A.R. Murugaddos should direct only one half of a movie and then just simply give the screenplay to another director. If you see his filmography till now [Ghajini(2008), Holiday(2014)], they all start out great. It is almost grounded and then as soon as the movie hits the half-hour mark, Murugaddos starts going haywire. I maybe panned for writing negatively about a movie basically about women empowerment but let’s see if I care. I’ll just say this that Ghostbusters(2016) is proof enough that interchanging the gender of the protagonist with the opposite sex isn’t the right way to promote women empowerment. If this movie had a guy, doing the same thing which Akira was doing, my review wouldn’t have changed.
STORY/SCREENPLAY(?) – We follow Akira(Sonakshi Sinha), a girl from Jodhpur, who from an early age takes on the habit of fighting bullies and eve-teasers. Cut to Akira in present day, where she is being taken by her brother to Mumbai, where she can continue her studies. I mean, not completely against her will. She was reluctant but her Principal coaxes her to move from her small town and go for better opportunities. She joins a college and sudden cut to a corrupt police officer, ACP Rane(Anurag Kashyap) who does villainous stuff and is caught in the act. Then Akira is framed and linked to ACP Rane and then I don’t know what happens. I really don’t. At one point she is put in an insane asylum, she breaks out and has a Mexican stand-off with Rane. The point till Rane is introduced, the movie has some good topics like acid-attack victims(though it is done extremely crudely), bullying, ragging. Then it becomes extremely formulaic and masala. I am saying that the acid-attack topic is done very crudely is because of the way it is shown. In which part of the town does the whole town comes to see how the victim looks? I don’t know.
DIRECTION – As I mentioned earlier, it feels like for the entire second half of the movie, Murugaddos just got drunk and did whatever the hell he felt like. The movie begins with a narration of Konkona Sen Sharma’s character, Rabia. Probably I skipped a lot, but I am pretty sure it wasn’t sure who Rabia was narrating this story to. The editing is straight from hell. In one shot in particular at about 16 minutes into the movie a breakfast scene is going on. You can see nobody standing behind Akira’s brother and all of a sudden her mother appears. Completely out of nowhere! I am clubbing the fight choreography into this section. As it is evident from the title, they should have used Sonakshi’s stunt double instead of Sonakshi Sinha. I absolutely love Sonakshi Sinha but you can see whenever she is on-screen during the fight scenes, she isn’t at par with the requirements of the scene. Suddenly when her stunt double appears, Akira is doing flips and stuff. It’s 2016. Come on already. The audience isn’t blind anymore, and what’s with happy endings, man? Just put a grim, realistic ending. Ah! You’ve to make a realistic movie first, right?
ACTING – Anurag Kashyap as ACP Rane clearly kills it as the corrupt police officer. He never has an off-beat scene. Sonakshi Sinha is exceptional when she verbally stands up against the bullies but during the fight scenes, she just ruins it. Lokesh Gupte as Manik had a lot of screen-time, but he botched it up too. I keep saying that the writing is very important. So the writing could also have been the reason.
FINAL VERDICT – Obviously give it a pass but do one thing, please. Just go around the 15 minute mark in the movie where the family is having breakfast and witness the shocking magical appearance of Akira’s mother. It’s worth a watch.