Kesari directed by Anurag Singh, a famous punjabi movie director often directing movies with Diljit Dosanjh has a good intention to use an old historical war saga but he is too busy in depicting that every soldier is so brave that he forgets to use the historical facts efficiently.
Ishar Singh (Akshay Kumar) is intolerant to injustice and is a pure true to motherland soldier. One day in order to save an Afghani girl from being killed by her own tribe, Ishar turns into a scoundrel to his own British master and saves her. This hurts the sentiments of Afghans, thus making them angry against the British for interfering in their customs. Ishar then gets transferred to the fort of Saragarhi which is home to the brave 36 Sikh Regiment. On reaching Saragarhi, Ishar sees that no one is disciplined and acts loyal to the land they serve, so he starts training them and tries to make them more aware of how important their duty is. He gradually succeeds in doing so but one day the Afghans united and decided to capture the fort of Saragarhi, thus giving rise to a long battle between 21 soldiers and an Afghan Army of 10000 people.
The movie is one hundred and fifty minutes long, with too much unnecessary drama in the first half . The film takes pace in the second half but doesn't know where to stop, like the violent fight is quite long and frustrates you a bit after sometime. And the bullets are everywhere, it looks the director is forcefully trying to make death appear like we have seen in Hollywood shows in Game Of Thrones, or in movies like 300 and other different fantasy war movies. And the long time taken by soldiers to die even after being hit by bullet hours back and the fact that he is thinking of romance with his wife while being continuously hit by bullets, like it use to happen in old movies like Border, irritates you for making this movie so long unnecessarily. All the wow elements about the actual war are simpy wasted by showing over-acting of the bravery. At one point of time I was convinced that I am seeing Sunny Deol in twenty-one different appearances. The film should have been made with more clever elments and the design of the set somehow saves the film from completly drowning in the drain as it made the film look convincingly authentic. Many documentaries and tv show called 21 Sarforosh is based on the same story. Also, no facts of the history are shown with much interest, the director is goddamn interested in showing only the bravery , nothing else.
Akshay kumar as Ishaar Singh did a good job in the first half but over-acts in the second half. Other actors did a convincing role. Parineeti wasn't there in the film for me. The main fault is in directon of the movie which fails to make you feel proud about these soldiers as it is drowned in unnecessary drama. Music too looks a bit forced at many places. Script tries to capture your interest and might even hold you for a bit but cant do much if the direction is at major fault. Cinematography too isn't very impressive, a use of bad CGI can be seen clearly.
Overall, this movie was a good attempt but wasn't impactful. Could have given a better experience if a good work was done on inner layers of the complete story.
Acting - 2.5 / 5.
Direction - 2 / 5.
Script - 2 / 5.
Cinematography - 1.5 / 5.
Music - 2 / 5.
Final Verdict - 2 / 5.
Watch it if you just want to know the history, dont expect so much.