Cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Anurag Kashyap, Konkona Sensharma
Director: AR Murugadoss
Director AR Murugadoss’ third film after Ghajini and Holiday is an attempt to establish Akira as the new Shiva, the excellent student protagonist in Ram Gopal Varma’s 1989 film. But a lousy script, tedious length and over the top acting restrict it from becoming even a patch on it.
Akira Sharma (Sonakshi Sinha), explained as gracefully strong, chooses martial arts over dancing when she is 11 years old after realising the value of physical power. A local hero in Jodhpur, Akira decides to come to the big bad world of Mumbai for higher education.
This all starts when Sonakshi reaches Mumbai from Jodhpur.
Thanks to her habit of standing up to the authorities, she becomes one of the most talked about students in her college.
On the other side of the fence, a group of weed smoking cops are taking the law for a ride.
Watch: Our FB Live discussion on Akira, Island City
They cross paths and Akira unwittingly lands up in a vicious net of deceit, crime and betrayal.
Will she punch her way out of this trap?
She isn’t the one to get scared easily.
When a wide-eyed ACP Govind Rane (Anurag Kashyap) informs us about his weed, ‘South ka maal hai, achcha hoga’ (This stuff is from South, must be good), we take it as a compliment about Murugadoss’ filmography. He scares a college professor, subordinates, pavement dwellers, students, a dubious woman, two of her allies – basically anyone who comes within his sight.
Watch: Sonakshi Sinha in a song from Akira
He is up against a woman of substance, but the weak build-up cools off the heat. Maintaining the tradition of popular South Indian action films, Murugadoss relies on one-liners and the populist behaviour of its characters. Lacking any novelty in the story, he ends up putting Sonakshi Sinha in the situations faced by her male counterparts in countless number of films.
The menacing ACP knows the tricks of the trade.
Projected as a woman’s fight against injustice, Akira has many loose threads. Characters keep appearing and disappearing without any justification, and that’s probably not a good thing to happen in a 138-minute film.
Island City review: This is what a big city does to you
A Flying Jatt review: This Indian superhero borrows heavily from Hollywood
Happy Bhag Jayegi review: Abhay Deol, Diana Penty return in full form
Rustom review: Akshay Kumar delivers an intriguing courtroom drama
The scenes keep changing without establishing anything. The audience is taken from the college dungeons to the headmaster’s house to mental asylums in search of a clue, but they don’t get any.
Akira isn’t an out and out action film. In fact, the makers are too concerned about making it look like a family drama. Lacklustre supporting cast and depthless writing make it even duller.
Despite some shots of acid attack survivors and specially-abled children, Akira fails to evoke any solid emotion.
Watch: Sonakshi Sinha in Akira trailer