wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)

quick review:

Fiery thriller that doesn't let you think about anything else. For most parts anyway.

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Director: A R Murugadoss
Running time: 140 minutes
Genres: Action, Social, Thriller
More Movie Info

Akira - Preview

“Oh! Why did they give such an awesome plot point away?” is the first thought that ran through my mind when Sonakshi Sinha's character shows her true self in the trailer. But, of course, they need to - to tell us what Akira is all about. It is such a thrill that there is enough in the story to still have enough hooks.

Of course, then you have Konkona Sen Sharma and Anurag Kashyap show up. Here too, it is not only about their names. It is about the character and how they fit into the story. Especially, the one Anurag Kashyap plays – just the two-minute trailer washes away the awe of seeing him as an actor and replaces it with disgust and fear that a villain ought to instill.

When everything about writing – the story, the characters and the dialogue - looks like they are out to win you, you have to look forward to the film. And of course, Sonakshi Sinha in a role that will test her skills, is really worth the wait by itself. I remember, how she took me by surprise in Lootera. Here's hoping for more of that, if only in a role that could be as diametrically opposite as is possible.

Music Reviews:
Bollywood Hungama - "2/5"
Milliblog - "Vishal-Shekhar in good form again, after Sultan."
India Today - "Rajj Rajj Ke does not impress."
Pinkvilla - "The music doesn't really live up to the standards of Vishal-Shekhar, but some elements of the songs will surely keep you hooked!"

- meeta, a part of the audience

The protagonist gets into deeper and deeper trouble, and then some more. In many a film, the trouble becomes unsustainable in terms of the story's plausibility. But it has to move on, else it will feel anti-climatic after all that build up. So, the hole is dug deeper still. This is when the audience gives up and stops caring. Akira brings itself to the brink of such a situation, but it sprinkles in some interesting tidbits from real-life that keeps things believable. Almost.

Very few films are able to hold interest to an extent that you don't look at your watch wondering, if it is interval/climax time yet. Akira's interval brings you back to the theater from her story. It is not that it is a smooth flowing story. It is a jerky move from Akira's childhood to adulthood, from small town to big city. And of course post-interval, it is a little bit of a struggle for Akira to keep it form becoming incredulous. But the main character is intriguing.

She minds her own business and won't take non-sense. She is a loner and takes the consequences on her chin. She doesn't mind standing alone. So starved are we for strong female leads that this is mesmerizing. Would this film have worked as well if the protagonist was a man? It is really difficult to tell. Would the male actor have been able to keep his star persona at bay from the character? Would he be able to stay subtly uninvolved without any signature moves? Would the director have been able to keep the drama away?

The story by itself doesn't necessarily need the protagonist to be a woman. This is exactly what works for Akira. The lead lady could have been anyone with a strong will and a stronger mind. And of course, a very strong body. And Sonakshi Sinha plays it like it was any human being with those characteristics. No airs about her character, no privilege for being a woman, no sense of entitlement. Akira, the film, doesn't give Akira, the character advantage for being a woman. No one treats her like a weak person. In fact, the college bully too is a woman. Akira might as well have been a side character from another film. And that is a good thing. There is nothing larger than life about her.

Sonakshi Sinha does it just right too. There is no great need for her to showcase different emotions in Akira. She is a confident, strong-headed woman who know how to throw in a kick. Her medication-induced disorientation works well too. We could complain that in some sense her character is flavorless. But, it is better fewer shades to her character than to have her break into song and dance, on the beat, every 20 minutes.

Yes, there is no extraneous stuff like a romantic track or song and dance. Which is why, as much in the background as it was, the family angle felt out of place. Chopping some of it off, would have made the film crisp. And anyway, just Akira and ACP Rane are enough.

Anurag Kashyap as a devious, manipulative police officer has a menacing screen presence. He's dangerous and soulless. Again, there are no shades to his character. And again, it is better than him becoming into a caricature of a villain. It is amusing that his character, ACP Rane can spin a yarn in the blink of an eye. Like the story-teller in Anurag Kashyap in real life?

