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Entertainment

Kedarnath movie review: A love story set at the altar of Hinduism

1 Mins read

BY ANSH SACHADE

On the face of it, Kedarnath is a straightforward story of the love between Mandakini Mishra (Sara Ali Khan), the freedom-loving, rebellious daughter of a well-off Hindu Brahmin family, and the Muslim porter Mansoor Khan (Sushant Singh Rajput), set in one of Hinduism’s holiest sites in 2013, the year it was nearly destroyed by the flash floods that ravaged Uttarakhand state. However, like all Indian cinema’s most enduring inter-community romances, there is more to this one than what you see on the surface. The film is not just about eyes meeting, young hearts beating and pulses racing across religious divides. It is not even about emotional connects alone, though the bond that forms between Mansoor and his Mukku is sweet and touching. What it is about is true love, pure hearts, innocence and goodness in a time of bigotry, business interests and climate change.

It wants to side with humanity and rap the bigotry of petty, petulant men. Kedarnath wants to show how personal tiffs between men are given an ugly, larger communal twist because of commercial interests, or because a man’s feelings of deep inadequacy about his size and girth.

Kedarnath also wants to make a point and raise consciousness about unbridled ‘tarakki’ and development in our beauteous but fragile hill areas by setting its love story in the 2013 Uttarakhand floods in which about 5,000 people died.

That’s a lot of load on one film. Yet, like the many ‘khachchars’ in hill areas, as well as the film’s own well-behaved khachchar, Rustom, it diligently carries to the finish line all that’s piled on its back, only sometimes pausing to take a dump, pee, or walking dangerously close to the edge.

Summing up, Kedarnath dazzles you with its scenic imagery and it”s fresh pairing. But it”s also a case of missed chances. Too less a time is spent on the large scale tragedy that engulfed the region. The human consequences of it, the emotional scars it left behind aren”t touched upon at all. The film”s natural ending, that of the rescue helicopter flying away, is changed into an artificial feel-good scene which does away with the impact of the powerful climax.

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