Airlift - Review
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Humans for humans. Humans against humans. The story of every war. The story of this world. Airlift brings forth this story without much aplomb. Even if it is not edge-of-the-seat drama, it engages you through the length of the film, despite becoming repetitive.
Airlift is the kind of story that will make you go, “What nonsense! Stuff like that happens only in Hindi films!” What a coincidence that Ranjit Katiyal meets seemingly the most important person in Iraq's attack on Kuwait, when he was seconds away from being shot (for fun!) by Iraqi teenage soldiers! How can over 1.7 lakh people roam around a city being bombed without getting into more trouble than they did? To top it all off, how can a shrewd businessman who is politically incorrect for political reasons, cares only about profit, refuses to call himself Indian have a change of heart, just like that? Maybe some of the things happened differently from the way Airlift puts it up. But, what is shown must be somewhat close to reality. And that's what makes Airlift watchable.
Sure, there must be thousands of details left out. The story despite being 'too good, yet true' seems to have over-simplified things a bit. Especially, when it comes to the 'don't care' attitude of the bureaucracy. Even so, you are not blind to the fact that all the good happened despite of the Indian political system. Just like the humans who help out in times of tragedy contrast so well with the war-mongers who kill without reason; the handful of cogs in the machinery that make the system contrast well with the other parts wanting to bog the system down. The subtle irony is not to be missed – people, some of whom were happy not to be called Indians, look up to the Indian flag while being saved by the efforts of a handful of people because they thought it was the human (not necessarily Indian) thing to do. Not to mention the nation's leadership seems to be completely missing in action. At least, as far as the film goes.
But, scenes like the one with dramatic raising of the Indian flag, or the turning point in Ranjit Katiyal's attitude, or the misplaced songs seem out-of-place compared with the tone of the rest of the film. Thankfully, these are only a few and far between.
The rest of the film flows smoothly and is peppered with interesting characters. Much like real life, put together a group of people and you will fine a few cynical ones, a few who are overwhelmed, a few who take charge and a few who are outright annoying. Purab Kohli's Ibrahim is the silent elf, who goes about his business without much ado. Prakash Belawadi's George is one from the irritating category. He will remind you of that one uncle who wouldn't do a thing for any one else but carries a high sense of entitlement to being looked after. This last one added a much-need, close-to-real-life quirk, however it got overdone soon and became repetitive thereafter.
However, that doesn't take away from the performances. Not only were Purab Kohli and Prakash Belawadi's performances engaging, those of Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur too. Akshay Kumar is always a pleasure to watch when he is in non-hero mode. Even here, when he gets into a fist-fight, he is a common man reacting to something that got to him. Innamulhaq as the Iraqi major has a very distracting accent though because of which his whole act comes off as over-the-top.
Nimrat Kaur, on the other hand, is as convincing as a bored, rich guy's wife as she is as a bickering one and equally as one who stands up for her husband. You can't blame her or even the script if the role called for her to just be a wife, one way or another. Maybe to counter that she is given a monologue – for her character to seem pertinent and keep Airlift from being a movie with barely any women. Good thing then, that it is directed towards a character who deserves the bashing. But maybe that is why the monologue seems stretched a tad bit, because it seems like it has an ulterior motive.
This holds true of a few other scenes and situations too – a little stretched and repetitive. But fortunately, not enough to hamper the pace of the film too much. The climax seems a little rushed, but that is more about over-simplification than the pace of the film.
Yet, Airlift doesn't suffer too bad because of these issues. After all, anything that instills your faith in humanity can suffer only so much because things like pace and length. Especially, because these 'too good to be true' events are true.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: War scenes. One fist fight.
- Language: Clean
- Nudity & Sexual content: One scene with molestation.
- Concept: A true life story of one good Samaritan taking charge of getting 170,000 people out of danger from a war zone
- General Look and Feel: A dusty desert wrought with equal measure of humanity and inhumanity.
Airlift - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: T-Series Super Cassettes Industries Ltd., Cape of Good Films, Crouching Tiger Motion Pictures, Emmay Entertainment Pvt. Ltd
- Producer: Aruna Bhatia, Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani, Vikram Malhotra, Bhushan Kumar, Kishan Kumar, Nikhil Advani
- Director: Raja Krishna Menon
- Lead Cast: Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur
- Supporting Cast: Purab Kohli, Ferena Wazeir, Kumud Mishra, Prakash Belawadi, Avtar Gill, Innamulhaq
- Music Director: Amaal Mallik, Ankit Tiwari
- Lyrics: Kumaar
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 125 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
Airlift - Trailer
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