongside Sushant Singh Rajput in this romantic drama.

Kedarnath is a combination of love and religion, of passion and spirituality.

Set on a 14-kilometre pilgrimage from Gauri Kund to Kedarnath, the 2000-year-old holy temple of Lord Shiva.

Mansoor (Sushant Singh Rajput), a reserved and reticent Pithoo (porter), of Muslim faith, helps pilgrims make an arduous journey upwards to the temple town.

His world turns around when he meets the beautiful and rebellious Mukku (Sara Ali Khan), of Hindu faith, who draws him into a whirlwind of intense love.

Destiny has plans for lovers amidst the uncertainties of life, nature and broken hearts.

Filme Shilmy reviews this Abhishek Kapoor film.

Abhishek Kapoor’s direction

Abhishek Kapoor’s filmmaking style is like an art and is very reminiscent of the way Gulzar made films.

Often with Abhishek’s films, they require patience. This patience is also required in Kedarnath.

It takes a while for the film to grow on the viewer. But is this film as arty as Kai Po Che! Or Fitoor? Probably, not.

The interfaith storyline is something which we’ve seen before – especially in films like Bombay.

At times, we are reminded of Titanic and even Tum Mile – especially due to the whole natural disaster aspect. Therefore, in terms of an original storyline, Kedarnath lacks that.

Given that this is one of the first Bollywood films based on the Uttarakhand floodings, this could’ve easily been a more riveting and formidable story rather than a Romeo and Juliet style of a narrative.

Good special effects

Kudos to the crisp cinematography and visual effects especially during the flood scenes.

The VFX team competently create believable effects.

Speaking of technicalities, the background music is powerful.

Hitesh Sonik’s score uplifts the film’s atmosphere – especially during the dramatic parts of the film.

As such, Amit Trivedi’s soundtrack is hummable but mainly situational.

Our picks from the album are ‘Qaafirana’, ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘Namo Namo’.

Cast performances

Sara Ali Khan is the future superstar, that is for certain.

She is so confident on screen it seems like she has been acting for so long.

A boon to Bollywood she is!

Sara brightens the screen with her zealous performance.

There are instances she reminds one of her mother, Amrita Singh and grandmother, Sharmila Tagore.

Sushant Singh Rajput proved his talent a while ago and he reinforces this again in Kedarnath.

He is charming & charismatic as Mansoor.

His chemistry with Sara seems flawless and that is the biggest strength of Kedarnath.

Pooja Gor leaves a solid impression as Brinda – the sister of Mukku.

Her body language and expressions are formidable… Pooja has potential to also make it big.

What’s bad?

Too much of an emphasis on religion – where one is portrayed in an antagonistic manner more than the other.

The film could’ve easily been a love-story which is not bound by religious differences.

This just makes us question whether the film is trying to make a political statement rather than for the purpose of entertainment.

In fact, it wrongly misrepresents a religion just so that it looks bad for the sake of the narrative.

It is almost as if the religious clash is an easy way to create drama.

What also spoils the film is the cliched script. Sara’s character Mukku is a rebellious girl of today, who never takes no for an answer.

When such a big incident happens – of her parents object to her relationship with Mansoor – she becomes this subdued Bollywood heroine, which is so out of character.

The formidability of her character should’ve been consistent throughout the film.

Final Verdict

On the whole, Kedarnath is no way near a perfect film, in fact, it is largely let down by a flawed and cliched script. 

Nonetheless, it deserves a watch due to the powerful chemistry of Sushant and Sara, who are brilliant in their roles and save the movie from completely sinking.

Lastly, we must warmly welcome Sara Ali Khan who makes one phenomenal debut and is set to get better in her forthcoming projects!

⭐⭐ (2/5 stars)

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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