Raksha Bandhan will eradicate Akshay Kumar’s lean phase-Opinion News , Firstpost

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Raksha Bandhan fills a lacuna in the mainstream classifications of entertainment. Akshay Kumar seems to channelize the brother in himself with some genuine emotions lacking in his last two outings.

I have a confession to make. The minute I saw the trailer of Aanand L Rai’s Raksha Bandhan on Tuesday evening I fell in love with it. Unabashedly sentimental and not afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve, the trailer shows Akshay Kumar back on firm ground after his slippery shambolic act in Bachchhan Paandey and Samrat Prithiviraj.

I have always felt that simplicity suits Akshay. Going into complex areas of human nature is not his forte. Here in Raksha Bandhan he is a doting protective all-sacrificing brother to four sisters, played by Sahejmeen Kaur, Deepika Khanna, Sadia Khateeb and Smrithi Srikanth who could have been less typical: one is overweight, the other is chirpy, and so on.

Akshay’s Bro-dad will stop at nothing to see his somewhat sloppy sisters (the shot of them lunging at samosas is embarrassing in the trailer) married.

A question here for co-writer the husband-wife team of Himanshu Rai and Kanika Dhillon: why is it so important for the big brother to see his sisters married? Why can’t he think beyond the shaadi-mandap for them?

This brother dates back to Balraj Sahni in Choti Bahen(1959) and Ashok Kumar in Rakhi (1962). When was the last time we saw a truly heartwarming film on sibling love? Bapu’s Pyari Behna? That was 37 years ago. Mithun Chakraborty played the doting Bhaiyya to sibling Tanvi Azmi (then she was Tanvi Kher).

Raksha Bandhan fills a lacuna in the mainstream classifications of entertainment. Akshay Kumar seems to channelize the brother in himself with some genuine emotions lacking in his last two cocky outings.

However, carting his sister to the trailer release was not only gimmicky but also exploitative. I can understand his insecurity after two films. But Raksha Bandhan doesn’t need any supplementary boost. It is a tale with a sentimental spin.

Akshay plays big brother to four sisters. When one of them asks how he intends to find the money to get them married Akshay says, “I have two kidneys. I will make do with one.”

The connectible role and the relative relevance will see Raksha Bandhan swish past the finishing line.

One reservation: why the constantly waggish tone in the trailer? Is it because comedies are supposed to be in vogue at the box office? Family responsibilities are not a laughing matter, not when your girlfriend’s father is hovering over your head threatening to marry off his daughter in six months.

Raksha Bandhan hits all the right traditional notes which are not to say it is irrelevant. Oldfashioned is not equivalent to outdated. This one gives off warm vibes that Akshay Kumar’s last two films never give off in their trailer. This should do the reversal trick in the actor’s career.

Impressively the trailer doesn’t name Akshay Kumar first in the credits: the actresses playing the four sisters get top billing. That’s what I call putting your money where your mouth is.

Aanand Rai tells me, letting the ladies lead in the credits is not a strategy, it is heartfelt.

I believe you.

Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has been writing about Bollywood for long enough to know the industry inside out. He tweets at @SubhashK_Jha.

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https://www.firstpost.com/opinion/trailer-promise-raksha-bandhan-will-eradicate-akshay-kumars-lean-phase-10821751.html