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Raksha Bandhan Is Elevated By Akshay’s  Animated  Performance

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Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan

Starring Akshay Kumar,  Bhumi Pednekar, Sahil Mehta

Directed by Aanand  L Rai

Rating: ****

After  two  devastating duds, Akshay Kumar springs  back into livewire action with this nostalgic  ode to what what was once known as the  ‘family social  film’. There  is a  deeply felt message  against the dowry system embedded  in the  craftily though  a little hastily  written  screenplay which goes from tomfoolery to mush without skipping a  beat,  thanks to Akshay’s absolutely   spot-on  screen  presence.

Part Kishore Kumar,  Part Rajendra Kumar  and fully Akshay Kumar, the actor is in form,taunting women who  want to  get pregnant  with male  children  after eating his gol-gappas, fat-shaming  his sister, one out  of  a quartet  of  siblings he treats  as  his  children who must be wedded as  per a  promise to his dying mother(who is not really his mother, but we are not getting  into that here), plus there is  Lala Kedarnath’s assistant , played  with a devil-may-care swagger by Saahil Mehta.

Oh yes, there  is Bhumi Pednekar who never fails to  leave an  impression no matter  what the length  of her role. Here she is cast as the lady-in-waiting, Kedarnath’s sweetheart who will wait till  eternity for her man to be freed of his family responsibilities before marrying her.Bhumi has two knock-out scenes  where she makes it very clear to her man that it is  him or none.

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All this  needed some serious character development. Director Aanand  Rai seems  to in  a tearing  hurry to  get on with the  show. I sometimes wished the  narration would slow down to catch  its breath. But then I realized the  pace  of the story mimics its protagonist’s  breathless  routine.

Sandwiched  among four demanding  all Lala Kedarnath can think of  is show to make the money to marry off his sisters. His harebrained  schemes  to  make money  range from the  hilarious(performing  at Matadi jagrans) to  heartbreaking(selling his kidney).

This is  a film that tells you, it’s okay  for  a man to cry  when he hurts . It’s okay to  let it all hang out.  Go  have  good cry in the movie theatres  this weekend.Watch  out for Seema Pahwa as  a self-important  professional match maker. She is part of an  improper  joke about stammering Luckily the  film know  exactly what to say and how to say it.

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