It's not every Friday that you get to see a gripping tale of an unsung hero who risked his life and masterminded the evacuation of 1,70,000 Indians stuck in the war-ridden Iraq when Saddam Hussein's forces invaded Iraq in August 1990.
Honestly speaking even I was unaware of this operation until I came across this article mentioning Raja Krishna Menon making a film on it. This made me google up a couple of things and suddenly I felt that how ignorant was I of this tale of heroic deed. Kudos to the director for making sure that this extraordinary tale reaches out to millions of people out there through 'Airlift'.
Writer: Raja Krishna Menon, Suresh Nair, Rahul Nangia, Ritesh Shah
Claps: Akshay Kumar, Story, Direction
Slaps: The songs look forcefully thrown in at few points and could have been totally avoided
What's New: A heroic tale that's probably lost somewhere in pages of history
Popcorn Interval: Strictly Interval
Plot: Akshay Kumar plays Ranjit Katyal, a shrewd business magnate based in Kuwait. He has forgotten his Indian roots and considers himself a more Kuwaiti. His life revolves around making business profits and leading a grand lifestyle with his wife Amrita (Nimrat Kaur) and their little daughter. However on 1st August 1990, their life changes forever when the Iraqi forces invade Kuwait reducing Ranjit to nothing more than an ordinary person who is trapped in a war crisis with his family. What follows next is how this man turns into a 'messiah' for the 1,70,000 Indians who too are trapped in this unfortunate event with him.
Performance: Akshay Kumar delivers one of his career best performances in 'Airlift'. He nails his character with such ease that you just can't help marvel at his touching performance. (Watch out for the scene where he is reduced to a mere spectator as the young Iraqi soldiers gun down his driver! It will give you goosebumps and leave you stunned for sure!)
Nimrat Kaur as Amrita Katyal makes sure that she just doesn't remain a mere shadow and is effective in her role.
Prakash Belawade as the annoying Malayali shines in his role. Inaamulhaq essays the role of Iraqi army general with a slightly ridiculous accent that kind of puts you off.
Nevertheless special mention for casting director Vicky Sidana who ensembles a brilliant cast comprising of Kumud Mishra, Purab Kohli, Feryna Wazheir and others as they lend several layers to the story.
Direction: Raja Krishna Menon should be applauded for making a film that doesn't insult your intelligence and yet has a mass appeal. He weaves an interesting story with his co-writers and depicts it as realistic as possible.
Combo-on-offer: Action+ Drama+ Thrills
Verdict: We give 'Airlift' THUNDEROUS CLAPS for giving us a memorable journey with some 'heart-thumping' moments. Hope it paves way for several stories of unsung heroes to come into light and be woven into cinematic pieces. If not a better person then let us at least be a proud Indian!