By Rahul Deo Bharadwaj
First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.
These oft quoted lines sum up the career graph of Sonakshi Sinha. The self-appointed purists ignored her, then they ridiculed her for having a “big forehead”, then there was criticism for her choice of roles.
And now, Sonakshi has won with “Akira”.
A large part of the credit for “Akira” obviously belongs to AR Murugadoss. The man remains one of our biggest geniuses in delivering thrillers - “Ghajini”, “Holiday” and now “Akira”. The three films are probably the best when it comes to action films on a large canvas.
“Akira” picks up slowly and only later do you realise that it was a deliberate ploy by the director to establish the characters for us.
Suddenly, the intrigue in the plot explodes and the movie becomes a gripping tale of a confident girl caught in the crossfire of a crime gone wrong committed by a psychopathic cop and his team.
The girl has more steel in her than what the antagonists assume and in the end she comes out a winner. The film has well-crafted emotional scenes, particularly the one where Akira interacts with deaf and dumb students in sign language when the college bullies pull out the wire of the public address system. In that moment, the director establishes the character of Akira to us, this girl will avoid conflict till the last moment but will get what she wants.
Sonakshi has nailed the role with such ferocity that you will wonder if this is the same heroine who acted in masala flicks like “Rowdy Rathore”. With expressive eyes that reflect fierceness, vulnerability, happiness and grace by turn, she has delivered a power-packed performance. She’s handled punch dialogues with aplomb, making one chuckle and applaud.
Sonakshi also shines in the action sequences. She fights with agility and is undoubtedly one of the few heroines in Bollywood today who can perform such stunts.
Anurag Kashyap plays the villain in “Akira”. He’s convincing as a power blind, cocky and mentally disturbed cop. A man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants and applies any means to get it. His sarcastic lines work well.
Konkana Sen Sharma is good as the upright cop Rabia who comes to the aid of the isolated Akira.
The plot succeeds in maintaining suspense. To be sure, “Akira” is not a classic. Neither is it a message about women’s rights. It should be seen as a well-executed film about a graceful, strong girl who just does not give up. The film is definitely worth a watch.