Akira Review by Indicine
Okay, first things first. Why would you send someone to Mumbai to keep them out of trouble? Why not send them to the Himalayas or some smaller and more peaceful town? AR Murugadoss uses familiar tropes which have appeared in his own movies before. But the reason Akira works is because he knows how to tie it all together and present it in a neat manner. Yes, the heavy handedness gets a bit too much in the second half and the twists keep getting bizarre, but there seems to be a method to the madness. It never leaves the realm of probability. Akira flows well, and doesn’t have a lot of boring sequences even when the director over-explains situations.
Akira Review by Bollywood Hungama
Although women oriented subjects are looked forward to in Bollywood, it really requires an outstanding script and a compelling screenplay in order to make a film of this genre to stand out. In case of AKIRA, despite the film having a strong message and an interesting concept, the loosely penned screenplay (Santha Kumar, A.R. Murugadoss) gives the film in. The script is totally disjointed, which acts as the villain in the entire film. Add to this, the fact that, the film has limited action scenes, no romance and no music lands the film catering to not a single vector of entertainment. The film simply fails to offer any kind of entertainment value to its audiences. The film’s dialogues (Karan Singh Rathore) are extremely average.
Review by Sukanya Verma on Rediff
Despite the ineffective subtext, Sonakshi plays out the raging impulses of a brooding, badass Akira with a refinement a film of such mediocre calibre can barely recognise, forget contain. She moves, feels and looks the part in an effort that is empty heft because the script is extraordinarily dated and bereft of punch. Between mandatory scenes of Akira’s torture and onslaught, Anurag Kashyap holds fort as the revolting ACP Rane whose depravity and in-fighting among the increasingly discontent partners-in-crime forms the major crux of the plot. Kashyap’s relaxed, wicked delivery hits all the right notes and his original vocation comes in handy as well.
Review by Bryan Durham on DNA India
Despite its flaws, catch this film for Sona. Every kick and punch she lands, proves that she’s grown in leaps and bounds since that joke of a boxing match in Holiday. While Murugadoss leaves a lot to be desired, it is a satisfying one-time watch for an action-junkie.
Review by Tatsam Mukherjee on India Today
All in all, Akira is a dumb commercial potboiler, with a superlative performance by Anurag Kashyap. Your only wish in the end is Sonakshi find material good enough to do justice to her acting abilities. She badly needs to step away from the preset Bollywood templates.
Review by Rohit Bhatnagar on Deccan Chronicle
Sonakshi Sinha, who is knight in shining armour of the film, has truly arrived! It is so good to see her breaking bones and kicking butts so effortlessly. Her power packed performance in the film is an answer to those who don’t consider her as a good actor. She debuted with ‘Dabangg’ and went on to do entertainers like ‘Rowdy Rathore’, ‘R Rajkumar’ and many more such films where she was used as a filler. It won’t be wrong to call ‘Akira’, Sonakshi’s her real debut. Anurag Kashyap just steals the show with his intense and flawless performance as a corrupt ACP. Konkona Sen Sharma has a small yet striking role of an investigative officer. The rest of the cast, which includes Amit Sadh, Atul Kulkarni and Smita Jaykar does a fair job.
Review by Meena Iyer on The Times Of India
Murugadoss (Ghajini, Holiday — A Soldier Is Never Off Duty), you can see, started with honourable intentions of trying to impart self-defence lessons to girls. But besides that one noble thought, he couldn’t manage a cohesive plot. His cops-and-Akira chase runs out of steam much too early in the film. Post interval, things get so convoluted, you want to kick and punch. Also, the entire onus of cracking the case is given to a heavily-pregnant, Rabia Sultan (Konkona Sen Sharma) modelled on Frances McDormand of the Hollywood thriller Fargo (1996). And despite Konkona’s sincerity, she still seems like a caricature because the writing material doesn’t support her. Anurag as the baddie and Sonakshi’s spirited act redeem the film to some degree. For the rest, Akira is humdrum.
Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express
Right from the beginning, director A R Murugadoss provides warning signals: a female using her fists cannot go scot-free. She has to be seen suffering, otherwise how will the mass audience flock to the film? So if Akira stands up to acid-throwing bullies, we are meant to rightfully applaud her, but that applause is quickly tempered by her having to be disciplined: first in a remand home and then in a ‘mental’ asylum. And for a female protagonist to be bloody but unbowed, and be the last woman standing? That will take some doing: this watered-down female version Ghajini is not that film.
Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
Akira is no breakthrough for women power in Hindi cinema. The heroine is actually only a female version of the swaggering supermen played on the big screen by the likes of Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar. She might be far daintier and slighter built, but there is absolutely nothing that is beyond her. She suffers a lot on account of her courage, but her invincibility is never in doubt. And that robs the film of any real possibility of springing any real surprises. The film certainly has its moments, and Sonakshi does her career no harm by revealing a new facet of herself, but Akira isn’t blockbuster material.
Review by Rajeev Masand on News18
This remake of a 2011 Tamil film has so many wheels turning all at once, it’s positively head-spinning. The dense plot is packed with contrivances, and Murgadoss throws way too many characters into the mix. The film’s first half has potential, but post interval the action shifts to a mental asylum, and logic and common sense quickly goes out of the window. Akira is presented to us as a battering ram of sorts who can vanquish an army of bad guys even while heavily drugged. It’s never entirely convincing, even though there is some pleasure to be had in watching Sonakshi go all ‘Rowdy Rathore’ on her rivals. When her fists aren’t doing the talking, Sonakshi is all cold hard stares and solemn brooding. The film never allows her to have fun with the part, and that’s a real shame. Konkona Sensharma, as a pregnant police officer committed to unearthing the truth, suffers on account of a half-baked part, and Anurag Kashyap’s Rane doesn’t get nearly as much screen time in the second half as he deserves.
