• Monday, December 11, 2023

Film

Akelli movie review: A superficial attempt to cash in on Islamophobia

Although the idea of a captive woman trying to escape from terrorists had the making of a great survival drama, it is poorly executed, writes Pooja Chowdhry

Nushrratt Bharuccha, Tsahi Halevi, Amir Boutrous Director: Pranay Meshram

By: Pooja Chowdhry

ISLAMOPHOBIC films featuring Muslim villains doing well in the past couple of years has led towards Bollywood producers trying to quickly cash in with similar subjects. That perhaps explains why a terrible movie like Akelli could ever get made. 

 The story revolves around a woman from Punjab, who ends up working in a lawless Iraq and soon finds herself being abducted by ISIS terrorists. Instead of giving in, the determined young lady decides to fight back and escape her captors. 

  Although the idea of a captive woman trying to escape from terrorists had the making of a great survival drama, it is poorly executed. The badly written screenplay combined with lacklustre directing results in a film that just doesn’t get going. There is more focus on the scary Muslim villains than the central female protagonist trying to find a plausible way out. Silly mistakes in the storyline also harm the flow of this film.  

Instead of being a tension filled thriller, it turns into a pretty girl in peril drama that drifts along aimlessly until an overly long ending. There is also little character development through the film and an obvious lack of emotional depth in the various characters. It is a wonder that the producers managed to convince top Israeli actor Tsahi Halevi to play a villain in this confused mess of a movie. He along with the various cast members, including lead actress Nushrratt Bharuccha deserved better. 

 From the caricature like villains to the female lead, there is overacting from the entire cast in a low budget action-drama, which unsuccessfully attempts to punch above its weight. Better writing and directing could have possibly turned Akelli into an engaging thriller. 

 What remains is a superficial attempt to cash in on a trend of Islamophobia that is sweeping across Hindi cinema right now.  

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