Anurag Singh’s Kesari is based on the Battle of Saragarhi of 1897, in which 21 Sikh soldiers fought to death against more than 6000 Afghan invaders. Akshay Kumar plays the valiant Havildar Ishar Singh who led the charge.

The trailer, that gives us a breathtakingly sweeping tour of the rugged Hindukush mountains, shows the scope and scale of the film. There is something spare about the way Singh’s men are shown in this vast landscape, preparing themselves for an impossible contest. The dolly shots look smooth, the action sequences well-choreographed enough to promise a sleek historical action epic.

There is the angle of the sweet love story with Singh’s love interest, played by Parineeti Chopra. Kumar is shown delivering a rousing punchline to an enemy who talks in a distinctly Persian accent.  

Why Kesari? Apparently in the scheme of things of Kumar’s new film, the colour the soldiers wore is of great importance.

At one point in the trailer, Kumar’s character asks someone, “Do you know what the colour stands for? It’s the colour of bravery, sacrifice.” In an election year, the makers know better than that. There is a line about building mosques at some point in the trailer – the symbolism is hard to miss. Another propaganda?

Kesari is written by Girish Kohli and Singh. It is produced by Hiroo Yash Johar, Aruna Bhatia, Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta, Sunir Kheterpal, and co-produced by Amar Butala. The film will release on 21 March, on Holi. 

Watch the trailer:

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