Akshay Kumar is the film. And he pulls it off, keeping that ‘Kesari’ pagdi aloft right till the end, delivering thundering speeches, and keeping his men’s morale up. His Ishar Singh is inhabited and convincing, and it helps that his Punjabi accent is completely on point.
Three hours after the press show, I’m yet to regain my senses of smell, taste, touch, hearing and full eyesight. If I were a character in the film, there would have been eight bullets in me by now but I’d still be writing. And milking my last line. So I’m going to be as polite and restrained as possible here. The only way Kesari could have done justice to its source material is if it didn’t exist.
The lack of a creative driver behind the film leads to a level of fundamental dissatisfaction.
'Kesari devotes a significant chunk of its script to brandish Akshay's might as the dauntless, magnanimous, Sardar, Havildar Ishar Singh.' 'To his credit, the actor is a picture of restraint and righteousness as the worldly-wise Sardar on a mission...
With technical brilliance, intricate writing and thundering performances, Kesari is a loud war cry that evokes strong feelings of patriotism and it also wrenches your heart with its climactic tragedy. The visceral power of its visuals and emotions is staggering.
A period war film is not easy to pull off, but “Kesari” falters mainly because it spends too much time talking about war and bravery instead of showing it.
Don’t miss Kesari. It not only makes us feel proud of being Indians but also prompts us to salute the valour of our Sikh community.
Kesari is the rousing patriotic film that Akshay Kumar fans wait for all year round. But it is a lot more than just that and definitely deserves a watch this Holi
Kesari is in-your-face, goose-bumpy ride-heartwarming because it's history; and hysterical, because it's that kinda movie-it is just the best one can do.
Kesari is a blatant subversion of a historic event which feeds into the current nationalistic narrative of fetishising violence and celebrating war.
Irrespective of what the 36th Sikhs' actual motivations were, obviously theirs was a historic last stand worthy of a film. When an honest army procedural could have had an impact, the team of Kesari chose instead to be a barely disguised propaganda vehicle and to chronicle this remarkable episode with self-defeating twists. A spot of exaggeration here and there could of course be explained away as cinematic licence, even the loudness and initial tempo could have been excused, but this goes way beyond that. It is as if Team Kesari were dissatisfied with the truth about the 36th Sikh Regiment who, ironically, they seek here to lionise.
...in the one-man show, none of the other characters or actors turn out memorable. All that has stayed on with me is the landscape—the brown, arid earth pitted against the majesty of the snow-laden, silver mountains. If only panoramic settings could make a good film.