It is touted as the bravest battle ever fought, it is a tale that was always needed to be told and it has Akshay Kumar essaying Hawaldar Ishar Singh, well, I am talking about Kesari that has just released.
Kesari is all about the battle of Saragarhi wherein Hawaldar Ishar Singh (Akshay Kumar) along with his battalion of 20 soldiers, stood up against the army of 10,000 Afghan invaders.
Kesari is based on the true story of one of the bravest battles that India ever fought, the Battle of Saragarhi. The year is 1897 and the British Empire had conquered most of India, is now trying to infiltrate Afghanistan. Fort Saragarhi, in the North Western Frontier Province, is a small communication post used to relay messages between two major military forts – Gullistan and Lockhardt.
To be posted at Saragarhi is no matter of pride for the newly formed Sikh regiment of the British Indian Army. Marked in colour Saffron (Kesari), the Sikh’s symbolize valour and pride and to die doing one’s duty.
Hawaldar Ishar Singh (Akshay Kumar), a proud warrior who prefers to live by his community rules, is often found in direct conflict with the orders of his British officers.
As a punishment, Hawaldar Ishar Singh is sent to Saragarhi where a bunch of 20 unruly, undisciplined Sikh soldiers await him. And it is this bunch of cheeky but lovable rogues that Ishar leads into the battle when an army of 10,000 Afghani Pathans turn up at Saragarhi on September 12, 1897.
The first half of the film is nothing but the introduction of characters where we get to know all the 21 Sikh soldiers who had held the Saragarhi fort against the 10,000 Afghan invaders. It actually tests your patience.
The second half is all about the battle with all the 21 Sikh soldiers against the 10,000 Afghan invaders. The action sequences have been choreographed with a lot of care, but then the special effects look tacky and juvenile.
Needless to say, the soul of Kesari is Akshay Kumar who has given it all for this film. Parineeti Chopra comes in like a breath of fresh air, though she has very little to do in the film.
All in all, Kesari is a film that as a heart in the right place, it is a story that needed to be told, but the film is very long and tedious. The execution is shoddy and the is too much bloodshed is a tad bit too much.
Rating: Two Stars