Sonakshi Sinha's solo heroine act fails to connect
A sleeper hit of a film in Tamil, directed by a relatively unknown director named Santha Kumar, released in 2011, travels to Mumbai for a Hindi makeover, five years after its release.
A sleeper hit of a film in Tamil, directed by a relatively unknown director named Santha Kumar, released in 2011, travels to Mumbai for a Hindi makeover, five years after its release. 'Mouna Guru', an action thriller, starring Arulnidhi and a newcomer was the story of a college youth who is unwittingly involved in a crime plot. This has a devastating impact on his life. This film picked up slowly through word-of-mouth and became a hit ultimately.
In 2016, of all iconic names, A R Murugadoss takes a shine to this theme and decides to reprise it in Hindi. He not only produced the film – Akira - but directed it too. Of course, he had two hits to his credit in Bollywood by then – both remakes of his own Tamil hits and which gave him a noticeable position in Hindi cinema. It also helped that these two flicks had Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar essaying the lead role, which also empowered his image as a successful helmsman commercially.
With a star cast like Sonakshi Sinha, Konkona Sen Sharma and Anurag Kashyap, who had opened a pipeline with the southern film industry by then, Murugadoss made a gender reversal of the main character and placed Sonakshi in the main slot as an avenging, action heroine. Kashyap was given the meaty role of a corrupt cop which was one of the key characters in Tamil and this was supposed to be the cutting edge to the thrill element.
A typical package of violence and retribution should have worked for Sonakshi, who had by then completed close to 20 films in a career of nearly six years. It was also a period when her films were with the top heroes from Ajay Devgn at one end to Shahid Kapoor at the other. She also managed a debut in Tamil co-starring with Rajinikanth in 'Linga', a dud at the BO in the same phase.
Yet, the audience didn't think too high of this film, which worked in the original because of its honest kind of a handling and the freshness which the hero brought to his role. While it went to be shown in the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2013, the Hindi film bit the dust, putting a brake to the pan- Indian ambitions of Murugadoss, for a brief period.