‘Kedarnath’ Could’ve Been So Much More But It’s Still Watchable
Overall, Kedarnath could have been so much more but makes for a lukewarm watch instead.
Overall, Kedarnath could have been so much more but makes for a lukewarm watch instead.(Photo Courtsey: Kamran Akhter/The Quint)

‘Kedarnath’ Could’ve Been So Much More But It’s Still Watchable

Camera Person: Shiv Kumar Maurya
Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
Video Producer: Chandni Sharma

Kedarnath is a simply told, heartfelt love story that’s just 2 hours long .

And yet in portions one wanted to scream out loud – “get on with it guys” – to speed up the proceedings. The fault, I’ve realised doesn’t lie in the film but in the trailer. I don’t know who comes up with these but this practice of revealing the original plan must stop because the film then seems like regurgitating details we already know.

Anyway, Kedarnath was always going to be tricky.

For one, it’s launching a star kid – Sara Ali Khan. And such films always run the risk of becoming Powerpoint presentations to showcase the new kid on the block. And second, at a time when the term “love jihad” is bandied around to showcase an interfaith love story some would say it is brave.

Luckily for us, director Abhishek Kapoor allows Sara to simply be and not burden her with unnecessary slo-mo shots of flying hair and freeze frames. She, for her part is supremely confident and her screen presence is striking.

As for the Muslim boy in love with a Hindu girl story – it follows the predictable course. We hear dialogues that our parents heard too – “ye shaadi nahi ho sakti,” “tujhe meri kasam tu usse bhool ja” but in the present day precarious situation, it somehow assumes greater gravitas.

The devastating floods in Uttarakhand in 2013 play a crucial role in the film. The indiscriminate illegal constructions, the brazen commercialisation of a holy place with little regard for the ecosystem are themes that are touched upon early on but never fully pursued.

Mukku (Sara), the daughter of the head priest talks of cleaning the mountains in one scene and Mansoor (Sushant) wipes out an ugly branding from a boulder in the next but that’s about it. The ‘othering’ of one community and the fragile unity always threatened by rabble rousing elements though is incorporated smartly by Kapoor and co-writer Kanika Dhillon.

At one such gathering, Mansoor is asked “Tum log hamare beech kahan se aa gaye” and he replies with a stunned expression “hum toh hamesha se yahin the.” The simplicity here more effective than the melodrama that comes into play later on.

The heavy reliance on CGI proves to be the film’s ultimate undoing. It’s below average and stale.

We would have much rather stayed with the young lovers instead. Mukku and Mansoor grow on you as does their pure love. And in spite of being half baked characters, the fact that Sara and Sushant can make us care for them and be a little teary eyed when the going gets tough means it’s half the battle won!

Amit Trivedi’s music and Tushar Kanti Ray’s camera capturing the breathtaking beauty further add to the experience.

Overall, Kedarnath could have been so much more but makes for a lukewarm watch instead.

2.5 quints out of 5. Watch it for Sara and Sushant. Both together are great!

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