Infiltration comes with a lot of conditions, and not just from the mission’s POV. To earn trust is to be emotionally involved, even if a little bit, and thus to be a bit vulnerable too. It is where the line is drawn between being involved and being vulnerable that proves the ability of the infiltrator. On top of that, sometimes, the truth that stares us in the face is far from the truth that was expected. This is where guilt kicks in, followed by rage. While we may wonder if guilt and rage are enough to make an infiltrator go rogue, it depends on how the infiltrator handles both truths. With these things in mind, let’s begin our conversation on Netflix’s crime thriller AKA.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘AKA’?
The Etoile Hotel in France is blown up by a terrorist cell led by Sudanese warlord Moktar Al Tayeb. Expert infiltrator Adam Franco, under orders from his chief Kruger, infiltrates the gang of Victor Pastore, who is a longtime friend of Moktar and is in contact with him. Pastore will be Franco’s means of tracking Moktar. Franko has on his team two people, Cisko and Mona, who will monitor his movements. They listen in on Pastore, thanks to the bug that Adam planted in his room, speaking to Moktar about an “operation”. Meanwhile, Pastore takes a liking to Adam after the latter beats up some of Pastore’s opposition, Amet’s men, as well as bringing back his little son Jonathan after killing Amet, who had taken the kid hostage. However, Pastore’s right-hand man and Jonathan’s godfather, Youssef, doubts Adam’s intentions until one night when he spots Adam cooperating with two cops. Will Adam be able to prevent the “operation”, or is it too late for him? AKA has more to it than meets the eye.
Adam Franco’s Past
Helene finds Adam’s dossier in his car and looks him up. This is when we find out that Adam, when he was a mere 15 years old, shot a guy named Jean-Luc Meunier, who was a member of the General Council. He was accused of kidnapping, raping, and murdering multiple children. One of these children was Adam’s brother. The report described Adam’s act as suicidal. He was shot five times, and not once which is what the report stated, as Adam shows Pastore by taking off his shirt earlier in the film. After miraculously surviving, he was hired by Kruger, who was looking for agents who weren’t afraid to die. And needless to say, Adam turned out to be a pretty good agent considering he has been serving Kruger for 20 years. And choosing him for the infiltration proves that he has a good track record of it, something that we realize when we see all the different passports in his case. He has been sent to multiple countries, including Libya, where he shot French reporter Sonia Gautier [beginning of the film]. He was sent to do the same because the French government didn’t want to release the 15 guys that the terrorists wanted in return for her freedom. His actions proved that he didn’t hesitate to do what was asked of him. Adam’s friendship with Pastore’s son Jonathan means that he finds his brother, who was one of Meunier’s victims, in Jonathan and is in no way willing to lose him too. He decides to go get Jonathan from Amet by himself and without Pastore’s orders. We can assume that the death of his brother had made him pathetic, but Jonathan brought out the loving brother in him that he had perhaps locked in one corner of his mind, if not his heart.
Pastore’s wife, Natalya, shook hands with Amet because she was fed up with her husband and how he treated her. She may have been subjected to his harsh treatment because Jonathan was not his biological son. This is also why he didn’t treat Jonathan like a son either, although Jonathan has always found a father in Pastore. Natalya told Amet about Pastore’s plan to rob a bank. Pastore’s gang, including Adam, was intercepted by Amet’s men with the intention of stealing the money that they had robbed the bank of. However, Adam didn’t let it happen and killed all of Amet’s men. Adam figured out that it was Natalya and told her to leave with Jonathan as soon as possible before Pastore found out the truth. Natalya then received a call from Amet, who sent her daughter Helene all bruised and asked for ransom for her son Jonathan. When she asked Pastore to do something and bring his son back, he revealed that he could not give in to Amet’s demands because it would be against his principles and those of his clan. It isn’t Natalya but Helene who tells Adam about Jonathan. Ultimately, Pastore found out that Natalya had backstabbed him and beat her to death. This whole scenario has nothing to do with the primary plot of the film and was probably created to add layers to the characters. We do not really know what Natalya would have gained if Amet’s men had been able to steal the money. Would Amet have helped her escape her husband? Not really. He would have just used her to get close to Pastore or even blackmail him, although we doubt how useful it would have been. Natalya didn’t seem to think things through. The best option for her, which Adam suggested, was to leave with Jonathan. But it doesn’t happen.
