Plot: In the heartland of Jodhpur, a young girl named Akira witnesses an acid- attack incident thereby which her father (Atul Kulkarni in a cameo) encourages her to chose 'karate' over kathak and flower. Unfortunately soon after she puts her self-defense lessons to any use, she ends up in a child remand home.
14 years later Akira is all grown up (Sonakshi Sinha) trying to fix back her life in place. Soon she and her mother (Smita Jaykar) migrate to Mumbai on the insistence of her brother. Here in the 'mahanagari' Mumbai, the sister in law isn't exactly pleased to see them and so Akira chooses to stay in her college hostel. In the process, she even encounters some college bullies but Akira is a tough nut to crack!
Elsewhere in the city, there's a corrupt, vicious ACP Rane (Anurag Kashyap) which has painted his hands red after he and his equally immoral cohorts stumble upon a huge stash of money in a car accident. Things go haywire when Rane's mistress Maya (Raai Laxmi) secretly tapes Rane's killing confession in order to extort money and teach him a lesson. Soon the camcorder goes missing and mysteriously lands up outside Akira's room.
What will happen when Akira and Rane & Co. cross each other's paths? Meanwhile there's also a pregnant policewoman Rabiya Sultan (Konkona Sensharma) who has already smelled a rat and is trying to put two and two together to book the sinister.
Performances: Let's talk about Sonakshi first. The actress has often been accused of taking up roles where she's just a 'damsel in distress' or signing up star-driven flicks. In that space, Sonakshi's 'Akira' comes as a whiff of fresh air. But that's it. Though Sona gets to deliver some hard and impressive kicks and punches, her character fails to rise and hit you in the heart. Nevertheless we must applaud the girl for taking up a film that solely rides on her shoulders. Will the gamble pay off at the box office? Well, that's a story for another day!
Anurag Kashyap is deliciously wicked and has more screen time than the main protagonist. But we ain't complaining either for the man's menacing act give you enough chuckles and shudders. So more of such acting please, Mr Kashyap!
Konkona Sensharma doesn't have a full-fledged role but the actress makes sure to give her role her own twist.
Amit Sadh and the rest of the cast too put up a good show.
Direction: One can't help noticing the striking resemblance between Murugadoss' 2005 blockbuster- Aamir Khan starrer 'Ghajini' and his latest offering 'Akira'. Both center around a protagonist hell-bent of seeking revenge from their wrong-doers. Loud background score and lots of 'maar-dhaad', you are fed every staple of a Murugadoss film. But this time, the film-maker turns Bollywood's damsel into an action hero and gives you lessons on why it's high time for women to start using her fists against all the injustice and sufferings.
However one wished that he had chose to steer clear of the formulaic template that waters down the effectiveness of 'Akira'. In a bid to give us ample reasons of why one shouldn't submit to wrong-doing, the director falls prey to every trick that's been tried and tested in Bollywood's revenge saga.
Thankfully Murugadoss hasn't forced too many songs in the film and that works quite effectively. He gives us a fleeting glimpse of Akira's romantic life too. The action scenes too have been well-choreographed.
Combo-on-offer: Drama+ Action
Verdict: We give 'Akira' CLAPS for being an intriguing watch with all the right lessons.