Akira “AKIRA” is jumbled and pretentious, but watchable! Just like most massy actioners starring big male stars, this film showcases its female protagonist in a larger-than-life heroic character that rises to combat corruption and injustice. While it makes for good popcorn entertainment in the first half, it totally fizzles out post interval in all aspects of its show. It’s never hard to sit through, but simply isn’t compelling enough to be memorable. Watchable for its decently paced (albeit affected) narrative and Sonakshi’s immense physical efforts, but not for the women empowerment intent and content that’s expected of such a venture. AKIRA is an action thriller narrating the story of a self-reliant college student named AKIRA, who takes on a set of corrupt police officers single-handedly. There is very little to appreciate here academically, as the film exhibits poor intelligence quotient alongwith bog-standard treatment of the subject. The plot has gaping holes that are bypassed merely to make the proceedings convenient. You have manipulative screenplay and caricaturist characters that just go with the flow of the convoluted sub-plots which merely serve as stepping stones for the desired climax, where very little is well-explained. However, the fast pace of the screenplay alongwith constantly engaging developments, make for a decent viewing experience in the first half. It’s the second half that tanks badly. Not to say the first half is exceptional in any way, but the second half struggles to even hold your attention for long. Director/Co-writer AR Murugadoss (Ghajini fame) tries various hollow tricks that only play to the gallery, never truly impactful, making the film a product that’s forgotten as soon as you leave the theatre. You really long for more gravity in the plot, especially because the theme could’ve encompassed several poignant issues pertaining to women empowerment and anti-corruption. The action scenes are routine and so is the whole mood of the film. Visually the film just about passes the test and the background score is decent. Sonakshi Sinha shines as the invincible action heroine. No matter how unreal her stunts are, she deserves all credit for the full-throttled performance and for being convincing enough for the role. Unlike AKIRA, I really wish these women-oriented roles are carved in more impressive story-plots that can be remembered for times to come. Anurag Kashyap as the notoriously corrupt cop is swell, but it’s hard not to notice his stark similarity to Sanjay Dutt, in manners, expressions and dialogue delivery. Nevertheless, he plays his part quite well. All others ham their way through the film. In all, AKIRA is a decent actioner, that isn’t hard on your eyes and senses. Again, like most of my recommendations these days, watch it in the absolute free time that you have this weekend.