Movie Review: Akira – A Gritty Woman Centric Movie!

AR Murugadoss is the first director who gave started the 100 crore club with his debut Hindi movie Ghajini way back in 2008. He continued his successful stint again with Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha. In this week’s release, ARM presents a gritty woman-centric movie Akira starring Sonakshi Sinha. Frankly speaking this time again, ARM does not disappoint. Yes, I do agree it is not in the mould of Ghajini or Holiday, however, he brings to life a real life situation that could be faced by anybody.

Based on Tamil movie Mouna Guru, Akira starts with the voice introduction of Akira Sharma (Sonakshi Sinha) by Sub-Inspector of Police Rabia (Konkona Sen Sharma). The movie goes back in time when Akira is a kid living with her parents in Jodhpur. One day she witnesses an acid attack while returning from school and she testifies against the culprit. This tragic incident encourages her deaf and mute father (Atul Kulkarni) to enroll her for the martial arts classes. The guys against whom she had testified catches her one day to teach her a lesson and in the ambush accidently she throws acid on one of them. As a result, she is sent to a remand home for three years.

Once she is out of the remand home, her brother urges her and their mother to go with him to Mumbai. Reluctantly she leaves for Mumbai and gets enrolled in a college.

There is a parallel story happening in the interim wherein corrupt ACP Rane (Anurag Kashyap) and his three trusted aides come across a car accident victim. When they try to help the victim, one of his aides find a bag filled with notes. Finding it as an opportunity to get rich instantly, they kill the victim. Unknowingly, Akira gets involved in the case and finds herself locked in a mental asylum. What happens to her is the rest of the story.

This is Sonakshi’s best performance till date. She lives the character of Akira and convincingly plays the part of an action lady. The way she fights, her body language, dialogue delivery, facial expressions, everything shows how diligently she worked hard to play this role. Anurag Kashyap as ACP Rane is too good. He delivers his part in the villainous role and is a sheer delight to watch. Konkona Sen Sharma in a brief role of Inspector Rabia is quite delightful. However, the part where she plays a heavily pregnant lady does not do any justice to the entire plot. It looks like a forced fit. In the supporting cast, Raai Laxmi, Amit Sadh, Smita Jayakar, Atul Kulkarni and the guy you played the transvestite have done justice to their parts.

Director AR Murugadoss does a fine job. I will not call it as his finest product, however, he does deliver a decent product. Story by Santha Kumar and screenplay by Santha Kumar & AR Murugadoss is good, although they have taken a lot of cinematic liberties, but no complaints there. However, the climax could have been better. Being an action movie, the fight sequences are good but very few. Dialogues are average and music by Vishal-Shekar is plain okay. If you look at it, there is no scope for music in this action packed movie. Background score by John Stewart Eduri is mind-blowing. Editing could have been crisper.

On the whole, I would say Akira delivers and with word of mouth publicity this small budget woman-centric movie should appeal to it’s target audience.

My Verdict: ***

Movie Review: A ‘Shaandaar’ Fairytale Blooper!

shandar

This week opened with the most anticipated movie of the year ‘Shaandaar’ starring Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, directed by Vikas ‘Queen’ Bahl. Queen was one of the surprise hits of 2013 and it not only gave a boost to Kangana Ranaut‘s career but also showcased a lot of promise from Vikas Bahl as a director. If Queen was his best then Shaandaar is his RGV Ki Aag!

The movie begins with an animated backstory narrated by Naseerudin Shah (voiceover) about an orphan girl Alia (Alia Bhat), who is brought home by Bipin Arora (Pankaj Kapoor). The family headed by Bipin’s mother Kamla Arora (Sushma Seth) as well as his wife (Nikki Aneja) do not like Alia, but she gets welcomed by his daughter Isha (Sanah Kapoor).

Alia is an insomniac and therefore never sleeps at night. Bipin finds a unique way to make Alia sleep, he sketches and gifts her everyday interesting things which she can dream of, alas she never sleeps. Years pass by, granny fixes Isha’s marriage with Fundwani’s (Sanjay Kapoor) younger brother Robin (Vikas Verma) to further their business relationship. Fundwani is a gold loving Sindhi millionaire who sees Queen Elizabeth to Michael Jackson as Sindhis and justifies with his sick sense of humor. In walks JJ aka Jagjinder Joginder (Shahid Kapoor) who is the wedding planner for Isha’s and Robin’s wedding.  It is attraction at first sight between Alia and JJ who is also an insomniac. What happens to Alia and JJ’s love story? Does the marriage based over a business deal work? To find out, watch the movie.

Coming to the story, there is none. The movie in totality is bad. There is nothing interesting in the script, dialogues or screenplay that will stay back with you. Vikas Bahl got overconfident with Queen’s success and thought he could make anything and the audience will like it but sadly you cannot fool the audience. Good actors, songs and scenic locations do not guarantee a successful movie.

Shahid, Alia, Pankaj Kapoor and Sushma Seth impress with their performances. Debutant Sanah Kapoor is quite impressive and leaves her mark with her performance. Sanjay Kapoor is as usual – BAD! The music by Amit Trivedi is good especially Gulabo and Shaam Shaandaar. The editing could have been crisper. The cinematography is wonderful and the locations have a fairytale kind of feel.

Overall the movie is a bad product and might not appeal to most of the people.

My Verdict: *