Raksha Bandhan Rating 3.5/5 & Rating
RAKSHA BANDHAN is the story of a brother and his four sisters. Kedarnath (Akshaykumar) runs Prem Lata Chaat Bhandar, a chaat shop in Chandni Chowk, Delhi. He has four younger sisters – Gayatri (Sadia Khateeb), Saraswati (Sahejmeen Kaur), Laxmi (Smrithi Srikanth) and Durga (Deepika Khanna). Kedarnath’s mother died when all five siblings were very young. She had made him promise that he would marry his sisters before tying the knot. Kedarnath is in love with Sapna (Bhumi Pednekar), his neighbor, since childhood. She is desperate to marry him, but he asks her to wait until he can marry his sisters and arrange their dowries. However, Sapna’s father Hari Shankar (Neeraj Sood) is not willing to wait as he feels that having an unmarried daughter at home is not acceptable, especially when she is of marriageable age. He gives Kedarnath six months to marry all of his four sisters and then tie the knot with Sapna. If he doesn’t, he will fix Sapna’s marriage somewhere else. A desperate Kedarnath turns to Shanoo ji (Seema Pahwa), an experienced marriage planner. She asks him to pay Rs. 18 lakhs for Gayatri’s wedding which will cover her dues and also sister’s dowry costs. Kedarnath pawns his shop to raise money. Gayatri’s marriage is fixed. Meanwhile, Hari Prasad is running out of patience and is looking for a suitable opponent for Sapna. On the other hand, Kedarnath is now worried about how to raise money for his other three sisters’ wedding. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
The story of Himanshu Sharma and Kanika Dhillon seems a bit outdated, as it is reminiscent of the society films of yesteryear. However, there is no denying that dowry is still a hot topic today. This makes it relatable and has the potential to touch viewers’ hearts. The screenplay by Himanshu Sharma and Kanika Dhillon is captivating. There’s a lot going on in the film and the writers make sure that viewers get their dose of humor and emotion in every sequence. Unfortunately, there are a few loose ends to tie and the writers should have done something about it. Himanshu Sharma and Kanika Dhillon’s dialogues increase the comedy quotient. However, things get pretty sour in a crucial scene in the second half.
Aanand L Rai’s directing is outstanding. He once again brings the taste of real India to the screen. The character Kedarnath will win the hearts of viewers, especially how far he will go for his sisters and even more so when he opens his eyes in the second half of the film. It’s also commendable that he packs so much into the film despite being only 110 minutes long. On the other hand, a few funny scenes fall flat. The first half is too loud and seeing the residents of Chandni Chowk always fighting and hitting each other gets too much after one point. One scene that makes for an uncomfortable observation is when Shanoo tells Kedarnath that she fixed Gayatri’s marriage. Amazingly, Kedarnath doesn’t even ask about the game, his job, location, etc. He instead starts partying! This looks stranger in the second half when he claims he won’t let his sisters marry Tom, Dick and Harry and that he wants to know about them first.
RAKSHA BANDHAN starts on a funny note, showing Kedarnath feeding pregnant clients gol gappas. The scenes at this point are funny when the creators talk about male children, dowries, etc. However, one also notices how these evils have been normalized in society. Kedarnath beating up last night’s teaser and then making a public announcement is entertaining in part. However, the scene where the sisters break up an arranged marriage meeting at Sapna’s house is hilarious. The other notable scene in the first half is when Kedarnath stops an anti-dowry activist from spreading her message. The break is emotional. The twist in the story is the best part of the movie and is sure to get teary-eyed. The film ends on a progressive note.
Raksha Bandhan | Official Trailer | Akshay Kumar | Bhumi Pednekar | Aanand L Rai | August 11, 2022
Akshay Kumar is in great shape. He plays the role confidently and shines in the emotional scenes. He’s in a much better zone here than he was in his last film SAMRAT PRITHVIRAJ . Bhumi Pednekar is also at her best, trying to add to the humor and emotional quotient. However, one wished that her character had a little more depth and details about her profession rather than just showing her as the hero’s lover. Neeraj Sood is reliable. Seema Pahwa is great and unfortunately her character disappears after one point. Sahil Mehta (Gaffar) is lovely. Abhilash Thapliyal (Swapnil) is fine. Speaking of sisters, Sadia Khateeb makes the maximum impact and looks pretty stunning. Smrithi Srikanth is confident and so is Sahejmeen Kaur. Deepika Khanna is cute.
The music by Himesh Reshammiya suits the mood of the film. ‘Kangan Ruby’ has that chartbuster feeling. ‘Ready Kar Do’ comes at an interesting point. ‘Tere Saath Hoon Main’ is very touching and the best song on the album. ‘Bidaai’ is moving. ‘Tu Bichde Toh’ is also well matched. Ishaan Chhabra’s background music is a bit loud but overall ok.
KU Mohanan’s cinematography is decent. Sumit Basu’s production design is realistic and the sets look real. Ankita Jha’s costumes are authentic and not glamorous. The Red Chillies VFX effect is great. Hemal Kothari’s editing is sophisticated.
On the whole, RAKSHA BANDHAN is a touching family saga with a highly emotional second half that brightens up the film. At the box office, it has the potential to attract family audiences to movie theaters, particularly in the Hindi belt and crowd centers. The vacation time extended by five days is an additional bonus. It deserves a tax exemption for its social message.