Airlift review: Akshay’s film is well executed and well-acted

Airlift movie review: Overall, Akshay Kumar's ‘Airlift’ is a good film, solidly plotted, well executed and well-acted. Just lose the songs, and the occasional underlined background music the next time, okay?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Updated: July 22, 2016 2:58 pm
airlift, Airlift movie review, Airlift review, Airlift akshay kumar, AkshaY Kumar airlift, Nimrat Kaur, Airlift movie review Airlift movie review: Katyal is made believable because Akshay Kumar junks faux heroics for an unshowy heroism, which comes from a place of initial reluctance, seguing into a slow acceptance of the situation, and the gradual taking charge because there is no one else that can do the job.

It is August, 1990. Kuwait-based Indian businessman Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar) is awoken rudely from slumber by the news that Iraqi forces have attacked the city. It is the sort of awakening that shakes loose Katyal from his cocooned wealthy life, which he shares with his wife Amrita (Nimrat Kaur) and young daughter, forcing him to deal with a series of dangerous situations, and leading to the evacuation of more than a lakh Indians stuck between Saddam Hussain’s brutal forces and an alarmingly slow-to-take-heed Indian state.

The film is based on the real-life conflict and bloodshed that took place twenty five years back in Kuwait, and the way it is done—with a sense of urgency and immediacy, bringing alive a city over-run and under siege—sends out a crucial message to star-driven-yet-drivel-producing Bollywood. That given the backing of an A-list star, anything is possible: well done, Akshay Kumar, for donning the producer-with-conviction hat to create a crackling film.

And another pat for the performance. Katyal is made believable because Akshay junks faux heroics for an unshowy heroism, which comes from a place of initial reluctance, seguing into a slow acceptance of the situation, and the gradual taking charge because there is no one else that can do the job. And brings his star power to lift the film, in much the same way Ben Affleck buoyed the Hollywood evacuation tale, ‘Argo’.

This is a deftly done film, which does slide a little in the second half, but never abandons its mission: to tell a tale. Akshay Kumar leads from the front, but shares space when it is needed: Nimrat Kaur, in her second Hindi film after ‘The Lunchbox’, keeps pace with her co-star ; Inaamulhaq (so enjoyable in ‘Filmistaan’), as Saddam’s man-in-Kuwait, is suitably menacing, Belawadi as the annoying refugee really does make you want to slap him, Kohli is kohl-eyed and restrained and makes us feel for him, Mishra as the Dilli babu, disinterested at first, then taking charge, fits right in.

Bollywood doesn’t do well with basing its films on real-life events because it mostly has no idea how to straddle the line between fact and fiction, which is so crucial to the genre. It overdoes things, and turns them into melodrama and schmaltz. ‘Airlift’ plays it right, and gives us drama, even if things slow down and turn a trifle repetitious post interval.

But overall, ‘Airlift’ is a good film, solidly plotted, well executed and well-acted. Just lose the songs, and the occasional underlined background music the next time, okay?

Star cast of Airlift: Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Inaamulhaq, Prakash Belawadi, Kumud Mishra, Purab Kohli, Feryna Wazheir 

Director : Raja Krishna Menon

Three and a half stars

Read: Airlift box office collections: Akshay Kumar film earns Rs. 12.35 cr. on opening day

Also read: Kya Kool Hain Hum 3 movie review, zero stars

Also read: Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 box earns Rs 8.15 cr. on opening day 

Airlift takes off in style, Kya Kool Hain Hum 3 gets thumbs down from audience, Watch video

Also read: Akshay Kumar’s Airlift and adult comedy Kya Kool Hain Hum 3 clash at box-office 

