Director: Anurag Singh
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Parineeti Chopra, Vansh Bhardwaj, Surmeet Singh Basra
Storyline: Recreation of the Battle of Saragarhi of 1897 (and the events leading up to it) in which 21 soldiers of the Sikh regiment of the British-Indian army take on thousands of Afghan tribesmen
Director Anurag Singh gives us a fictional version of Battle of Saragarhi. Leader Havildar Ishar Singh plays by Akshay Kumar is a man of integrity and limitless courage. He isn’t afraid to risk his life to do the right thing. Anurag and his co-writer Girish Kohli has gone overboard while writing the screenplay. The movie is at its most engaging in the battle sequences, which are vividly staged by Anurag Singh and lensed by Anshul Choubey. They produce moments of inspiration, including the suggestion that Isher Singh pioneered the telescopic rifle and a cross-dressing sniper.
Akshay Kumar is the strongest bridge who holds his regiment and the film together. He effortlessly switches from the emotional scenes to the high-intensity war sequences. Parineeti Chopra, who plays Havildar Ishar Singh’s wife, has barely any scenes to speak of and she only comes in Akshay Kumar’s thoughts. Unfortunately, the good part of the film only lasts for about a chunk of the last 30 minutes, when the battle is actually happening. We see slo-mo action sequences which feel unnecessary after the first few and powerful dialogues that can finally make an impact on the audience. Otherwise, the film celebrates a man saving a woman, him igniting a war between two countries and a twisted man who test this own regiment.
The film has one big flaw that is the duration of the film. Edit could have cut the length of the film. Parineeti’s appearance is not justified in the film. The supporting cast is an important factor of Kesari and all of them are very impressive. Akshay Kumar is excellent in the film keeping that ‘kesari pagdi’ right in place till the end, delivering thundering speeches and not to forget the action scenes. The nationalistic mood of the film will keep you attached in the theatre.