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Akshay Kumar’s “Kesari” with over 20 million views in 24 hours since its release

New Delhi, Feb 23: With over 20 million views in 24 hours since its release, the trailer of Akshay Kumar’s “Kesari” has piqued interest about the historic Battle of Saragarhi of 1897.

The September 12, 1897 battle, in the North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan), is distinct as 21 Sikhs of the 36th Sikh Regiment (now the 4th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment) of British India, defended an army post against more than 10,000 Afghan and Orakzai tribesmen.

The British government had conferred on the martyred soldiers of the 36th Sikhs its highest battle honour of ‘Indian Order of Merit Grade II’.

This history has been written about in several books, including in one documentation by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

The story of valour and patriotism has now found takers in the world of showbiz.

“Kesari”, which comes out on March 21, was preceded by “21 Sarfarosh: Saragarhi 1897”, a series from Abhimanyu Singh’s Contiloe Pictures, which specialises in historical dramas.

The show, streaming on Netflix, has 65 episodes and stars Mohit Raina and Mukul Dev in principal roles.

“‘Battle of Saragarhi’ is considered as one of the bravest days in Indian history. It was a pleasure telling a story of such importance and creating something at this scale,” Singh had said earlier.

As for “Kesari”, directed by Anurag Singh, it takes the gripping story to an epic scale with Akshay as Ishar Singh, complete with a turban and beard.

It is the film’s patriotic flavour, backed by action sequences and an aggression that Akshay has displayed, that have made the industry sit up and take notice.

Film and trade expert Girish Johar told IANS: “It is a story being told at an epic level. The canvas is huge.

“It has a possibility of being the highest box office earner for Akshay Kumar. Also, Akshay Kumar will be seen in an intense, aggressive avatar, fighting, and moreover, fighting for the country.”

Plus, the film has the advantage of releasing on the Holi weekend.

Two other Hindi films on the Battle of Saragarhi were in the pipeline, but they have been shelved.

Ajay Devgn was making “Son Of Sardaar: The Battle of Saragarhi”, a project he had announced in 2016, an there was another movie by Rajkumar Santoshi, “Battle Of Saragarhi”, starring Randeep Hooda.

About Ashok Palit

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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