Giving up meat is no easy task, especially for hardcore non-vegetarians. Be it for spiritual…
There has been an eternal problem with many a Hindi action film with the woman at the centre. Even as these flicks claim to break the gender stereotypes—turn coy heroines into tough heroes—they actually don’t. Add A.R. Murugadoss’s Akira to that rather long list of films in which the woman pretends to, but never quite kicks serious butt, where being strong essentially means having to suffer and sacrifice.
And so we have Akira (Sonakshi Sinha) who is trained by her dad in karate than kathak, who teaches a lesson or two to the roadside goons back home in Jodhpur and ends up in the remand home for it. Trouble seems to follow her even as she carries on being a good girl. A shift to Mumbai finds her daggers drawn with college ruffians and a corrupt cop Govind Rane (Anurag Kashyap) who plays the game of “almost running over the pavement dwellers” with his official vehicle, slaps a college professor and makes the students take to the streets and face tear gas and rifles (all this while I kept wondering when was the last time Mumbai college-goers ever protested with such show of strength). He also has no compunctions to murder for money.
Director: A.R. Murugadoss
Cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Anurag Kashyap, Konkana Sen Sharma
Storyline: A girl, raised to be tough, finds it hard to stay nice
Bottomline: Breaks bones, but not gender stereotypes
Sinha is slim, svelte and agile and wears a constant sulk for expression. Kashyap seems to be having all the fun while being resolutely himself. When he puffs at the joint and says, “Maal achcha tha, South se hoga”, it almost felt like he was endorsing Tamil cinema, as he always does. None of the actors gets any support from the script.
And in the most ridiculous and bizarre turn of the plot towards the end Akira has to become the sacrificial goat for the larger good of the community—“in the national interest”, “for the sake of law and order”, “to save the town from possible communal unrest”. Never has any actor looked as unconvinced mouthing such inanities as Sharma to Sinha. Meanwhile, Sinha gamely sees herself as a Christ figure who bears the sins of the world on the cross. Daughter India replaces Mother India. And all I could say to myself at the end of the film was Beti Bachao.