Friday, 22nd January 12:10 PM IST
AIRLIFT Depicts Important Part Of Our History
inconsistent editing, forced placing of songs, overdramatic, contrived climax
Watch it for presenting a real life dare devil noble mission
Akshay Kumar has done some solid social action films in last two years i.e. 'Holiday', 'Baby', 'Gabbar Is Back' and now he is back with another such film 'Airlift'. Film is produced by Nikhil Advani, Vikram Malhotra and Bhushan Kumar with debutant director. It i based on real life incidence in 80's in Kuwait.
The real life air evacuation, the largest operation undertaken in the world during the Kuwait invasion of Iraq where over a lakh and a half Indians were rescued by the efforts of a single man wanting to make a difference is what Airlift is all about. Akshay Kumar plays Ranjit Katiyal an Indian now settled in Kuwait whose desi roots are long forgotten. His wife Amrita (Nimrat Kaur) doesn’t get his new found love for a foreign country but has no other choice than to toe his line. Things take a sinister U turn when one night Iraqi president Saddam Hussein decides to invade his oil rich neighbour Kuwait. Over night Ranjit’s life is turned upside down, the very people who would salute him are now gunning for his head. But he isn’t the only one. Over a lakh and a half Indians are stranded in no man’s land when the situation worsens and neither America or India comes ahead for help. The film chronicles the journey from the first day of invasion to the final climax where a timely Airlift by civil aircraft saves many lives. Even though the plot is one dimensional, there are multiple subplots that keep you engaged through the film. A quick cut to the bombing of Al Abdali labour camp, a voiceover explaining the history of tension between Iraq and Kuwait and its escalation to war and the stage is set. In its narrative swiftness, Airlift is structured like swift thrillers. It comes to the point fast, with the background conversations establishing the context, be it the oil wars, the American involvement or the reference to a new boy in the Indian cricket team called Sachin Tendulkar.
The pace of the film is good in the 1st half and there is enough content to keep its promise with audience. But sudden forced introduction of songs completely breaks the film's pace in addition to over-dramatization and contrived climax. Akshay Kumar breaks into Punjabi song just before interval while war is going on in background - are you serious Mr Bhushan Kumar (I bet this was his idea), suddenly in last 20 minutes over dose of patriotism takes over while we saw real balance view through out the film. Akshay fighting with soldiers does not look convincing.
Performance wise Akshay Kumar stands tall with his solid act, watch out for scene when he breaks in tears after killing of driver! Nimrat Kaur proves that 'The Lunchbox' was not a fluke as she delivers another power packed act with all the emotional nuances in right place. Kumud Mishra and Purba Kohli score big with wonderful performances. Inaamulhaq looks caricature as Major Khalaf. Feryna Wazheir as Tasneem and Prakash Belwadi as George Kutty are decent.
Film has good screenplay and decent dialogues. Film has inconsistent editing as film is good in earlier part of 1st half and then goes haywire in 2nd half. Music is below par and does not work in the film. Cinematography is good, production design is perfect and costumes are apt.
Director Raja Krishna Menon has chosen a noble concept and he should be lauded for that but he falls in terms of execution as film goes into over - dramatic mode plus at times the treatment is too high handed. He should take few notes from Neeraj Pandey school where lead actor does not start dancing with item girls in middle of serious issues surrounding him and tricolor can not be used anytime as per convenience to lift the film.
Film released today and it will get good to very good reviews but it will get average opening due to genre/feel/treatment. Film has one open week and so the real challenge is to have big weekend at box office as there are too many films this week and next week too.
Go for this one if real life thriller stories are your cup of tea!