The film nods at other realities of life with amusement too, like equipment and vehicles used by police officers. Or its remark on a system where an acid attacker gets away because he is connected but an acid attack defender serves time and is marked for life. However, as the film progresses it becomes less and less believable - both the cover-ups and the exposé. Fortunately, by then you are rooting hard for the protagonist. And then things are wrapped up, even if in a hurry – just before they are let loose uncontrollably out of the realm of reality.

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.

- meeta, a part of the audience

32 reviewers(?) - 4 yays 13 so-so 15 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Githa Vanan, Bolly Spice : ...So without doing too much chest pounding and with a perfect choice in lead, Akira is not without flaws but still leaves you engaged, enraged and entertained. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Deccan Chronicle : ...The film will surely remind you of Aamir Khan’s Ghajini but thanks to Akira’s gripping plot which is so absorbing that one doesn’t have enough time to ponder upon the comparison. There are few scenes that look unreal; the one where a fellow mate helps Sonakshi to escape from the mental asylum, which is slightly dreamlike. Akira is a great effort by director A R Murgadoss. Watch it for its layered mystery and Sonakshi Sinha’s finest performance by far! ... full review

Thumbs up, by Vishal Verma, Glamsham.com : ...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.... full review

Thumbs up, by Meena Iyer, Times of India : ...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.... full review

So-So, Desi Martini : ...Akira is good one time watch movie.You can enjoy the show with your drink and popcorn. The story is not new but it has the substance which will thrill you till the end.... full review

So-So, by Smita Vyas Kumar, Desi Martini : ...I found the film mostly disposable, but I wanted to clap everytime Kashyap was on screen. As someone who's been disgruntled by most of his recent directorial outings, I was amused to discover that his best turn in years was an acting gig.... full review

So-So, by Sidhant Shori, Desi Martini : ...To its credit, Akira does have some great cinematography going in its favor. It’s a pity that the story isn’t original at all. There are some truly cringeworthy moments littered about the entire film. Anurag Kashyap deserves special mention for his excellent portrayal as the corrupt policeman, with Sonakshi Sinha doing a decent job as well. If only her character was better written Akira would’ve been an easy movie to recommend. As it stands, you can avoid this one. ... full review

So-So, by Bryan Durham, DNA : ...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. ... full review

So-So, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...Akira is like any other action movie you’ve seen before, where the hero is framed and has to prove himself right. The difference here is the film’s ability to successfully tell that tale with a girl at its centre. It may seem like an exercise in women’s rights, but AR Murugadoss’ approach to make things entertaining and detailed makes this movie worth a watch. This one’s all about girl power. ... full review

So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...Murgadoss continues with his regular form of action extravaganzas given to clichés, contrivances and stereotypes fashioned in southern styled sound effects and musical serenades. This film is loud but bearable... full review

So-So, koimoi : ...Akira is an entertainer. It will surely manage to get you intrigued right from the start. But there’s too many theatrics to sit through here. Plus, the script as well as the acting performance are not strong enough to make you invested in the lead character, Akira. This film is a good one-time watch, but like we said, if you’re tired of clichéd situations and unneeded drama, you can skip this one. As an overall film for the masses, it deserves 3 out of 5 stars. ... full review

So-So, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...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. In one scene, Rane tells his subordinate, ''aapne toh game ki Lanka laga di''- something that would have been true if it had been aimed at director AR Murugadoss too. ... full review

So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Sonakshi Sinha's critics have always hissed and hooted at her interpretation of the dainty gaaon ki gori or the whimsical shehar ki ladki. They've even argued that she's only good at playing second fiddle to the lead (Dabangg, Son of Sardar, Rowdy Rathore and most others). With this one, she attempts flipping this perception over its head. But sadly, excessive violence and jarring plot holes (for example, Akira's family gives up on her when she's framed as 'mentally unstable') are too distracting to ignore. ... full review

