Love in the time of hate, indeed.
The starry-eyed Sara Ali Khan makes her debut opposite Sushant Singh Rajput in Kedarnath, story of an interfaith couple in the backdrop of the devastating disaster that befell one of the most revered religious places of Hinduism.
Released on Friday, the film also stars Nishant Dahiya, Nitish Bharadwaj, Pooja Gor and Alka Amin and is directed by Abhishek Kapoor who is known for Rock On and Kai Po Che.
The film has been accused of “hurting religious sentiments” by the members of the ruling BJP and the film is now even banned in Uttarakhand, where the film’s story is set. Cases have been filed against the filmmakers too. However, in rest of the country, the film has released on Friday with much fanfare and this is what the critics are saying.
Film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted, “#OneWordReview… #Kedarnath: DULL. Rating: ⭐⭐ Unconvincing love story… Sketchy and unexciting screenwriting… Few moments [sequences depicting the floods] stand out… Emotions are superficial… Sara Ali Khan makes a terrific debut… Sushant is ordinary… #KedarnathReview”
Unconvincing love story… Sketchy and unexciting screenwriting… Few moments [sequences depicting the floods] stand out… Emotions are superficial… Sara Ali Khan makes a terrific debut… Sushant is ordinary… #KedarnathReview pic.twitter.com/mP7LRD2nFm
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) December 7, 2018
Indian Express called the film a tepid cop-out although Sara Ali Khan starts off a tad awkward, but soon settles in and shows a perky confidence, very reminiscent of her mother, the actor Amrita Singh.
About the story, Shubhra Gupta, IE, said, “It starts off with promise: any film which shows young love ignoring barriers of religion and class needs to be celebrated. Using the devastating 2013 Uttarakhand floods as a major plot twist should have given the film some real-life gravitas. But the writing is sketchy, and the tone confused, never quite knowing whether to go quiet and life-like or to swell with wailing violins, especially when the waters start rising, and life-threatening danger starts looming.”
The trouble with Kedarnath, said the critic, lies with the fact that it tries to “please everyone” and therefore “loses edge, and leads to a tepid cop-out. It’s a weepie minus the tears.”
Many critics praised Tushar Kanti Ray for the film’s cinematography but it was felt that the backdrop of the 2013 disaster didn’t ably support the first half of the film.
Anupama Chopra called the film’s story “uneven”, while Sumit Kadel tweeted, “#Kedarnath is a victim of grotty writing & Shoddy VFX. Sushant & Sara delivered a knockout performance but they couldn’t rise above the cursory script. Tragedy sequences are decent but lacks emotions which required. Overall Kedarnath is a weak film. Rating- ⭐⭐”
#Kedarnath is a victim of grotty writing & Shoddy VFX. Shushant & Sara delivered a knockout performance but they couldn’t rise above the cursory script. Tragedy sequences are decent but lacks emotions which required. Overall kedarnath is a weak film. Rating- ⭐⭐
— Sumit kadel (@SumitkadeI) December 7, 2018
Director Abhishek Kapoor attempts to tell the story of Kedarnath tragedy that befell Uttarakhand in 2013. The year 2013 saw almost all the holy pilgrimage sites of the state struck by landslides and heavy floods and reported extensive damage but the holy town of Kedarnath was the worst affected. The unusually heavy rainfall between June 13 and 17 caused massive flash floods and landslides resulting deaths of residents and tourists as well as extensive damage to the property.
The flood left behind a death toll of more than 5000, reports say. The Indian military and paramilitary troops evacuated more than 110,000 people from the flood ravaged area, as per reports.