Akkaran Movie Review: Few redeeming qualities save this underwhelming revenge drama

The most engaging parts of the film are the interrogation scenes where the Rashomon effect works really well.
Akkaran Movie Review: Few redeeming qualities save this underwhelming revenge drama
Akkaran(2.5 / 5)

Even with a weak premise, some films ride the momentum of a central conflict and keep you engaged. Debutant Arun K Prasad's Akkaran is one such film. However, that makes it neither exceptional nor an unbearable experience.

Director: Arun K Prasad

Cast: MS Bhaskar, Kabali Vishwanath, Karthik Chandrasekhar, Akash Premkumar, Namo Narayanan, Priyadarshini, Venbha

Akkaran begins with two kidnappings, which we come to know are the handiworks of one person, Veerapandi (MS Bhaskar). A few scenes later, we are told why the crime happened and why an average family man like Veerapandi had to turn into a vigilante. What follows is a typical battle between the haves and the have-nots.

However, certain odd creative choices perplex us. An ex-MP's nephew Arjun (Akash Premkumar), who can't drive when inebriated, lets a stranger drive his car. One wonders how, even when inebriated, someone would allow a complete stranger to drive him home. Such unusual character decisions get progressively worse, in a way that makes you forgive the previous scene that confused you. We are shown someone who enjoys reasonable political clout but to the extent of tweaking the NEET examination system? the film offers no answer to that. The flashback portions are set against the backdrop of local body elections, which is crucial for an ambitious politician (Namo Narayanan) awaiting an elevation in his party. While he is not shown as an idealist, we get no explanation as to why he doesn't shell out money in a make-or-break election, like the typical politician he is shown to be. Such convenient directorial choices are left under-explained, and these moments are only used to build a story that is contrived as it is. Also, it is understandable for a film to use less number of actors in a scene that would typically demand large numbers. However, a generic line like, 'Dho en aalungala yerakuren paaruda' warrants at least five henchmen, but no fight scene in this film has more than three fighters. 

The most engaging parts of the film are the interrogation scenes where the Rashomon effect works really well. In the second half, the narration mostly dwells on multiple versions of the crime, which wisely enables us to turn a blind eye to the flaws in the screenplay till then. The performances of all the actors are earnest and effective, with special mention to MS Bhaskar, Kabali Vishwanth, and Karthik Chandrasekhar. 

Another redeeming factor about Akkaran is the runtime which stays under two hours. There is also a decent romantic track that neither feels unnecessary nor does it overstay its welcome. This film would have been exceptional had the director shown the same amount of meticulousness he showed to the above-mentioned positives to the rest of the screenplay. Director Arun K Prasad's execution leaves much to be desired.

Akkaran, in a nutshell, is impressive for not getting entirely pulled down by the weight of its errors. The film ends up being a middling experience with large amounts of untapped potential. 

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