Akira movie cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Anurag Kashyap, Nandu Madhav, Konkona Sen Sharma, Atul Kulkarni, Amit Sadh
Akira movie director: A R Murugadoss
A little girl learns early that submitting to wrong-doing is not right, even if you have to suffer for it. Good tip, and Akira (the remake of a Tamil actioner) begins with promise, showing us how girls can choose karate over ‘kathak’ and flower.
Akira (Sonakshi Sinha), no relation to Kurosawa, makes the journey from a colourful Rajasthan ‘chota shehar’ to ‘mahanagari’ Mumbai, and runs slam-bang into a convoluted plot involving a murder and missing cash and a bunch of corrupt cops, headed by the vicious ACP Rane (Anurag Kashyap, enjoying himself hugely and being extremely effective, even if very far from a Marathi-speaking native: I wouldn’t like to meet Rane in a dark alley).
Rane’s khaki-clad cohorts who go about looting and pillaging and shooting innocents in cold blood get a lot of play: is this film the reason why the latest edict on not depicting the police ‘in bad light’ been announced?
There is a sole ‘good’ cop in the movie, Konkona Sen Sharma’s very pregnant, very dedicated officer ( clearly modeled on Francis McDormand’s character in ‘Fargo’), but she is only one against many.
Having a young woman kick serious butt should be a matter of joy: what’s not to like about strong female characters in male-dominated mainstream cinema? But what do you do if you are saddled with the most craven plot this side of the Vindhyas, which gives you wings, and then sets about clipping them? Sonakshi Sinha does a good job working the limitations of her role, but she alone cannot help this film from falling into a sinkhole.
Right from the beginning, director A R Murugadoss provides warning signals: a female using her fists cannot go scot-free. She has to be seen suffering, otherwise how will the mass audience flock to the film?
So if Akira stands up to acid-throwing bullies, we are meant to rightfully applaud her, but that applause is quickly tempered by her having to be disciplined: first in a remand home and then in a ‘mental’ asylum. And for a female protagonist to be bloody but unbowed, and be the last woman standing? That will take some doing: this watered-down female version Ghajini is not that film.