‘AKA’ Ending Explained – Does Adam Kill Moktar?
When Adam manages to find Moktar, the latter reveals that he isn’t a terrorist. He was brought from Sudan under diplomatic circumstances, i.e., to discuss a cease-fire in Sudan. Moktar took a stand against France’s intentions to exploit Sudan’s resources, and thus he was “invited” so that could be killed. The explosion was not planned by him. It was an attempt to kill him, in which he lost his wife, Imane. His daughter received a bullet in her skull, for which she was being treated at the facility that Adam tracked them to. The French government wanted to get rid of Moktar to make sure that he didn’t open his mouth against their methods in Sudan. They were thus trying to hide the crimes that they were carrying out in Sudan, and God knows how many Sudanese people they have killed for the same reason. Kruger hired Adam under Minister Marconnet’s orders, one of the many that preceded it. They had absolutely no regard for Moktar’s family, and it is surreal to think that they tried to do nothing less than kill a person who was in no way involved in any kind of illegal activity, along with his family. Who does this? Usually, it happens that some action is taken against a person only in retaliation for criminal acts they’ve committed. In this case, all Moktar did was take a stand for his country, Sudan. This is literally execution when asking for freedom. But then again, this has been happening since time immemorial, hasn’t it? And it doesn’t end here.
Kruger sends his men to the facility, and Moktar is finally shot dead. Adam and Pee Wee manage to escape with Moktar’s unconscious daughter, whose operation has been successful (the bullet has been removed from her skull). By the way, this was the operation that Cisko and Jane overheard Pastore speaking to Moktar about. Sometimes an operation is an operation and not a plan to blow up a building or a bridge, use poisonous gas to kill people or assassinate the president. We often forget to consider our enemies as humans, and that’s when everything goes haywire. Kruger sent his men to the facility, thinking that it was the center of whatever operation Moktar was carrying out as a revenge strategy against the French government. If Minister Marconnet knew and had met Moktar, as we see in the photograph in the newspaper that Marconnet goes through at the end of the film, what made him think that he was plotting something in the first place? The only explanation is that he was scared of what Moktar could do. And the irony is that his fears take shape in the very news of him having ties with Moktar, who was considered a terrorist. It must have been Adam who got this done and made Marconnet pay for his deeds. Such news will compromise his political career big time.
As for the dead, Cisko spotted Moktar but was shot to death by Pee Wee, Moktar’s cousin. When Jane overheard Youssef telling Bogdan, Moktar’s head of security, she tracked the three men to a car, JB [another member of Pastore’s security detail] included and killed them. But in the endeavor, she was also fatally wounded by Bogdan and breathed her last at Adam’s doorstep. At the end of the film, we find that Pastore beats his wife Natalya to death and is himself shot to death by Kruger. Helene is arrested, while Jonathan is sent to Child Protective Services. The film ends with Kruger following Helene, intending to kill her and remove the last piece of evidence. But he fails to do so, as on the very bus that he is on with Helene, Adam arrives with Jonathan, who takes his seat by his sister. After this, Adam takes his seat beside Kruger, who then tries to stab Adam. Naturally, he realizes that Adam knows the truth. But Kruger’s stunt doesn’t work, as Adam takes his knife and, in turn, stabs him to death. Although we feel bad for Moktar, there’s a relief in knowing that his daughter is safe, as are Helene and Jonathan. And what’s more, they have Adam with them.
Director Morgan S. Dalibert, who also directed “Lost Bullet” and “Lost Bullet 2,” had cast Alban Lenoir in the lead roles there, similar to what we see in AKA. It seems like Dalibert has found quite the protagonist for his thrillers in Lenoir, who doesn’t fail to do him justice.