New Delhi, March 22 -- Midway through Kesari, there's a scene where an army comes into view over the crest of a hill, a long line of drummers in front. Watching this from the vantage point of Saragarhi fort, Ishwar Singh (Akshay Kumar) - with a regiment to command and facing almost certain death - decides he has time to drum-battle the Pathans. He turns up with a dhol and starts beating on it. There's a whole valley between them, and at least 50 drummers on the other side, but somehow his playing not only reaches them but throws them off their rhythm so badly they stop.

This inane scene kicks off an hour of non-stop carnage, as Pathans lay siege to the fort and are miraculously held off for a day by 21 Sikhs. This battle actually happened:...