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Akira  : Too Tame To Thrill
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Friday, September 2, 2016
A.R. Murugadoss
Sonakshi Sinha, Konkona Sen Sharma, Anurag Kashyap

If you were to reverse the genders and put a hero in the role of Akira, you’d experience déjà vu at the banality of the story.


AR Murgadoss unfolds his scenes in a straightforward linear manner. But the ordinariness of what he has to say is a sleep inducer.


After an acid attack she witnessed as a little girl, Akira Sharma’s father has her trained in martial arts to be able to stand up to the local bullies. It lands her instead in a remand home for three years about which nobody does anything. Soon she’s back home and in college like nothing has happened except that her dad is now up on the wall as a photograph with a garland around it.


There’s an inexplicable move by her brother to take her and his mother to Mumbai to live with his wife and kid. But Akira prefers to move into a hostel. There’s a bully here too, and a bigger bully in uniform stalking the roads of Mumbai with impunity.  Substance abuse, murder, greed, women, name every revolting trait and ACP Rane has it.


Akira is fearless but she unwittingly walks into the ACP’s range and witnesses a couple of encounter killings. Murugadoss’ dull story nosedives further and turns comatose when the cops send Akira to a mental institution for shock therapy and drugs to prove that she’s got psychiatric problems and is hallucinating.


With all the sorrow that he piles on Akira, Murugadoss actually ends up doing an injustice to the idea of girls getting trained to defend themselves. 


But what really goes wrong here is that an action film requires livewire thrills, a touch of comedy and emotions, and kickass entertainment. Murugadoss skims over family ties and romance too with disinterest, thereby delivering a film that has no strong emotional bonds, no music or any relief. To have an inmate from the institution pretend to be Amitabh Bachchan on the phone line is pathetic and that’s Murugadoss’ height of humour.


Sonakshi Sinha is sincere in her work. But in perhaps wanting to show Akira as strong and brooding, Murugadoss turns her unanimated and friendless which doesn’t work for a film that requires energy. What’s an action film if there isn’t a single scene that rates an excited whistle from the audience?


For a film that doesn’t kick up any excitement, Akira gets a 2* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author


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