Akelli movie review: Nushrratt Bharuccha is diligently earnest in the movie that has best of intentions but…
What: Akelli sees Nushrratt Bharuccha displaying her sincerity throughout in the movie that has best of intentions, but this timely story fails to get the proper justice it deserved due to its filmy execution.
Akelli movie synopsis
An Indian girl from Punjab Jyoti (Nushrratt Bharuccha) working as an air hostess gets fired from her job one day. The jobless Jyoti grabs a job offer from Mosul (Iraq) – the place known in history as The Battle of Mosul (2016 - 2017 ) - a major military campaign launched by the Iraqi Government forces with the Kurdistan Regional Government, and international forces to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIL).
Its 2014 and the ISIL is capturing Mosul, Jyoti lands in Iraq during this troubled time. Jyoti’s job is going smoothly and her friendship with the manager played by Nishant Dahiya is also turning into something special. Things are pleasant for Jyoti and one day the militant’s barge into the garment factory where Jyoti is working and hell breaks loose.
In a shocking incident Jyoti and her female colleagues get abducted by the ISIL and how Joti finds courage under such dangerous circumstances and comes out is the crux of this survival story.
Akelli movie review
In a striking and equally disturbing scene from Akelli, just when Nushrratt Bharuccha has entered Iraq and is on her way to her destination, the traffic gets halted.
A teenage girl is tied with bombs and an army personal is trying to defuse the bomb. Time is running out and the tension is felt on and off the screen. Repeated attempts fail and just before the explosion in a stunning shot we see the helpless poor girl crying and pleading for help. The reality is so disturbing – this fabulous scene welcomes the protagonist to the troubled lands of Iraq.
I was hoping that a spine chiller is on cards, anyways after some signs of vulnerability on Jyoti played by Nushrratt Bharuccha as she enters the factory premise of the troubled Iraq, we get a sugar-coated camaraderie between Nushrratt Bharuccha and the manager played by Nishant Dahiya. The exchange of tea with smiles and ankh mataka obviously follows by a tremendous jhataka when the dreaded ISIL enters the factory premise. The kafir’s, shias and sunni’s get separated and hell breaks loose.
So far so good. Completely different from the controversial The Kerala Story cause this story skips to dare and tell a politically backed story. Ok, its fine not every story based on international terrorism should have an agenda.
So, give us a thriller. Debutant writer director Pranay Meshram along with his co-writers - Gunjan Saxena and Ayush Tiwari in their admirable ambition to say the survival katha (story) of the fearless bharat ki beti who comes back to India from the dreaded clutches of the ISIL turns extra filmy while the settings and atmosphere is remarkably real.
The screenplay too often feels simple and formulaic with not much thrills and excitement giving way to forced change of Jyoti’s avatar as the tormented soul to a fearless woman.
Technically a polished product with fantastic production values. Cinematography by Pushkar Singh is top class. The aerial shots, interiors, the colour tones make Akelli feel like an international film. Sumeet Kotian fine editing and interesting score by Rohit Kulkarni try their best to minimise the script defects to an extent.
Nushrratt Bharuccha strikes a chord with her diligently earnest portrayal and gives a striking performance. After the brilliance in Chhorii, Janhit Mein Jaari her third best.
Nishant Dahiya is good. Rajesh Jais is competent. Tsahi Halevi as Assad is fantastic and Amir Boutrous is terrific.
Akelli – the survival story of an Indian woman during the grievous ISIS’s tyrannical rein in Iraq, was not supposed to sensationalise with the horrific incidents of women and children kidnapping, murder, rape, torture and sex trafficking in a profound manner but could have underlined certain facts.
In an attempt to portray a survival story of an Indian woman played by Nushrratt Bharuccha also serving as a story of resilience and resistance on paper, during execution falls prey to its own noble intentions. Akelli becomes simple and formulaic as a movie resulting in a swing and a miss attempt.
Do watch our video review of Akelli in Hindi