So-So, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...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. ... full review

So-So, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...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)... full review

So-So, by IANS, Sify Movies : ...Overall, Akira is a well made film worth a watch for its story. ... full review

So-So, by Saumil Gandhi, Upper Stall : ...I think that is symbolic of the film. It is hunting for entertainment in the wrong places, and doesn’t quite get there in the end. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...Akira ends with a dedication: “to the women who fought back.” Oh puhleeease, spare us the unthinking advice and superficial concern. Come to think of it, what else can you expect from a director whose Holiday featured a hero stalking the heroine and forcibly kissing her, with the unwilling woman promptly falling in love with him shortly afterwards? Seriously, spare us your fake feminism. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ... The film is very broadly staged, like something out of the 1990s – or a TV serial of today.... full review

Thumbs down, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, AKIRA has an interesting concept which fails on the account of its slack screenplay and lack of entertainment value. At the Box-Office, it will be rejected and will entail losses to its investors. ... full review

Thumbs down, by TUshar P. Joshi, Bollywood Life : ...Akira might entertain Sonakshi Sinha fans, but if you are an action lover then the film doesn’t really have much to offer. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Merkwürdige Liebe , Desi Martini : ...I found the film mostly disposable, but I wanted to clap everytime Kashyap was on screen. As someone who's been disgruntled by most of his recent directorial outings, I was amused to discover that his best turn in years was an acting gig.... full review

Thumbs down, by Jaiwantika Dutta Dhupkar, fullhyd.com : ...Murgadoss loved this masterpiece so much that he actually produced it, too. It's a pity the film is nothing new. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...Projected as a woman’s fight against injustice, Akira has many loose threads. Characters keep appearing and disappearing without any justification, and that’s probably not a good thing to happen in a 138-minute film. ... full review

Thumbs down, by RAJEEV MASAND, IBN Live : ...Kashyap’s performance, in fact, may be the best thing in Akira, which is no doubt a brave attempt to recast the mould. But built on a weak script that's sorely lacking in subtlety and nuance, the film is ultimately a bore. I'm going with a generous two out of five. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...With all its intent of female empowerment, Akira still ultimately feels the suffering protagonist. On the action front it pack a punch but Akira isn't emotionally hard-hitting. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Tatsam Mukherjee, 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... full review

Thumbs down, by UDITA JHUNJHUNWALA, Live Mint : ...Akira is a remake of the Tamil film Mouna Guru (2011). The thought of a woman action hero sounds like fun, and every now and again Sinha gets to show off her karate chops and martial arts, but the handful of action sequences are less than inventive. She is far more effective in the emotional scenes. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...You only wish so much thought had gone into the OTT script as well. Bored out of my wits, watching these good fellas with hardly anything significant to do, I could only feel a slight kira (insect) up my bum — desperately itching to go home. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Suhani Singh, Rediff : ...The scene where he instructs his subordinates about an FIR report is akin to a demanding director ordering redrafts of a problematic climax in a script. One for Akira would have helped too... full review

Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Sinha gamely sees herself as a Christ figure who bears the sins of the world on the cross. Daughter India replaces Mother India. And all I could say to myself at the end of the film was Beti Bachao.... full review

Thumbs down, Zee News : ...This film had the potential to catapult her into an all new league. But given the rather low-intensity drama that moves only in fits and starts, Akira seems unlikely to set the box office on fire and give Sonakshi's leaner and meaner screen persona a longish lease of life. And that's a pity. ... full review

23 tweeters(?) - 14 yays 4 so-so 5 nays

tannyboyrocks: Akira is worth watch guys, Sonakshi at her best ever. must watch

SellyMUFC: Action scenes where she’s fighting college bullies are superb, actually the action choreography is effective. @sonakshisinha #Akira

rajakumar2611: Awesome #Akira ! This movie to be watched by every Indian ! I'm sure your dad must be proud of this one ! @sonakshisinha

prashu2u: #Akira pays a lot for Silent Sonakshi and Awesome @anuragkashyap72 by murugdas.4m Me its a must watch 4 dis weekend https://t.co/PvWBFo2HbG