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First Published on: January 22, 2016 12:13 pm
  1. N
    Nadeem Ansari
    Jan 12, 2017 at 5:44 pm
    Malayalee angle is suppressed. That makes the film a bogus. Majority of those lifted were simbly Gelf Malayalees , for whom naadu is their state . Punjaabi thing in the film is a hoax. Gelf Malayalees have no tragedy worth speaking about. Amidst high tensions in Bahrain , they sat happily like frogs.
    Reply
    1. R
      Rajan Bhardhwaj
      Jan 24, 2016 at 9:02 am
      Very Good movie Akshay Kumar is true Indian Jai Hind
      Reply
      1. A
        Arman Pathan
        Jan 23, 2016 at 5:35 am
        *****
        Reply
        1. A
          Arman Pathan
          Jan 23, 2016 at 5:32 am
          ***** it should be given 5 star, I think u didn't watched this movie
          Reply
          1. M
            Meet patel
            Jan 23, 2016 at 12:01 pm
            Akshay kumar film is always super hit I love this film This film is my favourite film
            Reply
            1. M
              Meh
              Jan 26, 2016 at 3:11 am
              The way he acts in flims was amzing and awesome. I definitely will watch again with my friends and family. Akashy's acting was so mature. Recommend to everyone to watch once
              Reply
              1. K
                Kumar
                Jan 23, 2016 at 4:43 am
                Awesome movie guys I am going today again
                Reply
                1. S
                  Sandeep tayade
                  Jan 24, 2016 at 2:51 pm
                  V v good movie.
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    Aditya raj
                    Feb 2, 2016 at 3:48 am
                    I like it..... This movie is superb ....!!!
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      sunny
                      Jan 23, 2016 at 5:27 pm
                      good movie but fabricated story
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        Ajisha Dipak
                        Jan 22, 2016 at 2:06 pm
                        Beyond words....feel more patriotic if we view this film outside india. Akshay kumar , well done. This year u will bag national award. Thank you for a new year gift.
                        Reply
                        1. H
                          Hamad
                          Feb 26, 2016 at 5:18 pm
                          The boring movie is copy of english movie namely "No Escape" Pathetic
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Amrendra Chaudhary
                            Jan 27, 2016 at 8:32 am
                            Wonderful acting of Akshay Kumar
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              annu
                              Feb 5, 2016 at 8:00 am
                              I am feeling proud on being indian after seeing this great film must watch
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                annu
                                Feb 5, 2016 at 8:01 am
                                its great crusie control diet review
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  arun
                                  Jan 22, 2016 at 6:27 pm
                                  Awesome movie
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    asif irfan
                                    Feb 13, 2016 at 11:08 am
                                    best movie seen ever. Akashy's one of the greatest movie seen must watch .must must must!
                                    Reply
                                    1. B
                                      Balaji
                                      Jan 22, 2016 at 8:19 am
                                      will be one of the best movie of the year. Ticket booked for Sunday. Eagerly waiting...
                                      Reply
                                      1. B
                                        Barun Kumar
                                        Jan 22, 2016 at 7:09 pm
                                        This movie belongs to that sort of few movies that we will really remember for a very long time.Absolutely...The best movie I have ever seen. Acting is quite good and direction is exceptional.The songs are at the very right moment which is quite unusual in bollywood which supplements to the emotional part of the film. The first half is quite terrifying due to the attacks and invasion and is wonderfuly directed.You can feel the terror. While the second half is relatively pleasant ;-) The movie is overall quite impressive thus making it a MUST WATCH. :)
                                        Reply
                                        1. R
                                          Radhe
                                          Jan 22, 2016 at 1:45 pm
                                          Are songs of a movie a major factor to judge a movie?
                                          Reply
                                          1. B
                                            Blaise
                                            Jan 24, 2016 at 2:34 pm
                                            Very high quality movie. It should be India's entry to Oscar next year. Movie revitalizes patriotic spirit. Yes I am an Indian and never will I say it has done nothing for me. Very proudly I say I am very proud of my citizen. I agree with Sandeep this incidence should me made part of the syllabus at school level. Thank youVery high quality movie. It should be India's entry to Oscar next year. Movie revitalizes patriotic spirit. Yes I am an Indian and never will I say it has done nothing for me. Very proudly I say I am very proud of my citizen. I agree with Sandeep this incidence should me made part of the syllabus at school level. Thank you
                                            Reply
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