By Troy Ribeiro
Film: “Akira”, Director: A.R. Murugadoss, Cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Anurag Kashyap, Konkona Sen Sharma, Amit Sadh, Nandu Madhav, Mukesh Hariawala; Rating: ***
A crime based action drama, “Akira”, meaning “graceful strength” in Sanskrit, is the story of a strong girl who fights against all odds to prove her innocence.
A simple story, narrated from the Investigating Officer, Rabiya Sultan’s point of view, the narrative starts off in Jodhpur.
After witnessing a brutal acid attack on one of the girls in her vicinity, young Akira is inducted into martial arts, in order to defend herself by her progressive father who is mute.
Soon, in self-defence, she injures a boy and lands up spending 3 years in a remand home.
Years later, when she comes to Mumbai, she gets sucked into a case which four corrupt police personnel headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Govind Rane, Senior Inspector Manik Pawar, Inspector Rajeshwar and Constable Baburao, are hell bent upon hushing up. How Akira gets out of their clutches forms the crux of the tale.
On the performance front, Sonakshi Sinha in the titular role does offer a fine act. With swift and vigorous movements she gets into the skin of Akira but there is that something that keeps her away from a cent percent performance.
Anurag Kashyap as the debauched Assistant Commissioner of Police Govind Rane is impressive and does justice to his character, making one sufficiently abhor his unethical ways. He is aptly supported by Lokesh Vijay Gupte as Inspector Rajeshwar and Nandu Madhav as constable Baburao.
Konkona Sen Sharma as the honest investigating officer offers nothing much by way of histrionics. But her character, Rabiya Sultan, is interestingly crafted. Her gait and demeanour are matter-of-factly dealt with, as she is shown investigating the case in an advanced stage of pregnancy.
In miniscule roles, Atul Kulkarni, who is naturally charming, makes his presence felt as Akira’s father, while Amit Sadh as Sid is wasted.
Mishiekka Arora essaying the role of young Akira is cute and charming.
Based on an original story by Santha Kumar, the screenplay written by Director A.R. Murugadoss is praiseworthy. The plot is skilfully and intricately woven with well-etched characters and the right amount of action and drama.
The director has astutely dealt with the subject with no major deviation. With minimal sound design and constrained camera movement, the film offers a realistic feel. The background score and the production design add to the viewing experience. But the languid pace of the telling is what holds it back from being a crisp and engrossing thriller.
Overall, “Akira” is a well made film worth a watch for its story.