LocalManAdrian: Akira is godly https://t.co/Ch8UnimE1b

kinggowtham: #akira simply stunning Osm movie @ARMurugadoss sir Felt emotional when I saw chief#ltte_prabhakaran in Akira's hostel room Outstanding movie

iamAala: #AKIRA WAS SO GOOD! Sonakshi was not that glamorous but she was like any other normal girl and I loved her performance & that badass ACP

Ekabhijeet: just watched #Akira.. Great job by @sonakshisinha mam Great action.U hv given full justice to word 'Akira'..Villain of d yr-@anuragkashyap72

DwikamUzir: watched #Akira a superb film @sonakshisinha gave her career best performance, she lived the character of #Akira take a bow @anuragkashyap72

Dhivyadhanam: #Akira Extremely good. Sonakshi is really good. Why -Ve reviews? The reviewers cannot see a woman kick ass in a South Indian directed film.

ce_arun: If you are @BeingSalmanKhan Fan,then You should watch #Akira Acting of @sonakshisinha in #Akira is 1st Half = #Dabangg 2nd Half = #TereNaam

Bhushanadhau1: #Akira Not Only Inspired Girls But Also Lot To Learn For Boys @sonakshisinha Loved The Movie Best Performance By U https://t.co/quqL7FhlwI

bhanuhindustani: jabardast #action by #Akira ... An #emotional story.. thanks to the team of #Akira

AmitJain2612: Superb Movie @sonakshisinha in Akira A Special Thankx Deserve to @anuragkashyap72

meguddurocks: watched #Akira 1st half ok ok but 2nd half not good

kabirlovekus: #Akira Not good movie...average

himeshmankad: The only issue with #Akira is the slow pace and a bit unrealistic second half. None the less, it is a one time watch

AnamikaS: If you like Action Films, you may like #Akira While the first half was really good, the 2nd half disappointed! #WomenCentricFilms

scroll_in: Film review: Sonakshi Sinha starrer ‘Akira’ lacks punch https://t.co/3wtRVA0wXR

sana_amir_ali: Akira suffers from outdated treatment https://t.co/Jfp5BFOZRu

sailor030: #akira murgadas just remake the tamil movie to hindi in female version.. shit on him can't make his own. Mouna guru (tamil flim)

iJuniper_: Akira is a flop. It was a flop even before it was made.

ajayrana822: #Akira Super Flop super Crap Dont Waste ur money!

2 readers - 0 yays 2 so-so 0 nays

So-So, by Fan

So-So, by Really?! : Not much here

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots. None to gory, but lots.
  • Language: Mostly clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Sex is implied.
  • Concept: A young woman gets into deeper and deeper trouble.
  • General Look and Feel: Slick action with a no non-sense attitude

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Akira - Cast, crew, links

Supporting Cast:
Running time:
140 minutes

Comments (4)

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The trailer does press the right buttons but mainly because we see a female samurai of sorts. Let's hope that it has a bit more novelty over and above replacing a male lead by a female lead.

@Fan I agree. I really hope this is more than 'woman' for novelty.


Just saw this film last night....I think the female lead has biased the review. Switch it with any other male as the lead and you are left with the typical Bollywood pot boiler. Not much to write home about other than stretching of the imagination.


Akira as a film disappointed me. With A R Murugadoss at the helm of affairs and an A level lead actress, a lot was expected.

The sequence of events and the way they play out seem just illusionary. Even if we are biased and want to believe what is happening, it is just difficult to do so as the events unfolding are simply unbelievable.

Before signing off, a few words for Kashyap, whose works and statements I am the first to criticize most of the time. I must admit that he has done a very good job of playing the corrupt to the core policeman, and just his presence on the screen not only makes you abhor him but also fear him. Good discovery, good debut.

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