‘Akira’ review: The Agony of Aunt Twerp


akira_poster

THIS WEEK, READERS WRITE IN TO AUNT TWERP, DABSTER IN THINGS ALL SAID AND not done, and get some world-wise advice on resolving knars on their tree of life. So, here goes.

Dear Aunt,

I booked tickets for Akira thinking it was a biopic on Akira Kurosawa. I’m still wondering what happened.

Yours befuddled,

Red Beard

Dear Beard,

Serves you right, you twerp.  If only you’d shaved off that fungus off your old portrait, you’d have known that Akira is director AR Murugadoss’s third outing in Hindi cinema. Based on director Santha Kumar’s Tamil hit Mouna Guru, Murugadoss also wrote some additional screenplay for Akira – which to my sharpened sixth sense is as useful and effective as your facial jungle.

sonakshi-sinha-teena-singh-mess-with-me-and-akilla
Sonakshi Sinha, Teena Singh: mess with me and akilla

My dear Aunty,

Tell me truth, tell me why, was Akira crucified? Was it for woman power that the audience cried?

Wannabi Sonakshi

Dear Wannabi,

Looks like the only butt you’ll ever kick is when you’re spot jogging. Akira does fashion itself as a poster case for woman power, but underneath all that slam-bam-what- a- ma’am is a script that has its crutches on a weak-kneed, gullible family – I mean, which swanky family will allow a member to rot in a wrought-ironed cell ?– and a wannabi boyfriend. The only time the audience cried was when the wonky eunuch patient began mouthing her inane dialogues with an inflection that was as grating as the second half of the movie.

NoPiracy4_500

Dear Aunty,

Is it just me or do most movies today suffer from the waah-first-half, blah-second-half-syndrome? Ditto with Akira. Should I consult Akira’s doctor and get some shock therapy?

Intervalphobic Mick

Dear Phobic Mick,

You’re absolutely bang on. Director Murugadoss gets cracking in the first half, bringing in so much of drama, action, intrigue and fun that you dread the jinxed interval calling card. With Akira (Sonakshi Sinha) arriving in Mumbai and living in a hostel, and the parallel track of ACP Rane (Anurag Kashyap), Inspectors Manik (Lokesh Gupte),  Rajeshwar (Nandu Madhav), and a constable (Uday Sabnis) chugging along perfectly, you sigh in contentment. There’s some superb scenes involving the four cops and Rane’s lover, Maya (Raai Laxmi), some smartly directed murders, and a genuinely tightening plot of how Akira’s path crosses with the cops. There’s more smarts as a very pregnant SP Rabiya (Konkona Sen Sharma) gets the investigation of one of the murders going, and slowly begins to piece the clues together. (Why pregnant, you ask? Maybe the director wanted to pick a random leaf from that disturbing procedural and darkly psychological TV series, The Killing?) So far, so good. And then, the plot takes an insane turn (pun intended) and you wince as the movie begins to unravel rapidly. The asylum scenes are the weakest, and Akira’s friend Rani doesn’t help things a bit. The acting here is amateurish, and it’s as if the director suddenly misplaced his potion for sure-footedness.

And you’re more than welcome to consult Akira’s doctor – the vision of him in red shorts, sipping beer should be shock enough.

anurag-kashyap-villainy-relish
Anurag Kashyap: villainy, meaty relish

Dear Auntyji,

I think I have a mean streak. I loved all the villains in Akira. Should I join a gang? Or even better, the police force?

Prem C

Dear Prem C villain bhaayo,

Welcome to the gang, no need to join forces with the cops. Don’t get me wrong. Akira is Sonakshi Sinha’s best ever performance. She carries off the title role with an aplomb that’s smooth and sure. She’s understated, she’s intense, and she’s also very good in the action scenes. Konkona Sen is good too, and this role seems to be easy meat for her.

But then, you have Anurag Kashyap. As did Tigmanshu Dhulia in so many movies, director Anurag turns actor Kashyap , takes the nasty, mean streak and chews it as if relishing a juicy steak. (One more meat reference, and I’ll order myself a chicken burger.) Kashyap is brilliant. Period. His slowly building manic energy – marked by a superb guitar twang in the background score (composed by John Stewart Eduri) – his vibes of vile villainy, and his manipulations are all so much fun. Note how he sits on the couch, the fingers of his left hand making a pyramid of devilish thoughtfulness, planning the next move. Very subtle, very good. Anurag Kashyap’s slick and sick performance is Akira’s highlight. And he’s aided by the superb Lokesh Gupte, Nandu Madhav, and Uday Sabnis. All three are terrific, packing in some genuine Mumbaikar wallop into their work.

sonakshi-shot-gun-sinha
Sonakshi: shot gun Sinha

Aunt Twerp,

I was so disappointed to see Amit Sadh in such a weak role. I mean, why? What was that talent doing there? And I wanted to see more of Konkona too.

Feeling Sadh

Dear Feeling Sadh,

Look at it this way. Somebody had to do it. But if you ask me, why did Akira even need that twerp Sidharth (Amit Sadh) in her life? That role was an afterthought, methinks.  But better Sidharth than the obnoxious Rani, any day.

And as far Konkona is concerned, any more of her and she’d have had to be rushed to the delivery room.

Yours with a mean streak,

Aunt Twerp  – No Answer Will Be Given

Akira

Director AR Murugadoss        Running Time 2h 37 min

Writers Kumar Santha (original story), AR Murugadoss (additional screenplay)

Stars Sonakshi Sinha, Konkona Sen Sharma, Anurag Kashyap

Genres  Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Watch the trailer of Akira here:

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