‘Akira’ movie review: A history of violence


Fox Star Studios

There should be a whole new category of movies in Bollywood with disparate storylines embracing the trappings of popular cinema in full awareness, as if the filmmakers behind them are not fully committed to their own idea.

While director AR Murugadoss’s Akira is a satisfying fare, which even with a heady mixture of idealism, vigilantism and corruption still manages to be thoroughly entertaining, it is a little unsettling to see the focus shared with the movie’s many stock characters, rather than fully exploring the scope of its heroine.

In similar spirit to the Bride (Uma Thurman) from Kill Bill or Meera (Anushka Sharma) from NH10 and Roshni (Sridevi) from Gumrah, Akira (Sonakshi Sharma) is striking in the vast injustice done to her and the immediacy of retribution called upon by such act.

Instantly empathetic in her personal tragedy, the character of Akira is a fascinating one. In the movie, a predisposition of idealism has in turn made Akira have a history of violence. Her understandable dissociation with events all around may be possible in the small town of Jaipur where she hails from but several lives intersect with hers in Mumbai, where she reluctantly moves in to pursue higher studies.

A leaner story would’ve provided the viewers a more personal involvement with the movie and its heroine.

But unlike movies in the same spirit, empathy for Akira comes in pieces in the movie’s disregard for her character. In a bid to justify the many happenings that lead to the injustice she goes through, many more facets of her personality are left unexplored.

While a prologue succinctly establishes the character’s predisposition to violence, Akira is never fully realised. In turn, her journey feels far from being harrowing and the eventual retribution, though packing a lot of bite, feels like a cinematic device rather than being a rightful culmination of such events.

This messiness of the story and its apparent disregard for its heroine comes from the design of its conflict and its need to focus on many disposable characters in a bid to forward it. So much stress is given in making the viewers understand the nature of the conflict that the heroine takes a backseat for a major portion of the movie. A leaner story would’ve provided the viewers a more personal involvement with the movie and its heroine.

What you get with Akira is still very enjoyable, though, even with its regular baddies (trying hard to infuse terror) and scanty procedural.


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