In Kedarnath, Mansoor Khan (Sushant Singh Rajput) is a porter (piththoo in Hindi). Well aware of the local geography and religious customs, he doesn’t refrain from shouting Lord Shiva’s name on top of his lungs. Though he believes his work is a way to serve the almighty, he doesn’t hide religious identity while at it.
Kullu (Nishant Dahiya) is the representative of the local priests. Hot-headed and young, he understands the social dynamics that is tilted in favour of the Hindus and wants to exploit it for more lucrative business opportunities. He gets heartbroken and vengeful after finding out about his fiancée Mukku’s (Sara Ali Khan) affair with Mansoor, knowing little about the nature’s plan for them all.
Tushar Kanti Ray’s breath-taking shots welcome the audience into Mansoor and Mukku’s world that’s all about sparkling rivers and shining mountain tops. While the contrast of green and silver soothes your eyes, Sara’s rebellious attitude catches your fancy. She is fierce, sharp tongued and in control of her surroundings. For a debutante, she appears confident.
On the other hand, Sushant eases us into noticing the societal layers and how he represents the generation that doesn’t put religious beliefs over everything else in life. He is natural, charming and nuanced. He isn’t your typical ‘hero’ who would flex muscles at the slightest provocation. He sometimes downplays emotions and that surprisingly serves the film.
Pooja Gor, who plays Sara’s elder sister, confronts Mansoor for courting her sister but fails to get any reply. He is well aware of his social conditions. Later, he breaks into tears while cleaning his horse. It’s a remarkable shift for small town leads whose primary trait so far has been nonchalant masculinity.