Abhishek Kapoorâ€™s latest offing Kedarnath has two things that got us excited: Sara Ali Khanâ€™s debut and impressive visual effects. Set against the backdrop of the holy town of Kedarnath in Uttarakhand, it is loosely based on the destructive floods that wreaked havoc in the region in 2013. Now that the film has finally been released, the verdict is that in an attempt to cover many noble, contemporary and sensitive issues, Kedarnath gets buried in a wishy-washy script. Though not with flying colours, but debutante Sara Ali Khan has passed the litmus test and she will stay and shine!
Here are some excerpts of the reviews from popular Indian publications:
Times of India: Strong visuals and a stellar performance by Sara Ali Khan save this love story from sinking under a deluge
The focus remains strictly on the love story, and while Mukku and Mansoor share some beautiful moments, the narrative does take a tad too long to set up their romance. What makes up for the slow pace of the film are the performances and the CGI-driven climactic portions. They come together to create a strong, dramatic impact. Sara Ali Khan as Mukku is a live wire. She reminds you of a young and boisterous Amrita Singh (her mother) in films like Betaab and Chameli Ki Shaadi. Her confidence and on-screen charm are a testament to her ability and talent. She looks gorgeous in the desi-girl avatars and she owns every scene that sheâ€™s present in. Sushant Singh, in a slightly under-played role, supports Saraâ€™s efforts, but weâ€™ve seen him give finer performances before. Watch out for the scene where he sings Lata Mangeshkarâ€™s Lag Ja Gale (from Woh Kaun Thi, 1964) where his characterâ€™s naivety is brought out with deftness.
NDTV: Sara Ali Khan steals much of Sushant Singh Rajput’s thunder
Post-interval, Kedarnath hurtles helter-skelter through ‘disaster film’ terrain, where computer-generated imagery floods out the crucial questions raised in the first half regarding the steady erosion of the holy town’s fragile eco-system and its ingrained culture of pluralism in which people of different religious denominations have lived in peace and harmony for generations.
Film Companion: An overwrought but under-cooked love story
The film wants to be too many things â€“ there is a running sub-plot involving Mukkuâ€™s sister. Abhishek and Kanika also bung in an environmental angle.Â The story is overwrought but under-cooked and the tonality, inconsistent. There is an effort to create a small town ethos but many things jar â€“ like Mukkuâ€™s gorgeous outfits and jewelry. Even when itâ€™s snowing outside, sheâ€™s wearing only a tasteful salwar kameez. At one point, her and Mansoor break into a synchronized dance at a friendâ€™s wedding. Suddenly, the shy porter becomes a rockstar.
Bollywood Hungama: Sara Ali Khan makes a very confident debut and is the only one to benefit from the film
Sushant Singh Rajput is not in top form. Thereâ€™s no doubt that he has worked hard physically in playing the porter. But in terms of performance, thereâ€™s a lot left to be desired. Shockingly, some of his dialogues are difficult to decipher in the first half an hour. Sara Ali Khan makes a very confident debut and is the only one to benefit from the film. Her performance is exemplary and sheâ€™s sure to stay here and shine! Sadly her characterization is unconvincing. The way her character suddenly falls crazily for Mansoor is difficult to digest.