Raksha Bandhan Movie Review Rating: 4/5
After Atrangi Re (2021), which had its direct-to-digital premiere on Disney+ Hotstar, filmmaker Aanand L Rai and superstar Akshay Kumar have come up with their latest film, Raksha Bandhan. Announced before the pandemic, the film faced a series of setbacks before finally making it to cinemas this Friday. In addition to Kumar, Raksha Bandhan also features Bhumi Pednekar, Sadia Khateeb, Sahejmeen Kaur, Smrithi Srikanth, and Deepika Khanna in significant roles. BollywoodMDB reviewer has seen the film and here is what he has to say about the same.
STORY: Lala Kedarnath (Akshay Kumar) is the only elder brother to 4 sisters. A small chaat shop in the busy lanes of Delhi’s Chandni Chowk is the only source of his livelihood. He is in love with Sapna (Bhumi Pednekar) since childhood but whenever she asks him to get married, he leaves her hanging as he had made a promise to his mother at her deathbed that he would first marry off all his four sisters before tying the knot himself. Sapna’s father is not very pleased with his decision as he wants to marry his only daughter as soon as possible. What happens next forms the crux of the story.
HIGHS: Filmmaker Aanand L Rai is known for telling stories that are rich with emotions, and Raksha Bandhan is no different. He has done a masterful job of finding the balance between some emotionally heavy content while making it look visually appealing. Raksha Bandhan is a film that has emotions at the center of it and lives up to its title.
Talking about performances, Akshay Kumar once again delivers a riveting performance. He makes you laugh and cry, sometimes both at the same time. His chemistry with his on-screen sisters, played by Sadia Khateeb, Sahejmeen Kaur, Smrithi Srikanth, and Deepika Khanna, is one of the major highlights of the film. It translates so well on screen that you wish to see them more together. Since the film revolves around a brother and his four sisters, Bhumi Pednekar does not get much screen time, but she still manages to hold on to her own. She is a brilliant performer who knows how to steal a scene. Other actors in the supporting cast are also good, especially Seema Pahwa who wins hearts with her limited role as a matchmaker. Overall, it is the perfect casting of Raksha Bandhan that makes the film what it is.
There are many things going in favour of Raksha Bandhan. First, the film talks about sibling love while also commenting on the social evil of dowry. Secondly, filmmaker Aanand L Rai has kept the film very short. The writing of the film is very simple which has been enhanced further with realistic performances from the entire cast.
LOWS: Viewers may frown upon the stereotyping of certain characters in the film. Actress Deepika Khanna, who plays Durga, is called a “double-decker”. This does not end just there as Smrithi Srikanth’s character Laxmi is called “amavas ki raat”. Adding such lines just to evoke laughter is so passe.
FINAL VERDICT: Funny and emotional, Raksha Bandhan qualifies as one of the best films of the year so far. Irrespective of the fate that it meets at the ticket window, the film is going to be remembered for a long, long time. If you are planning to watch it with your family or just siblings, do not forget to carry a box of tissues along as you are going to need them more often than not throughout the entire run of the film. I am going with 4 stars.
Watch Raksha Bandhan trailer:
Banner: Zee Studios, Colour Yellow Productions, Cape of Good Films
Director: Aanand L Rai
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar, Sadia Khateeb, Sahejmeen Kaur, Smrithi Srikanth, Deepika Khanna
Runtime: 108 Minutes