Akshay Kumar has his own style of sowing patriotism in minds and this time, on the occasion of Republic Day, he treats fans with Airlift, which is based on the biggest ever civil evacuation of Indians based in Kuwait during 1990 Iraq war.
Playing Ranjit Katyal, a Kuwait-based businessman, Akshay Kumar puts forward all the right manoeuvres to pull off an almost impossible heroic mission that saved the lives of over one lakh Indians stranded in a state of turmoil. The movie is not a thriller like Argo and it is praiseworthy that the director has resisted the temptation to attempt to make it one. The onus instead is on the emotions, the guiding force of all actions which helps shake off a certain kind of predictability and avoid any comparisons with the Oscar-winning movie. The film juggles the fallibility of human beings with their ever-persevering humanity to bring out a decent package.
Airlift is a no-nonsense entertainment drama dealing with harsh realities of a time when death is lurking and time running out. It is also a tribute to the solidarity Indians manifested during the hard time of Kuwait-Iraq war in 1990.
On one side there was Saddam Hussein, willing to vanish Kuwaities from Kuwait, and on the other was Ranjit Katyal with his extended family of more than 1 lakh Indians putting every possible effort to ensure their safety. The script, written by Raja Krishna Menon, proves his ability to write a drama that justifies the saying – Slow and Steady wins the race. Some might find pace going a tad slow, but the endeavour to achieve desired impact couldn’t have been possible without keeping it gentle.
With movies like Airlift, the problem remains with the fact that they are actually biographies which offers a very limited scope to play around. Interestingly, director Raja Krishna Menon manages to pull in characters that keep the movie engaging, entertaining yet serious to claim the desired mark.
Another important thing which has been taken care off well is the cinematography; be if BPL television, audio cassettes, Doordarshan logo, cars or even Sachin Tendulkar, every detailing of the frame has been done flawlessly; which in result enhances the overall experience.
While the makers managed to deliver visual treats, there was a huge disappointment on the musical notes. The film caters an almost item number which I would politely call disengaging. The songs also struggle hard amid the fight of being emotional and patriotic at the same time.
The performances of Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur are intense and the two compliment each other quite admirably. Small actors like Prakash Belawadi (George Kutty), Inaamulhaq (Major Khalaf Bin Zayd) and Purab Kohli (Ibrahim Durrani) are big time treats riding on small badges. Small bits make big pieces, these stars don’t leave a moment to compliment acts by the lead pair.
Airlift comes as a perfect treat to celebrate the Republic Day with your family but a little more personification could have lifted the drama above excellence.
Final Verdict: Impactful drama, powerful acts and ample amount of moments to cherish; Akshay Kumar delivers yet another patriotic movie his fans would not like to miss.