Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha has found an apt way to silence all those who thought that she was prone to acting in varying shades of damsel-in-distress roles. She slays it as Akira, the fierce college student from a dysfunctional modern family, who reluctantly takes on a gang of corrupt police officers in Mumbai.
Akira, directed by A R Murugadoss, is a violent showcase of police brutality and the depths to which dishonest men in uniform will plummet to in order to fill their coffers. Director-actor Anurag Kashyap, who plays a high-ranking police officer, is pure evil genius. The coke-snorting rogue officer almost yanks the glory from Sinha’s adventurous foray into a role of substance.
The first half is thrilling and moves at a fast pace, the second half spirals down a rocky path. The turns are sinister and makes you wonder whether cops can truly get away with multiple murders in Mumbai. You may have to suspend belief to take in some of the haphazard twists in the second half. But it isn’t all bad. It’s invigorating to see a woman take charge and do what Bollywood heroes have been doing for decades. There’s a bit of chest-thumping, but Murugadoss doesn’t let it run wild.
Konkona Sen Sharma, who plays a heavily pregnant police officer who is above corruption, doesn’t falter. This thriller is a good example of actors doing their job, instead of letting stars and their familiar routines dominate. Despite a few hitches and ridiculous twists, Akira makes for an engaging watch. Some may also have an issue with the way the film tackles mental health, but if you see the big picture the viewers aren’t scarred by the film.