Star Cast: Akshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar, Sadia Khateeb, Sahejmeen Kaur, Smrithi Srikanth, Deepika Khanna, Seema Pahwa
Director: Aanand L Rai
What’s Good: Drama in the second half overweighs the humour in the first, thanks to some gem of songs by Himesh Reshammiya
What’s Bad: Though it addresses the evil practises of dowry, commenting on people preferring having a boy-child over a girl but the way it takes to do all this is too loud to accumulate your attention in one place
Loo Break: Choose any time for the same but not during the songs
Watch or Not?: Not necessarily a theatrical recommendation, can sit back, relax & watch on OTT
Available On: Theatrical Release
Runtime: 108 Minutes
Lala Kedarnath (Akshay Kumar) is that gimmicky ‘chaat bhandar’ owner of your area who claims his Gol Gappe helps pregnant women to have a baby boy. While living her life’s last moments, Kedarnath’s mother asked him to promise that he’ll get married to his childhood love Sapna (Bhumi Pednekar) only after he weds his four sisters away.
He promises without realising three out of four of them are a mess and no one in Delhi wants to get married to them without a colossal dowry. Being a middle-class man, Kedarnath tries to somehow arrange the dowry for one of his sisters but what about the rest 3? Sapna’s father gives him 6 months to fulfil the promise to his dead mother or he’ll get his daughter married to someone else. What will Kedarnath do? That’s what the story is about.
Raksha Bandhan Movie Review: Script Analysis
Himanshu Sharma & Kanika Dhillon’s regressive approach to the story isn’t the only issue with the film, it’s also the extremely over-the-top treatment given to its narrative. It feels like an old soul trapped in a young body at places. Though I’m not at all discounting the fact that it would surely connect with its target group but that hampers its universal connect.
Humour rarely worked for me, though there are some good dramatic portions, especially in the second half. But, one criticism about the drama in this film is it never arrives with a proper buildup. It’s just there. Suddenly something extremely sad or extremely happy will happen & you’ll be puzzled on how to react.
Side Note: I totally get the point of how the film is only about getting the sisters married somehow, that’s why their backdrop isn’t included & I’m okay with that as some reviews are criticising of why it’s ‘only about the wedding’ for the sisters because that’s the whole film.
Raksha Bandhan Movie Review: Star Performance
Akshay Kumar does what he’s best at, madcap comedy at command. This is a role tailor-made for Kumar and with his act, he proves how easy these kinds of roles are for him. Even while overdoing, he makes sure it somehow is entertaining. Kedarnath at times reminded me of his portrayal of Sachin Tichkule from Khatta Meetha.
Bhumi Pednekar gets a pretty uni-dimensional character of Sapna to portray. Her only motive in life is to get married to Kedarnath & nothing else. Bhumi controls the loud character without crossing any lines, thanks to her acting prowess.
All the four sisters Sadia Khateeb, Sahejmeen Kaur, Smrithi Srikanth & Deepika Khanna are just about okay with Sadia getting the maximum limelight. When I thought Seema Pahwa’s character will finally bring in some laughs, she disappears in the second half.
Raksha Bandhan Movie Review: Direction, Music
This is Aanand L Rai‘s home-ground, the grassroots, heartland humour & we’ve seen a variety of attempts around this. From a heartbreaking love story in Raanjhanaa to an abstract father-daughter bond in Atrangi Re, Rai has tried his hands with almost everything around this setup. At this speed, he’ll have to bring aliens to North India to do something new in his world. But, this also remains to be one of his weakest attempts at entertaining the audience through the story. Yes, I know many will bring Zero to the debate & that’s fair enough but Zero’s first half > humour in Raksha Bandhan.
It finally seems Himesh Reshammiya is back to his elements with the music album of Raksha Bandhan. Nooran Sisters’ Bidaai, Nihal Tauro’s Tu Bichhde Toh adds tears & sobs to the drama in the second half. These songs are the reason why drama escalates to a good level in the second half & without these everything would’ve been below average.
Raksha Bandhan Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Raksha Bandhan celebrates all right things in the end, but it’s the journey to that celebration that doesn’t really intrigue you to stay invested.
Two and a half stars!
Raksha Bandhan Trailer
Raksha Bandhan releases on 11 August, 2022.
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Not into family dramas? Read our Samrat Prithviraj Movie Review for Akshay Kumar in a period drama!