Review By : Release Date : Jan 22,2016

Production: Aruna Bhatia, Bhushan Kumar, Nikhil Advani Cast: Akshay Kumar, Lena, Nimrat Kaur Direction: Raja Krishna Menon Screenplay: Raja Krishna Menon Story: Raja Krishna Menon Music: Amaal Mallik, Ankit Tiwari Background score: Amaal Mallik, Ankit Tiwari
Why do we look up to Hollywood film-makers? It is because of the fact that they make scripts out of true incidents, with some fictional elements that still reflect realism, even after a number of out-of-the-world graphics. One can easily pin 'Airlift' at par with their standard of film-making. Making a movie out of a true incident is challenging mainly because the audiences know the result or the climax of the story. How engaging was the journey? Let’s find out.  
Airlift is set in 1990, during the Iraq-Kuwait war due to which 1,70,000 Indians were stranded in Kuwait. The helpless Indians were evacuated through airlift by 488 Air India/Indian Airlines commercial flights that flew back and forth tirelessly for 59 days, still one of India’s most iconic history that got us into the Guinness Book of World Records. This heroic deed was planned out by 2 individuals who coordinated from Kuwait even during those difficult times. The movie draws inspiration from them along with depicting the struggle of the homeless Indian survivors. 
A dry subject like the Iraq-Kuwait war is shown beautifully with music, humour and emotions in a jugalbandi of sorts. The story opens directly into Ranjit Katyal’s (Akshay) life, a wealthy businessman who celebrates the rich Kuwaiti lifestyle exorbitantly. In just about a few scenes, without wasting time on the establishment, the director shifts you into a panic mode with tankers and soldiers, bombing houses and lives. How the self-centered businessman transforms into a hero by single-handedly helping in evacuating fellow Indians from Kuwait is the story of Airlift. 
The narrative style of the story is rather straight without any unnecessary elements that are added to just spice it up. Acquainting us with the survivors’ families, playing the guessing game with the unreliable Iraq Official, ringing in the anxiety, creating fictional characters around a true incident and making it relevant to its time, director Raja Krishna Menon automatically shines when he invokes goosebumps in the audience. 
From a no-nonsense, selfish, I-don’t-care person to whom money is of primary importance, that he even forgets his motherland; to a changed man who cares and takes responsibility for other people’s safety, Akshay makes Ranjit Katyal believable. As Akshay’s wife, Nimrat Kaur delivers when the scene demands.
Importance is given abundantly to the supporting cast in the movie in the form of guards, officers, survivors, etc. The idea of bringing together people from varied walks of life, changing their wrong ideology and making them a better person who cares for others is carried out authentically by the supporting cast.  
Whether it was the lavish Kuwaiti lifestyle with belly dances, parties and museum-like houses or the make-shift school safe house or the war-struck burning streets or the torn-down areas or rescue trucks escaping in the hot deserts or the typical government offices; every single frame and every single object on the frame, helped recreate the real incident as a sequence. Credits are definitely due to lens-woman Priya Seth, editor Hemanti Sarkar and the art department for maintaining realism, except for the costumes, which doesn't give a feel of the 90's.
Music Directors Amaal Mallik and Ankit Tiwari haven’t shown off too much. The subtlety with which they handled the re-recording is what sets them apart. While they give us a pure Arabic belly dance party number in ‘Dil cheez tujhe dedi’; they also give us a patriotic one in ‘Tu bhoola jise’. However, few CGI shots could have definitely been better, but that is least of the things that make you cringe when you look at the bigger picture. 
Verdict: Airlift will lift your opinion on India one notch higher.
( 3.25 / 5.0 )


Airlift (aka) Airlift

Airlift (aka) Airlift is a Hindi movie with production by Aruna Bhatia, Bhushan Kumar, Nikhil Advani, direction by Raja Krishna Menon. The cast of Airlift (aka) Airlift includes Akshay Kumar, Lena, Nimrat Kaur.