For some inexplicable reasons, this well-intentioned outing does not take off. The story line of a romance suffering a communal divide refuses to infuse passion or interest. Paradoxically it comes from the man who gave us Kai Po Che.
The film is meandering and tiresome. No, it is not so much the predictable rich poor, Hindu Muslim divide. It is that the script simply refuses to deal with any drama and the resultant end product is a drab fare. It is a tale that seeks to tell romance, fails then moves on to depict a tragedy and tires too soon.
Mansoor (Sushant Singh Rajput)is a Pithoo (a human porter) who carries people up the hilly Kedarnath. He runs into a feisty Mukku (Sara Ali Khan) who is the daughter of the local tradition filled Pandit Brijlal (a faded Nithish Bhradwaj). Her Mom (Sonali Sachdev) and sister Brinda(Pooja Gor) are in contrast, very traditional. They find her ways too shocking for the traditional family and the holy town. Mukku and Mansoor have all the time and the picturesque locales to fall in love unmindful of the tremors in store- particularly from Kullu (Nishant Dahiya- stiff as a stick). The expected rough weather unleashes after the tame love story just reaches the take off stage. Even as Kullu carries out his threats to wed Mukku and evict the entire community, the 2013 Uttarakhand tragedy takes over.
The narrative is clearly dilinated into two tales: the love story and the natural calamity. Tangential reference to environmental concerns is half hearted and in poor measure. Three prospective areas of drama : the class-communal clash, the threat of big business trying to push out the local players and the larger issue of environment all and each of which could have the central piece of the drama fail to materialize. Even the love story is a non starter with the audience loosing their patience and waiting for the lead pair to fall in love and romance in Kedarnath.
The crew fails the film. Kanika Dhillon who is incharge of scripting her story and giving it a screen appearance fails to infuse any interest in the film. For a romance and the launch of a young actress the music by Hitesh Sonik is hardly worth remembering. It is the cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray that redeems the film to a degree. Amazing stuff. He ensures that the backdrop of the amazing Kedarnath is not lost and the actors still have their space before the lense.
While the cast is adequate, one would have expected the veteran support cast to do better. For instance Pooja Gor is at best alright. Alka Amin does her best when called upon. Sushant is not called upon to do anything different. Yet the task is translated with endearing sincerity and a sure sense of timing. He ensures that he does not steal screen space from the debutant. Sara is a clear reminder of Mom Amrita who started off with a very similar role in Betab. There is promise as there is room for cleaning up the act. A sure welcome add to cinema.
Like another young couple debut love story of recent times this too is a tale of an opportunity going abegging.