Rating : 2.5/5
Genre : Romance
Year : 2018
Running time : 2 hours 25 minutes
Director : Abhishek Kapoor
Cast : Sushant Singh Rajput, Sara Ali Khan, Nishant Dahiya, Pooja Gor, Nitish Bharadwaj, Alka Amin, Sonali Sachdeva
Kid rating : G
Kedarnath seems not of this world. Not surreal like Zero, but like a throwback to the 1980s. I mean, it is not like everyone should not have the freedom to make all the old-fashioned cinema they want to, but really? Another jaded inter-faith love story about a Hindu girl falling for the local Muslim porter? Kill me now.
The specifics: she’s frisky Mandakini aka Mukku. He’s the staid Mansoor Khan, a “pithoo” or porter helping ferry pilgrims up the steep hillsides of Kedarnath. She takes a shine to him, and he, after much ignoring and rebuffing her flirtatious advances, accedes. Since daddy’s a priest and the upholder of “dharm” there is a bunch of hai-tauba at Mukku’s romantic entanglements with a non-Hindu guy. Just when the young lovers are being separated comes the flood.
Kedarnath is a dull, dull film. It offers no freshness, no new angle to a clichéd storyline. Even the dialogs are so 80s, so ghisa-pita! There was a story hidden behind Mukku’s seemingly outrageous behavior but the film doesn’t dwell on it too much. I would have liked to see more of Brinda, Mukku’s sister’s (played by talented Pooja Gor) story – there is a segway into that, but the film doesn’t go into much detail. There could have been some exploration of the relationship between the sisters, but that is given short shrift.
Perky Sara Ali Khan does bring some pep to Kedarnath, but she really doesn’t fit the small-town girl profile. Sushant Singh Rajput, a good actor, is wasted in his poorly sketched out character. He is still very good as unassuming Mansoor, and I really felt for his character.
Nishant Dahiya (of the cute teenie-bopper romance Mujhse Fraandship Karoge) has aged into an almost-gauntness, and plays Mukku’s shrewd, family-ordained suitor. Another actor to note is Sonali Sachdev who is pretty impressive in limited screen time as Mukku’s harried mom.
What I did like about the film were the songs, especially Qaafirana. The rest of it is average bordering on deathly boredom. Love might be a pilgrimage (per the title) but this movie was a slog!