Starring: Sara Ali Khan, Sushanth Singh Rajput
Director – Abhishek Kapoor
Rating – 2.5/5
Set in the gorgeous locales of Uttarakhand, Kedarnath explores an inter-faith love story amidst the devastating floods that took place in 2013. Mandakini aka Mukku (Sara Ali Khan,) is the daughter of a high-caste pandit. She somehow falls for a lower caste muslim boy, Mansoor Khan (Sushant Singh Rajput) who works as a pithoo (a porter who transports pilgrims.) While their families obviously object to their relationship, their love also has to stand the test of time during a massive natural calamity.
Abhishek Kapoor manages to capture the beauty of the temple town in almost every frame. The song Namo Namo at the beginning wonderfully establishes the setting of the film.
The Kedarnath Check List
Both the actors have archetypal characteristics of lead Bollywood entertainers. While the girl is chirpy and feisty, the guy is an innocent romantic who can do anything for her. The film also has all the elements of a typical inter-caste Bollywood love story.
High caste girl falls in love with low caste boy – check
Slow motion falling in love sequences – check
Hindu – Muslim tension rises – check
Insert random wedding song – check
Parents object to their love – check
Girl’s up-to-no-good fiancé turns villain – check
Boy gets beaten up by fiancé’s goons – check
Calamity strikes at the 11th hour – check
Bruised boy tries to save girl – check
And the list goes on.
The Highs and Lows of Kedarnath
Although the story is nothing we haven’t seen before, Sara and Sushant’s endearing chemistry is a treat to watch on screen. The Quafirana track wonderfully essays their blossoming love story.
In many ways, the film touches upon the decades long Hindu-Muslim conflict that has been plaguing the nation. However, that aspect is not entirely addressed and is left hanging. Towards the second half, the story becomes extremely predictable and you’ll have a definite sense of déjà vu.
In the last half an hour of the film, the screen becomes flooded with VFX and a whole lot of melodrama. Not that the VFX was bad but the love story is suddenly thrown off its course nullifying the whole series of events. At the end all you take back is the gloom and despair of the floods making it seem like a documentary.
Sara Ali Khan makes a memorable debut, proving that she has acting blood in her genes. Everything from her screen presence to her dialogue delivery is quite impressive for a first timer. Sushant Singh Rajput is a natural and has proved his mettle several times before. There could have been more to his ‘goody two shoes’ character but Sara clearly outshines him in several scenes. The supporting cast does a fairly decent job.
Supriya Says: Make the yatra to the theatre only to watch Sara Ali Khan.
Watch Kedarnath in Goregaon theatres near you. Click here