STORY: Akira Sharma (Sonakshi Sinha) is your average Jane from Jodhpur. Early in life she sees an atrocity committed on a neighbour and learns to defend herself. And, a spitfire is born.

CAST: Sonakshi Sinha, Konkona Sen Sharma, Amit Sadh, Anurag Kashyap DIRECTION: AR Murugadoss GENRE: Action DURATION: 2 hours 18 minutes

REVIEW: Our screen ki Akira is Khan, Kumar and Kapoor rolled into one. She punches and defends better than most khiladis. Her progressive, school-teacher father, Atul Kulkarni had her enrolled in karate classes instead of dance classes that girls her age frequented. But Akira learns that a Durga avatar cannot help you fight a regressive society and corrupt administration. So instead of being given a medal of honour for trying to save someone early in life, she is sent to a remand home. Not only does she lose three precious years of her life; she also loses her doting father.

The scene moves to Mumbai where Akira and her mother come to live with her hen-pecked brother. But when she realises her sister-in-law is unwelcoming, Akira chooses her college hostel. Here our braveheart finds herself being targeted by the college bullies. She manages to shake the students off but lands herself in the dragnet headed by a corrupt cop ACP Govind Rane (Anurag Kashyap) of the Mumbai Police. Poor thing lands herself in so many unenviable situations that she spends little time in college and more in an asylum.

Murugadoss (Ghajini, Holiday — A Soldier Is Never Off Duty), you can see, started with honourable intentions of trying to impart self-defence lessons to girls. While the plot meanders a bit post interval, the director still manages to keep you rivetted, especially in the chase sequences between the cops-and-Akira. Interestingly, the entire onus of cracking the case is given to a heavily-pregnant, 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 written material doesn’t support her. Anurag as the baddie and Sonakshi’s spirited act adds weight to this drama. If you want that adrenaline rush of watching Akira beating baddies and punching holes into the system, go for it.

Plot Summary

It is assumed that Konkana Sen Sharma will arrest Anurag and his three accomplices and send them to jail. But Anurag accidentally kills one of his three companions. Immediately after that Konkana and Akira manage to pin him and his other two cops to the ground. However the Police Commissioner doesn’t allow this to happen because he doesn’t want the cops to get a life-term. He convinces Konkana not to tell anyone that the cops are guilty. The commissioner knows that if the anti-social elements learn that it is the cops who killed the goonda Babloo’s brother and that he didn’t actually die in a car accident there would be mayhem.