Review by Tushar P Joshi on Bollywood Life
The issue with Akira is that it strives too hard to become an action entertainer. There is that novelty factor by having an actress as the action lead, but somehow Akira’s punches and kicks feel too rehearsed. Also it’s a cliche ridden film, especially the first half where we see Akira learn martial arts while growing up. The track with her brother and his family fails to develop and it becomes more of a hurdle than a bridge. Music is strictly average and none of the songs help the story progress. The only character that you might be interested in is Kashyap’s cop, but he too becomes a caricature towards the rushed climax. Predictability and bad dialogues don’t give the narrative any scope to grow on you. Akira might entertain Sonakshi Sinha fans, but if you are an action lover then the film doesn’t really have much to offer.
Review by Mayank Shekhar on Mid-Day India
Why should we care for this film though? Because they’ve got some of the casting so right. Which may be the reason this pic got made in the first place. Konkana Sensharma’s never played a cop before. Anurag Kashyap, as the main villain, has certainly never acted so much on screen. And Sonakshi, the heroine, to the best of my knowledge, has never stepped out as solo lead.
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
Sonakshi Sinha sways her limbs athletically to manage her action scenes and tasks her mast mast do nayan only to spot her perpetrators and spell their doom. Konkona Sen Sharma seems disinterested if not listless in essaying a pregnant cop with a conscience, or so her performance would read. It would be unfair to say that Anurag Kashyap delivers better as an actor than the other caps of filmmaking he dons. But going by the sinister cop he plays here, it’s surely a career option he shouldn’t ignore. His ability of infusing his abominable character with an eerie calm is what sets him apart from most. Amit Sadh’s cameo doesn’t make or break this film and his character could’ve been easily dispensed with.
Review by Vishal Verma on Glamsham
The climax is good but could have been bettered, more action packed for the adrenaline buffs and more inspiring. The second half lacks the sharpness and edge of the first half. All said and done, AR Murugadoss directed AKIRA has the kind of tempting action thriller allure that edges other routine adrenaline with its constant edge of the seat excitement showing Sonakshi Sinha’s in a power pack action avatar. Watch it.
Review by IANS on Sify
Based on an original story by Santha Kumar, the screenplay written by Director A.R. Murugadoss is praiseworthy. The plot is skilfully and intricately woven with well-etched characters and the right amount of action and drama. The director has astutely dealt with the subject with no major deviation. With minimal sound design and constrained camera movement, the film offers a realistic feel. The background score and the production design add to the viewing experience. But the languid pace of the telling is what holds it back from being a crisp and engrossing thriller. Overall, Akira is a well made film worth a watch for its story.
Akira Review by Indiaglitz
The first half takes its time to settle until the middle part of the film. The tempo goes down again in the second half of the film and moves on a snail pace. There are some over stretched tracks in the second half, especially of the mental asylum. Though, in between the screenplay keeps bouncing back to its right track due to which one stays engaged with this movie.The story narration is bit slow and tiring at times. Also, the movie promises to deliver some dare-devil type of action but fails to meet up to the expectation level. Actors like Atul Kulkarni and Amit Sadh are wasted.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
It’s been a long time since we watched an action flick without the necessary song and dance romance track. It exists in the film too (poor Amit Sadh gets that ineffective role), but we could have done without it too. If the mother had been given a better role than just the token one, the film could have been different. But on the whole, the movie makes you happy munching popcorn while the heroine cracks bones, makes you laugh cheesily when the creepy villain gets served his desserts. As they say, ‘Paisa Vasool!’ (Full Value For Money)
Review by Meeta on Wogma
Akira is no fairy tale. There are no charming princes and no fairy god mothers. Sure, there is a warrior princess and the devil. Their fight is enough to keep us absorbed. They fight long and hard. Maybe a tad too long. The usual trappings of the second-half syndrome however, are just about tolerable to make Akira absorbing enough to stay in memory after the walk out of the theater.
Review by Anupama Chopra on Hindustan Times
Akira has been made earlier in Tamil and Telugu. Obviously it’s a narrative that connects. Those films had male protagonists. Here Murugadoss makes the central character a woman. It’s a brave decision, but the writing — by Murugadoss and Santha Kumar — isn’t good enough to give us a memorable heroine. I do hope though that we’ll see Sonakshi play to her strengths more often. There isn’t much scope for nuance here but she has an emotional depth that surfaces occasionally. I would love to see more of that.
Review by Lokesh Dharmani on Masala
The film was gripping in the first half. There is nothing sexier than a woman kicking some serious butts, but it slips into Singham mode way too easily and way too quickly. You applaud the fight sequences for the first time, cheer for her the second time, get bored soon and feel like kuch bhi dot com towards the end of it.
Review by Manjusha Radhakrishnan on Gulfnews
While 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.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
As far as the film goes, though it has a promising start and an enjoyable first half, the narrative is too long-winded and tends to veer off in different directions. The director tries to stuff as many issues as possible in one film, so there is a comment on acid attacks, communal harmony, woman power, fake encounters et al. Also, the pace of the film could have been crisper. The screenplay is quite weak and once the novelty of a feisty female protagonist smashing bad guys wears off, there is not much that the film offers as far as the plot is concerned.
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