A Holi release has turned out to be a huge advantage for Akshay Kumar starrer Kesari. The historical drama had a great start at the box office on Thursday, as it emerged the highest opener of 2019 so far. Kesari, also starring Parineeti Chopra, earned Rs 21.50 crore on its Day 1. Now, with an extended weekend, the film is expected to continue pulling huge crowds at the theaters.
Film trade analyst Taran Adarsh shared Kesari’s numbers on Twitter. He wrote, “#Kesari roars… Sets the BO on 🔥🔥🔥… Emerges the biggest opener of 2019 [so far]… After limited shows in morning/noon [#Holi festivities], the biz witnessed massive growth from 3 pm/4 pm onwards… Evening shows saw terrific occupancy… Thu ₹ 21.50 cr. India biz.”
Taran also revealed that Kesari beat Gully Boy, getting the biggest opening of 2019 so far. In another tweet, he mentioned, “Top *Opening Day* biz – 2019… 1. #Kesari ₹ 21.50 cr [Thu]
2. #GullyBoy ₹ 19.40 cr [Thu]
3. #TotalDhamaal ₹ 16.50 cr
4. #CaptainMarvel ₹ 13.01 cr
Note: ₹ 10 cr+ openers.
#Kesari is Akshay Kumar’s second biggest opener, after #Gold [₹ 25.25 cr; #IndependenceDay].”
Based on a true story, the war film revolves around one of the bravest battles fought in India where a handful of Sikh soldiers bravely fought thousands of Afghan tribesmen in the 1897 Battle of Saragarhi.
The Anurag Singh directorial has received positive reviews from the audience as well as critics.
Indian Express critic film Shubhra Gupta gave three stars to the film.
A section of her review read, “What works for the film is its unapologetic embrace of loudness and lack of nuance: rousing speeches of patriotism keep breaking into the bloody action on the battlefield. Akshay gets the maximum, naturally; but the other soldiers do too. Some work has gone into outlining the other men, one of whom is clearly ‘lower caste’, who gets a teeka of equality, another who hasn’t had time for his suhagraat, and yet another who has just become a father.”
She added, “Akshay is the film. And he pulls it off, keeping that ‘Kesari’ pagdi aloft right till the end, delivering thundering speeches, and keeping his men’s morale up. His Ishar Singh is inhabited and convincing, and it helps that his Punjabi accent is completely on point.”
Apart from Akshay, Kesari also features Parineeti Chopra, Mir Sarwar, Rajpal Yadav, Vansh Bhardwaj and Ashwath Bhatt among others in significant roles.
With positive word-of-mouth, the film is expected to rake in great numbers in the coming days.