Did you know that India has in credit to do the biggest airlift ever? Yes, when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the Indian government with the assistance of the NRI Mathunny Matthews and Harbhajan Singh Vedi was able to successfully evacuate the Indians out of the terrorized country through the military aircraft. Sadly, the news reports of this truly amazing event were reduced to extra news in the newspapers and was easily forgotten by the masses.
And to make that glorious memory from the human history fresh yet again, after 26 years has released 'Airlift' directed by Raja Krishna Menon and it stars Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur in the lead roles. The film is actually a one-man show, with Akshay Kumar playing Rajesh Katyal, a character who is fictional but inspired by the great work of Mathunny and Harbhajan collectively.
And he truly lifts off the screen with his on-screen presence. Seasoned and soaked in the truly patriotic character of Rakesh, Kumar truly lifts off the screen. His performance in the film is easily the actor's most mature performance as an actor. Not only his performance highly refined, it sucks in all the aspects of the character of the Kuwait NRI- with love for his nation, and with care for his family.
In my opinion, Akshay's character- an actually well written performance it certainly is- not only acknowledges the works of the businessmen, but it is also a special performance on the note that it encapsulates the right amount of patriotic charge the film needed. It has been said that every man has twin obligations, one for his family and the other for his society. The film is true mainstream cinema, in which Rajesh, the lead, is a perfect amalgamation of both these obligations. The film also explores the romantic Rajesh in one of its songs 'Dil cheez tujhe de di', and also the vulnerable Rajesh in many portions of the film. Nimrat Kaur, although coming with on-point styling and clumsily written sequences, is enough moving.
The film's final acts, which are also when you are going to predict the film, easily the most goosebump-rousing ones. The airlifting of those 1.7 lakh Indians truly makes YOU soar as an Indian.
But the film has, although in well less amount, the same problem as Raja Krishna Menon's 2009 outing 'Baarah Aana', that the film packs its themes more than its layers, and that squeezes the entertainment that he offers.
But, on the whole, Airlift is an important story well told despite many flaws. I am going with 7 out of 10 for the amazingly directed 'Airlift', but an additional 1 star for Akshay's performance lifts it to an 8 out of 10. You should watch it. We've already got one of the best Hindi films of the year, already.
It's a true fact that we Indians love our heroes and protectors, who spend their lives for us, and when we see a film related to them, we all like those films and start to have a respect for the makers. Akshay Kumar's patriotic action thriller AIRLIFT too is a film which showcases not just the pride in being Indian, but also that in being a true HUMAN.
Akshay Kumar starrer AIRLIFT is based on a true story, which might be the biggest reasons why this film succeeds in connecting with the viewers. Akshay's performance and portrayal of a man struck by patriotism is simply outstanding. If you believe me, let me tell you that when Akshay got emotional on screen, I too had tears in eyes. Nimrat Kaur has a good role and she portrays it well; the role is not like a regular heroine in movies. Other actors do a great job and add flavor and color to the film.
Coming to the music, I hadn't heard it before. I watched it only on the big screen. There aren't much songs, but the ones that are there, make their way to the shelves of music buffs. The background score of the film is good and keeps you involved in. The dialogues oozing patriotism are simply to say, superb.
The technical aspects, as every war film has, are top notch and well executed. The action scenes are well choreographed, executed and filmed, and are quite realistic. The cinematography is brilliantly done with and filming locations are quite adorable. The editing is crisp and the film keeps you hooked till the end. The best thing I liked was the director's way of placing the intermission point. You don't have an idea that it would be an intermission signalling for. But, I meant that I liked every single frame of this film. There was nothing to dislike at all.
Another thing to mention is that AIRLIFT is a film which has a strong appeal not only for those who love their country and realistic movies, but also for the audiences who want to take home something they love in a film. In this film, there's not only one portion to take home: You can take the entire film home. I liked the film so much that I think of adding it to my video library soon after it releases on DVD. Besides, despite of a UA certificate, the film is family friendly and can be watched with the family, and rather, the country.
To sum up, AIRLIFT is the finest film that has come this year, and has all the strength to become a major and notable success. Since I watched the film today on the occasion of Republic Day, as I was willing to, I would love to conclude with following lines: AIRLIFT : "SUCH A PRECIOUS AND LOVELY GIFT, WILL MAKE THE BAR OF INDIAN FILMS LIFT".
Anything else, oh yes, I forgot to say that. JAI HIND.
Almost a month into 2016 & Bollywood already had a big release in "Wazir" which bit the dust for obvious reasons. However, one of the movies that I was most eagerly looking forward to this year was Akshay's "Airlift" which hit the screens yesterday. Based on the evacuation of about 1.7 lakh Indians who were stranded in Kuwait during the Gulf War, it made sense to release it just days before our 67th Republic Day. More often than not, real life events have been portrayed dismally on celluloid as the makers tends to inject an over-dosage of heroism & patriotism. So did Raja Menon repeat the same mistake???
The film unfolds a day prior to the Iraqi invasion with Ranjit Katiyal (Akshay Kumar) shown as a wealthy Indian business magnate who has significant influence over the Kuwait royal clan. However, all hell breaks loose when Saddam takes over Kuwait & all the expatriates are stranded as the embassies gets locked down. Even though Ranjit manages to secure a safe passage for his family out of the country for a hefty sum, the predicament of his less fortunate Indian brethren makes him to think about them as well. What subsequently follows is Ranjit's efforts to somehow get the expatriates back to India against all odds.
It might sound surprising but it seems Raja Menon's directorial debut "Bas Yun Hi" happened more than a decade back & this is in fact his third venture. As mentioned earlier, the inspiration for this movie was the massive evacuation orchestrated by the Indian government in collaboration with Air India which actually finds a mention in the Guinness Book as well. The biggest positive is that Raja doesnt make his protagonist do super human stuff but still manages to captivate the audience with the events that unfold. But I felt the second half could have been a bit more gripping as it didnt quite have the sequences which could have given the edge of the seat experience as felt in the climax of "Argo". On the technical side, Priya Seth's visuals were praise worthy while Hemanti Sarkar's editing were adequate. As for the music, Ankit Tiwari has done a reasonable job though at times it hindered the flow of the movie.
In the past few years, Akshay has come out with movies which was inspired from real life events be it "Special 26" or "Baby" in both of which he had rocked. Even in his latest release, he was brilliant as the protagonist who exhibits a range of emotions with elan from being the flamboyant profit seeking businessman to the reluctant leader of the expatriates & he is surely the heart and soul of the movie. After "Lunchbox", Nimrat Kaur is in mainstream cinema for a change & have done a reasonably decent job though the idea of being quite decked up with ample make-up in such harrowing situations didn't make sense. However, the sequence where she stands up for her husband & delivers a smashing dialogue was awesome. As for the rest of the cast, Kumud Mishra was impressive, Prakash Belawadi as the irritating Georgekutty was bang on while Purab Kohli, Inaamulhaq, Lena etc all needs to be commended on a job well done.
Verdict: In all probability, the film should rack in pretty good numbers as the word of mouth will definitely work in its favour. But knowing the general response of the Bollywood audience, it wont make as much noise at the box office as the mindless masala movies. Anywaz it truly deserves eyeballs & I would suggest that all of you guys to definitely check it out!!!