Akira suffers from amnesia


A corrupt cop. A hostel thief. A college student. And all these three strands connected to a highway accident thread. Result: An entangled coil of a film with multiple loopholes, which prevent Akira, directed by AR Murugadoss to be one of the finest films this year. Sigh. Hold on, there’s some hope in here. Akira isn’t a bad film by any sense, but the problem is it isn’t good either. Hadn’t it been for…Sonakshi, did you say? Nope, it’s Anurag Kashyap who steals the show, so much so that the film could have well been christened as ‘Rane’.

Anurag Kashyap seems to be having a great time in the film, right from the Salman-style ‘driving test’, to the ‘direction’ he gives to the other cops about how to write the FIR. This one’s a boss nobody would wish to work under, a man no woman would like to know, and a cop no country would want to hire.

Either the character of ACP Rane is really well-written, or the director in him took over while enacting a very much 90s film character. Either ways, this film undoubtedly will win Anurag Kashyap an award on two in the Best Actor in a Negative Role, hands down. The only place he falters at is the film’s climax, where he fails to create the impact a Prakash Raj could have pulled off in his sleep. Well, with a sinister smirk on his face in every frame, all’s forgiven.

Talking of Sonakshi Sinha as Akira Sharma, this could have been her Vishwanath (The 1978 thriller starring her dad, Shatrughan Sinha), if only her character had such nuanced writing. Heck, the writers AR Murugadoss and Santha Kumar neither bother to add any layers to her inner turmoil or even lend her a few one-liners.

We’d have been happy with even a ludicrous ‘Mein jo bolta hoon woh karta hoon aur jo mein nahi bolta woh mein definitely karta hoon’. We were prepared for an out-and-out masala potboiler here. And what we get instead is a character sitting cross-legged in the middle of a student protesters v/s Mumbai Police with the guitar riffs playing in the background.

One could notice a consistent problem in Akira’s character, where she appears confident and agile in front of Anurag Kashyap & Co. but whenever confronted by the Fargo-like cop Konkana Sensharma or her (indifferent) family and (more indifferent) prospective boyfriend Amit Sadh as Siddharth, she suddenly starts behaving like a mental patient. Add to that the frivolous climax scene with some mumbo-jumbo on Christ and the Cross.

Apart from these, the screenplay by Santha Kumar and AR Murugadoss suffers from short-term memory loss (the Ghajini effect?). To begin with, a high-profile person’s accident, on which this entire film’s story is pegged upon, is at first passed off as just one of the 5 road accidents in the city, and all of a sudden, the same accident takes a communal or rather convenient turn.

So much so that Konkana Sensharma becomes ‘majboor’ when she makes a hero-waali entry. Really? The same Konkana Sensharma’s character, SP Rabia is almost forgotten at a juncture of time when she was supposed to investigate the two criminals who ‘escaped’ from the police van. Forget Rabia, at one point of time, the director even loses track of Akira’s character, perhaps he was reveling in the character of Anurag Kashyap.

Atul Kulkarni, though in a small role, leaves an impact with his ‘silent’ character. The first fifteen minutes of the film makes one root for the key character who might ‘grow up’ to fight evils against women. Alas, the director ‘forgets’ that angle he began with, blame it on amnesia.

Having said that, Akira’s screenplay is so fast-paced or rather ‘tight’ in the filmy parlance, that one doesn’t notice these loopholes all the way through. It’s only when you reach the parking lot, you suddenly stumble upon your logic that you left behind before bracing yourself up for a commercial Hindi film.

Think it of as the weed that Anurag Kashyap’s character Rane smokes in his ‘entry wala’ scene, which you could only enjoy while it lasts. Like ‘Rane’ would love to put: Acha hai, lagta hai South ka maal hai…


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