Kedarnath 3 out of 5 stars

Inspired from the real-life catastrophe of 2013, Kedarnath touches the soul with its breathtaking cinematography and powerful performances by the lead casts.

Sara Ali Khan (Mandakini aka Mukku) is a feisty, young girl living in Kedarnath with her family. Her father (Nitish Bharadwaj) is a local priest and things gets complicated when she falls in love with a Muslim boy, who works as a local Pithoo (human porter) Sushant Singh Rajput (Mansoor). The inter-faith romance between the 2 characters is the essence of the story. However, there is storm in making which will change the life of everyone living in the town considered holy but every Hindu.

Kedarnath is a typical Bollywood love story which is too common for any viewer. It takes a boost from climactic floods that devastated civilization in the mountain town of Uttarakhand, in 2013.

The screenplay also has several strengths and weaknesses, that stands out as a solid force is debutante Sara Ali Khan.

Sara Ali Khan is surely the beautiful replication of her mother, Amrita Singh, she leaves a strong mark with her debut performance. She is amazing in several scenes excluding very few emotional ones. She still gives you a feeling of raw talent which definitely needs some refinements. She is surely a star to watch out. Her first performance has the right amount of spark that makes connection with the audience.

 

Sara Ali Khan’s confidence and on-screen charm are proof of her talent. She looks gorgeous in the local style and she grabs every scene that she has.

Sushant Singh Rajput is simply spectacular in his role. He handles variety of expressions throughout with the sureness of being able to utilise them appropriately. His body language is flawless, and I wish his dialogue delivery or accent was a little better.
The entire film is based in the valleys and mountain ranges of Kedarnath and the cinematography explores the picturesque settings, is breath-taking. Crisp and artistic visuals aesthetically captured the beauty of the Himalayas.

Abhishek Kapoor and Kanika Dhillon, cleverly and very delicately imitates the secular tinges of Kedarnath. The films also slightly touches the global climate change issue due to massive influx of religious tourists to this small town which is facing severe commercialisation with numerous hotels, shops, etc. causing an ecological imbalance and resulting natural disasters.

The films remained focus on the love story and as Mukku and Mansoor share some romantic moments, the story does take a little too long to set up their romance. However, the performances make up for the turtle pace of the film and the CGI-driven climactic portions. They come together to create a strong, dramatic impact.
Being a love story, Kedarnath lacks romantic tracks that could hold one’s attention. Abhishek Kapoor’s effort to produce a film in the wake of a natural calamity is commendable.

As I said earlier the story is simple and predictable, however the smart use of CGI creates astounding impact that stays with you for few minutes even when you walk out of the cinema. Kedarnath is surely a watch for Sushant Singh Rajput, Sara Ali Khan and most of its extravagant cinematography.

 

By Hasan Kazmi

Hasan Kazmi is a Film Critic from Karachi, Pakistan. 

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