Kesari (2019) – Movie Review

The story of Valor and Sacrifice.

Kesari (a saffron color representing bravery and sacrifice) is a period action-drama film written and directed by Anurag Singh.

The film depicts the events leading to the Battle of Saragarhi, a battle between 21 Sikh soldiers of the 36th Sikhs of the British Indian Army against 10000 to 12,000 Pashtun Orakzai tribesmen. The film stars Akshay Kumar in a lead role of Havildar Ishar Singh, who led the battle at Saragarhi.

The Battle of Saragarhi is considered one of history’s longest hold against the enemy and one of the greatest last stands. If we read history, we can actually see the valor and renunciation of those 21 Sikh soldiers. But this film hardly captures that. In the process of dramatizing and making it an entertaining one, the makers have totally ignored the crux of this historical event. The film lacks the authenticity and the rawness, which needed the most for a film like this. Everything in the film was just polished, for instance, the uniforms of the soldiers were looked like brought straight from the designer shop.

The film is a two and a half hours long, and out of which less than an hour was actually about the battle. In the remaining time, it focuses on some unnecessary subplots, the deceased wife of Ishar Singh played by Parineeti Chopra (the most irritating part of the film), and too many slow-motion shots. Some of the moments in the film will definitely make you remember the superhit war film Border (1997).

The film feels really slow and boring in the first half and comes to life only in the second half. The performance of Akshay Kumar is worth appreciating in a film. The film also has some interesting and compelling characters with apt comic timing, which makes the film watchable.

Verdict : Kesari is definitely not the best patriotic film of Bollywood but it surely worth a watch.

Rating : 3.2/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFP24D15_XM

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Padman (2018) – Movie Review

A Real Superhero

Padman is the biographical comedy-drama film written and directed by R. Balki, who is known for his apt and unusual storylines in the films and it’s brilliant execution. The film is based on Twinkle Khanna’s (Mrs. Funny Bones) short story ‘The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land’, which is inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham from Tamil Nadu who introduced low-cost sanitary pads.

The film starts with Lakshmikant (Akshay Kumar), a good family man, getting married to Gayatri (Radhika Apte). Not so far in the film, first time Lakshmi feels the intensity of superstitions in India surrounding menstrual hygiene and usage of sanitary pads when it happens with his own wife Gayatri. Being obsessed with his caring nature towards his wife Lakshmi tries every way to make her use the sanitary pads, but after some failed attempts to use those Gayatri being trapped in the age-old rituals and superstitions refuses to do so. The obsession of Lakshmi for health and wellness of Gayatri grows so much that it costs him hatred from all parts of society, which eventually separates both of them, and unfortunately, he decides to leave his village to shape his vision. In his journey, he gets help from Rhea (Sonam Kapoor), a kind-hearted MBA student. Rest of the film depicts the extraordinary story of determined Lakshmi who stands against all odds and even after so many obstacles revolutionize the concept of menstrual hygiene in rural India by creating a low-cost sanitary napkin machine.

It is the public awareness film and inspiring story of an ordinary man, and how he achieves remarkable success with his sheer will and determination. After Toilet – Ek Prem Katha (2017) Akshay Kumar has come back with one more strong film with an, even more, stronger message. The film is a tight slap on the age-old rituals and superstition around the usage of sanitary napkins in rural India. The performances by Radhika and Sonam are fabulous, and Akshay is just phenomenal. Thanks to Mrs funny bones for bringing such an impacting and daring topic on the table. As a director, R Balki has played his role very well and made the film compelling enough to keep the audience invested until the end. At some places, the film slows down a bit, but the powerful content at films’ core keeps it refreshed.

Verdict : A must watch and probably the best film of the year so far.

Toilet – Ek Prem Katha (2017)

If you change nothing, nothing will change.

Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is again the one more gem been added to Akshay’s filmography. After Airlift, Rustom, Jolly LLB 2, and now with Toilet – Ek Prem Katha Akshay have proved that he can truly deliver some good stuff with genuine content except mindless entertainers. Besides Akshay Kumar as Keshav, it also stars Bhumi Pednekar as Jaya with Anupam Kher, Sudhir Pandey, and Divyendu Sharma in supporting roles.

The story revolves around Keshav (Akshay) a go-getter and liberal-thinker Jaya (Bhumi) and their struggle to be together against all odds of society. If you already have watched the trailer it gives almost all the plot points so what remains to watch on a big screen is the execution, and yes, it’s definitely worth watching. The name of the movie itself explains the whole drama, that it’s going to be a love story but with intriguing content. Every love story has a villain or odds it has to face to be an epic, and in this one, the villain is a toilet.

Both of the leads marry but it doesn’t strike Keshav to tell Jaya that his house doesn’t have a toilet. This then becomes the grounds for Jaya to liberate against it and to leave his house, and ultimately to file a divorce. Now with this motto to bring his wife back to home, Keshav sets out on a mission to hold a mirror to those who support open defecation in the name of age-old traditions and so called Indian culture. And yes, in India (mostly in the rural parts) open defecation is the serious problem which needs to be addressed, and no doubt this movie does it brilliantly. Even one line from movie says that “Problem does not seem problem unless it’s personal.”. So even if it is not a problem for us, it is for the millions of Indians, and this movie storms the society by delivering this very strong and hard hitting message in the funniest and comic way possible.

Once again it’s a genius script-based compelling story, with good performances by leads and the supporting cast, and very good message at its core. The only complaint I had with this one is the runtime of the movie which is two and half an hour. And that’s where it feels stretched and sloppy in some moments.

Verdict : It’s a complete family entertainer with the good message and a must watch for everyone.

Rating : 3.5/5