Over the years, Bollywood have remade numerous South Indian movies with the hope that it would fill in the coffers as the original did. Anywaz it's not a sure shot at success after all the culture & cinematic taste of the audience are different in different states. However, A R Murugadoss is one director who had managed to hit the bull's eye with his previous remake ventures be it "Ghajini" or "Holiday". This time he has chosen to remake another Tamil flick "Mouna Guru" & had Sonakshi Sinha playing the protagonist rather than a male lead. The trailer definitely looked smashing, but can it create magic at the box office???
Akira (Sonakshi Sinha) hailed from Jodhpur & had a rather eventful childhood which many others would have dared to have. Right from her formative years, her father instilled in her the virtue to stand up against injustice & help the ones in need even if the culprit was bigger in size or stature. Apart from her strong will power, he also had trained her in martial arts so that she was strong in both body & spirit. It all began when her friend became a victim of acid-attack & when she witnessed a similar harassment later on, she stepped in & taught the hooligans a lesson which landed her in a juvenile home for a few years. After her release, she pursued her education but it was at this juncture that her brother decided to take them with him to Mumbai. But little did she realize that this change in environment would threaten her very existence.
As mentioned earlier, this is Murugadoss's third tryst with Bollywood & he has had some fond memories from his previous experiences. Coming on the back of the dud, "10 Enradhukulla" he would be hoping that "Akira" would provide him with a sigh of relief. Since I havent watched "Mouna Guru", I didn't have the luxury of comparing the two which was actually a positive thing. Scripted by Santha Kumar, the audience is treated to a gripping tale for most parts in the first half & kudos to the director also for having picturised it well. However, the latter half failed to build on that momentum & eventually the film culminates in a rather disappointing climax which was way too outlandish. But the performances given by the artists were damn good be it Anurag Kashyap, Sonakshi or Konkona Sen.On the technical side, Rajasekharan's visuals were impressive while Vishal-Shekhar's music barely had any significance.
This was a movie where the artists inspite of some terrific performances were let down by an insipid story line, As for the question who was the best among the lot, the answer would be Anurag Kashyap who was absolutely brilliant as the coke snorting sly ACP. Sonakshi was totally convincing as the "girl who could kiss ass" & did utmost justice to her role but the writer should have given her character more variations rather than just cold stares. Konkona Sen might not have a lengthy role, however she displays her class with subtle nuances as the pregnant SP. As for the rest, all of them gave decent performances as well.
Verdict: Despite praise worthy performances, I dont think the movie would be able to make much of an impact at the box office. It's surely not boring but neither is it unique & to make matters worse the second half doesnt pack much of a punch. In short, since there wont be much high expectations it wont hurt to give it a try for the Dabaang girl!!!
Director A R Murugadoss makes movies that take their subjects far too seriously. And in this action drama, which reminds us more of Malayalam action film Kochi Rajavu (2005) than Mouna Guru (2011), the Tamil film which it is actually a remake of, the titular character takes herself so seriously that she fails to impress or inspire.
Akira (Sinha) is a tough adolescent who was brought up rather aggressively by her father. At a very young age, she used to stand up for herself and her causes (whatever that means), and as a result, had to do time for three years for a crime that she didn't commit (or did she?). So, naturally, her familial relations are sorta sticky. It is when she moves to Mumbai and gets involuntarily entangled in a serious crime involving a bunch of corrupt cops that her audience really get a wind of what Akira is capable of: break some bones and stare at the camera in slo-mo after the deed has been carried out.
The story is a mixture of popular plot elements we have been seeing in films generally in India. A silent nobody whose principles sound great on paper, but are practically boring and non-feasible in a world where working towards the greater good is everything. Throw a bunch of vindictive villains in this mixture, and there you have it. Just like someone has mentioned in the mainstream media how the active theme of the story is given a dramatic punch by introducing family members is very much true. But, the compassion that should've accompanied it seems to be missing.
Of course, the 140 minutes are not boring if one can prevent oneself from asking questions that are related to logic and common sense. But, then again, one should understand that they are watching a Murugadoss film, which are infamous for defying logic.
Sinha is surprisingly good in the role of a rugged action hero who lands some heavy punches. Her deadpan expression is all that I had qualms about, but let's appreciate her for this feat anyway. Kashyap is average, but that is because of the formulaic approach adopted by his character. Supporting cast is fine.
Overall, a feminist who has gotten the original sense of the word completely wrong may adore this movie and its central character, for she strives to be like a man here. Also, we cannot call it a film about women empowerment; watching a one-woman-show trying to subdue the forces of man-made insanity is not exactly the best way to depict that trending virtue (?). Konkona Sen Sharma also plays a narrator in the film, but I cannot accept what she delivers asn an epilogue: that our daughters should aim to be like Akira. Of course, I would want my daughter to have guts like Akira, but what might look appealing on theory does not always yield good results in real life.
BOTTOM LINE: A R Murugadoss's "Akira" is a decent entertainer with some fine stunts delivered by a woman who should be stopped taken seriously the moment one exits the theater hall. Wait for DVD, and then rent it.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
Akira is really a delightful women centric film that not only impacts highly the essence of being a woman. But also in addition, highlights inherent women’s power, warmth, and strength in an otherwise male dominated society.
It starts from Jodhpur, where we see a young Akira maturing into a sensible youth¬. Once accidently to defend herself she throws acid on a criminal’s face and this matter concludes in the young Akira’s confinement for 3 years in a remand home. Later on she moves to Mumbai to pursue her graduation and the Hostel accommodation mistakenly entraps her in a very bizarre situation where she is traumatized, tortured and is psychologically and emotionally broken down into fragments.
A sub-plot of the film involves an ACP (Anurag) and his 3 officers. They are wicked men who through their malevolence try to harm people. Once, while frolicking on the highway they witness a car accident in which they walk away with the dead driver’s money leaving the victim unattended. So, one needs to discover the future spin of the story to appreciate the director’s view-point and how Akira is involved in the plot.
For many, Sonakshi as Akira is just lukewarm. One can easily be pleased by her subtle skills (especially the action) and her dramatically histrionical talent. Overall it appears convincing to see her impactful performance on women.
Anurag is the main lead antagonist here whose perfectly compelling aggressive character and villainous performance is laudable again giving him tremendous success. And above all he showcases himself as a talented actor of contemporary times.
Konkona is also a part of the film and she plays a pregnant lady cop who tries to lift up the curtain of the villains. Of the 3 main characters, though she might appear in fewer scenes, yet she walks away with maximum impact on the audience. Other actors do a fine job with mastered skills imbued in the script. And the man of honour, director Ar murugadoss shines through the film. One can imagine his laborious efforts and time to create such an intricate story with morality mixed in it. The screen play and the appropriate background score that is conducive to this theatrical thriller do satisfy the viewer.
What goes slightly awry with the film is the marginal deviation from common intelligence that’s all. On the whole it is a good watch and I urge everyone to please watch this film – A film par excellence.
I rate it with 7 stars.