Despite Akshay Kumar’s earnest efforts, Kesari is bogged down either by too many lackluster phases or unrewarding moments to ever completely engage you in its entirety.
It’s overly dramatic, saddled by a bumpy narrative, hardly has any hook in the screenplay, frustrates you with amateurishly choreographed war scenes, and the acting (barring Akshay who tries his best to elevate proceedings) is middling at best. Also, someone needs to explain why there was any need whatsoever to cast Parineeti Chopra in this, other than to further derail the film.
For a story based on such an intrepid real-life display of heroism and sacrifice, none of the characters (even Akshay’s) ever form a connect with you, and you hardly feel for their martyrdom once the dust settles. It takes a singular action sequence during the climax, where Akshay gives it his all and solely (figuratively and literally speaking) saves the film from completely sinking, dragging it into strictly average territory.
The Battle of Saragarhi, which has never been represented on the big-screen before, deserves a much-better film than Kesari, and perhaps Anurag Singh, who’s best know for directing over-the-top comedies in Punjabi cinema (Yaar Annmulle, Jatt and Juliet series, Disco Singh, Super Singh) and one massive critical and commerical dud in Bollywood (Raqeeb), wasn’t the apt choice for helming such an important and demanding project. Can only be enjoyed by diehard fans of the Khiladi.
Movified Rating: 2/5 stars