Raksha Bandhan Movie Review: In about 110 minutes, Akshay Kumar delivers a sincere message of the evils of dowry in a way that goes wrong on multiple levels. Yes, that’s what director Aanand L Rai’s Raksha Bandhan is a major disappointment – it screws up its own social message in different multitudes. Akki plays the ultimate God-like bhaiyya who must marry off all his sisters for he has given a vachan to his mother on her deathbed. He will protect them, nurture them and marry them off even if he has to bear the burden of a dowry or four (and losing a kidney or two, well almost). That’s the plot of this high-pitched emotional drama. Akshay Kumar Invites Rupali Ganguly Aka Anupamaa to His Home for Raksha Bandhan! (View Post)
Aanand L Rai places his tale in the bazaars with his obsession for hustle-bustle around the main characters. There are gullies and flower markets and gulaal and festivities that play supporting characters. With this complex and colorful backdrop comes an equally jarring story – the one where a dutifully driven Kedarnath (Akshay Kumar) must ensure that all his sisters tie the ceremonial knot so that he can marry his childhood love (Bhumi Pednekar) one day. The four girls are not taken easily in the “marriage market” for one is fat (providing ample scope for body shaming and the crass humor that can typically go along). The other is dusky (bring out all the Fair and Lovely commercials and the predicament of the girl who must bleach herself out to be suitable for the job as well as the matrimonial market).
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As if these two stereotypes are not enough to provide enough foil for the plot, Rai throws in a tomboy character who must morph herself into demure types to become ‘saleable’, and then there’s another one who must use her perfection to fulfill the promise of her bade bhaiya first. Contrived as it can get and melodramatic to the point that you start feeling nauseated, Raksha Bandhan tries hard to drive home an important message on women- emancipation but it struggles to find its heart at the right place. Anupamaa’s Rupali Ganguly Reveals Akshay Kumar Is Her Rakhi-Brother During Ravivaar With Star Parivaar Show (Watch Video)
Replete with wonky sarcasm and jibes that makes you roll your eyes in utter disappointment, this film just wants to place Akshay Kumar on a pedestal. And truth be told, Kumar delivers an honest and sincere performance even if the plot remains shoddy and the writing sloppy. Bhumi Pednekar doesn’t do much in the film except for calling the burdensome sisters chudails for she can’t marry Kedarnath unless, dare we say, the sisters are driven out of the house.
From Kedarnath selling gol-gappas devoured by pregnant women with hope in their hearts that these gol-gappas help them deliver a male child to empowering women by going against the system of dowry–Akki’s character must come a long way to justify the means in the end. That’s so much for what the makers are trying to sell in the name of transformation!
Raksha Bandhan is ‘Bhai Behen ka pyaar‘ narrated with a high-pitched and cringe-inducing melodrama. The only plus here is that it gets over in just 110 minutes!! Phew!!!
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 11, 2022 01:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website leakherald.com).