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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Murder Mubarak, Ae Watan Mere Watan, Gaslight: Sara Ali Khan’s OTT graph needs a hit

The Kedarnath actress’s upcoming releases include Anurag Basu’s Metro… In Dino and Abhishek Kapur’s Sky Force

Ratnalekha Mazumdar Calcutta Published 13.04.24, 03:21 PM
Sara Ali Khan in Ae Mere Watan Mere (left) and Murder Mubarak

Sara Ali Khan in Ae Mere Watan Mere (left) and Murder Mubarak Instagram/Sara Ali Khan

With her sparkling personality, Sara Ali Khan has always come across as an actress who could be counted on. While we have our hopes pinned on her upcoming projects, like Metro… In Dino, the 28-year-old actress is yet to strike gold on OTT. Here’s why we thought Sara’s two recent direct-to-digital films — Murder Mubarak on Netflix and Ae Watan Mere Watan on Prime Video (following her 2023 OTT debut Gaslight on Disney+Hotstar) — didn’t quite match the hype.

Bambi Todi in Murder Mubarak on Netflix

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Helmed by Being Cyrus maker Homi Adajania, Murder Mubarak is like a multi-flavoured pastry packed in a stunningly pretty box that doesn’t taste as good because of too many characters and a not-so-strong lead. It feels like Sara Ali Khan squandered the opportunity to become protagonist Bambi Todi, a girl with inherited wealth who forsakes love and stays in a bad marriage to preserve her image of an elite member of The Royal Delhi Club. Bambi could have benefited from some of Sara’s real-life goofiness, and it doesn’t help that her emotional scenes with Vijay Varma and Varun Mitra also feel on-the-surface.

Usha Mehta in Ae Watan Mere Watan on Prime Video

In the historical biographical film Ae Watan Mere Watan, Sara Ali Khan plays Usha Mehta, a young woman who played an important part in the Quit India Movement in 1942 by initiating an underground radio station to spread the message of unity and solidarity among countrymen. The Kannan Iyer-directed film has got most things right — from the look of the period to costume, makeup and music — except establishing a real connection with the characters. Sara looks beautiful in the retro look in this Dharmatic Entertainment project but our hearts don’t beat enough for her Usha even when she faces grave danger.

Meesha Gaikwad in Gaslight on Disney+ Hotstar

Sara’s OTT film debut happened in 2023 with the Pavan Kirpalani-directed horror thriller Gaslight, co-starring Vikrant Massey and Chitrangda Singh, which did not take off as per expectations. Sara showed promise as the wheelchair-bound central character Meesha, who returns to her palatial estate house to meet her estranged father after 15 years, but an incoherent screenplay resulted in a baffling viewing experience overall. And not just Sara, a brilliant actor like Vikrant Massey too hammed it up in some places.

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