By Subhash K Jha
The trailer of Anurag Singh’s Kesari is every bit that patriotic juggernaut that we expected it to be. It is passionate and bombastic, brimming over with nationalistic indignation as Akshay Kumar, plays a wizened but lionhearted Sardar Ishar Singh who along with 21 Sikh soldiers defeated an Afghan battalion of 10,000 soldiers.
This is a tale of wide-angled valour. And I really can’t see anyone except Akshay carrying it off. There is a certain element of trendy gravitas about his personality which contemporises history (this one is set in 1897) without trivializing it in any way. And Akshay can nail the jingoistic rhetorics like no one else cab. His bloodcurdling war cry at the end of the trailer is so inspiring it prompted me to mutter ‘Jai Hind’.
Akshay instills a pliable passion into the rhetorics, as his character runs ferociously to annihilate the powerful invaders.
This is a film that wears its heart on the sleeve. Director Anurag Singh has once made a film about a suspected Khalistani terrorist on the run in Punjab 1984. With Kesari he penetrates the big-time with a war cry. And who better to voice it than Akshay Kumar?
The trailer doesn’t have much to give of any other actor. I do hope the the supporting cast which includes a makeup-less Parineeti Chopra trying to look like a Sardarni married to the bravest soldier on that side of 1947, is used properly. What we see in the trailer are CG-induced war sequences. These could have been done better considering the film has four affluent producers, including Akshay Kumar himself and Karan Johar. They were probably cutting down on costs considering Manikarnika got away with such clumsy battle scenes (including shots of Kangana Ranaut as Jhani Ki Rani riding wooden horse).
Kesari looks and feels authentic. Standing at the centre of this sanguinary world Akshay Kumar lords over the proceedings like a wounded lion. March 23 is the release date for this recreation of a chunk of India’s freedom movement that many filmmakers have been trying to put together for years. But none succeeded.
Akshay Kumar was destined to play Havildar Ishar Singh. He told me this is the toughest role of his career. Not only did he carry a heavy turban and thick lengthy beard, he also had to play man who wouldn’t stop at anything to protect his nation.
This is the mood that the country is now experiencing.
Kesari echoes the public sentiment. Don’t stop at anything to crush the enemy. In one sequence an Afghan enemy threatens to subjugate India and its people.
Akshay stares at the big-talking enemy and says, “Chal joothe”, as though someone had just told him that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is not only beautiful, she can also act. A little bit of humour never hurt the national pride. (IANS)