Akshay Kumar’s upcoming “Airlift” shares the same genre as “Argo” but the superstar says it is an insult to his film when people compare it to the Oscar-winning Hollywood movie as the story is inspired by a real incident.
The 48-year-old actor says while the Ben Affleck-starrer chronicled the evacuation of six Americans at the time of Iran hostage crisis, “Airlift” is the story of 1,70,000 Indians who were rescued from Kuwait during the Iraq-Kuwait war.
“Saying that our film is copied from ‘Argo’ is an insult. How can it be a copy when it is a true story? It is not a copy. It is something which you should be proud of. It is the story of the biggest ever human evacuation in the history of mankind,” Akshay told reporters here.
Director Raja Krishna Menon says other than the common theme of evacuation, there is no similarity between his film and the 2012 Hollywood movie.
“The only faint link is that some people were saved in a covert operation. Everything else is different. It is only a similar genre. Our film is about the single greatest achievement of independent India. ‘Argo’ is not in that space,” Menon said.
The actor says he was not aware of the 1990 incident and only came to know about it when the director gave him the script of “Airlift”.
“At that time there was only one article about the evacuation. The government did it silently. It is not a matter of joke. When I met those people, they started crying at the mention of it. I was deeply inspired by the story. It shows the greatness of our country.”
In the film, Akshay plays a businessman Ranjit Katyal, who negotiates with the government to evacuate 1,70,000 Indians stranded in Kuwait and fly them to India. “Airlift” also stars Nimrat Kaur and Purab Kohli.
In recent times, Akshay has successfully juggled between commercial potboilers like “Singh is Bliing” and thrillers with patriotic themes like “Baby” and “Holiday”. The actor says he loves to keep challenging himself with different roles.
“I keep on challenging myself all the time. I want to be in my comfort zone and then try some roles which are challenging for me. ‘Singh is Bliing’ and ‘Housefull 3’ are in my comfort zone but this one is not, ‘Baby’ was not.”