Director: Abhishek Kapoor
Duration: Two Hours
When a pandit’s daughter meets with a Muslim guide, sparks fly between them and the twosome become inseparable, until nature releases her fury on the holy city of Kedarnath. The town is flooded and there’s utter chaos everywhere. Can the love of the couple stand tall against all the societal odds and elements of nature?
India is currently reeling under the pressures of communal disharmony and amid all the turmoil comes a movie, which in some way or the other, rests on the same theme. Director Abhishek Kapoor, who is best known to have given us ‘Kai Po Che’, returns to wield the baton for ‘Kedarnath’, but this time round, he doesn’t get quite lucky. Featuring Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh’s daughter Sara Ali Khan for the first time, opposite Sushant Singh Rajput, ‘Kedarnath’ is yet another love story, this time set against the backdrop of a major flood, which the country had witnessed five years ago.
Mandakini aka Mukku (Sara Ali Khan) is a free-spirited girl and daughter of a staunch Hindu pandit (Nitish Bharadwaj). She is betrothed to Kullu (Dahiya), a wealthy businessman. Kullu is hell bent on constructing hotels in the township of the holy city of Kedarnath, where pilgrims descend every year in large numbers. Even if it means harming the environment and posing a threat to the land of this city in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, Kullu will not flinch a bit. Mukku, on the other hand, does everything she can to elude the greedy Kullu.
A chance meeting on a pilgrimage, Mukku meets with Mansoor (Sushant Singh Rajput), a humble pithoo (a person, who carries people uphill on the back or a human porter) and falls for him instantly. Mansoor is a Muslim but does not shy away from bowing before Lord Shiva every once in a while, when transporting people to the temple. His simplicity charms Mukku and the twosome soon start bonding. Friendship turns into romance and the couple becomes inseparable, until Mukku’s father finds out who she has been with all this while.
Religion comes in the way of their love and Mukku is forcibly taken to the altar, while Mansoor is severely beaten up by Kullu’s henchmen. But then there’s divine intervention and all hell breaks loose. Incessant rains bring in a flood-like situation in Kedarnath and soon the town is in a deluge. Lands start to slide away, sweeping houses in the strong waves and Kedarnath is now dealing with severe floods, with people losing their lives and normal life coming to a standstill. So, does true love stand the test of nature’s fury? Find out!
‘Kedarnath’ is a very predictable movie, which follows the archaic formula that almost every film director has tried before to succeed. Boy meets girl. They fall in love. There’s a hitch. They are separated. There’s some kind of intervention. All is well that ends well. ‘Kedarnath’ takes the same route. There are no twists in the tale or for that matter, there is no tale at all! A love story could have had other elements, too, that could have made it more interesting; but it seems like Abhishek Kapoor lost all his interest by the time he finished writing the script. The story is platonic; the screenplay is tedious; the editing is flawed; the background music is average and the songs are strictly okay. Even the characters he wrote for the film are not very well etched.
The only saving grace in the technical department is the cinematography, which soothes the eyes. The locales are beautiful and the scenes are captured in all earnestness. The CGIs are stuffed to the brim towards the climax of the film. After a certain point it all starts to look artificial, which is not good for the movie. The flood scenes do give you an adrenaline rush, keeping you on the edge though.
As for the actors, Sushant Singh Rajput has now become stereotypical. You see him in an almost similar role in every alternate movie he signs. There is no novelty in his Mansoor either. Nitish Bharadwaj, the good, old “Krishna Bhagwaan”, returns to the big screen after a very long time, but does not leave a lasting impression. It is Alka Amin and Pooja Gor, who play Sushant’s onscreen mother and Sara’s onscreen sister respectively that take the cake. As far as debutante Sara Ali Khan is concerned, she is a breath of fresh air in the film and is a complete natural. A spitting image of her mother in her heydays, Sara has marked her long innings in the industry with the film.
All said and done, there is nothing extraordinary in the movie and there is no harm in giving ‘Kedarnath’ a miss.
Eventznu Rating: * *