Shah Rukh Khan
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Not often do you have films in Bollywood that actually ride on the director’s name instead of actors. Akira is one of them. Despite having an impressive cast, featuring Sonakshi Sinha and Anurag Kashyap in key roles, this film was promoted as a Murugdoss film. Murugadoss, that man who ushered Bollywood into the 100 crore era with a swashbuckling Ghajini! This is his third Hindi film, all of which remade from Tamil films.
Akira, a remake of Mouna Guru, essentially has a plot straight of the 90s. Except that the lead character this time is female. Sonakshi Sinha plays Akira Sharma, a girl with a past she would like to forget. Her brother gets her and their mother to stay with him in Mumbai. Akira’s character is set up as someone who stands for what is right and is capable of taking on the crowd if needed. Alone. And that’s exactly what happens. After a few smaller tiffs in the college, Akira unknowingly sets up a clash with a corrupt policeman.
The first half of the film moves steady, keeping things believable. Post intermission things get rather incredulous. The screenplay of Akira flows the way you bet it would. You will not find a single moment of surprise. There are some unbelievably dated asylum scenes, like in films during the ‘90s. An Ajay Devgn might have as well popped out somewhere on screen. Everything is something we have already seen.
A big problem with the film is that there is no emotions generated towards the lead character. The only connection Akira is seen building is with an inmate of the mental asylum. And that’s barely enough.
Apart from a lackadaisical script, Murugadoss also lets down on action. Pegged as an action packed film with a tagline ‘No One Will Be Spared’, Akira barely has action when you are hoping for it. The director hands a rather tame climax in his attempts to keep the film real.
The only thing that helps the film is Sonakshi Sinha. The actress puts in everything that she had to look her part. She plays in subtle and yet comes across as a powerful and convincing when she kicks her opponents. Anurag Kashyap is inconsistent. There are a couple of scenes where he manages the crack up the audience with his brilliant timing.
Akira could have been the new-age Shiva. It did not. It is dull. If not for Sonakshi, Akira may have as well landed in the forgotten films list.
By Noyon Jyoti Parasara
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