Movie Review: ‘Airlift’ by Neha Ravindran 

Movie: Airlift

Diretor: Raja Krishna Menon

Cast: Nimrat Kaur, Akshay Kumar, Lena, Purab Kohli

Genre: Drama

Airlift is based on the largest evacuation carried out in the world of 1,70,000 Indians stranded in Kuwait. Patriotic movies n Bollywood often carry an undertone of herogiri, a trait hard to let go off. However, Airlift is a story of everyday heroes who put their life on risk to help strangers merely connected by their identity as Indians.

Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar) is a very influential businessman n Kuwait in the 1990. He relates to being called a Kuwaiti than an Indian till one day Kuwait is taken over by Iraqi soldier and his only saviour is his identity as an Indian. Based on true events, this move traces the journey of over 1 lakh Indians, reduced to a refugee status, from Iraq run over Kuwait to India.

Airlift is a brilliant capture of India’s heroic mission to save its citizens from Kuwait. With a gripping storyline by Raja Krishna Menon, the movie will keep you hooked in its grasp for two hours. Akshay Kumar’s character based on real heroes, Mr. Mattuny Mathews and Mr. Vedi who played a significant role in the rescue operations. The close to real appeal of the character entranced me where Akshay’s acting was contained and moulded effectively to suit the changing demands of every scene. Nimrat Kaur plays the role of Akshay Kumar’s wife, Amrita and she delivers a impactful performance. We all loved Nimrat in Lunchbox as she fit the role of a middle class wife, with ease. Here, on the other hand, she essays the role of a woman who belongs to a high social class and has all the quirks of being a woman with a known social standing. The supporting cast includes a lot of known regional actors from the Malayalam film industry and each one of them have successfully brought to life on screen the struggle faced by the Indians in Kuwait in 1990.

The film was mostly shot in UAE (where sets were recreated to depict Kuwait of 1990) and partly in Bhuj, India. Cinematography by Priya Seth is excellent and certain shots, like the one where the Indian flag is hoisted, gave me goosebumps. Music by Amaal Mallik and Ankit Tiwari blends into the theme without threatening to sound blaring in the backdrop of a war movie.

Airlift is the right dose of patriotism for you on the eve of Republic day. This is a must watch movie for your entire family. . For one day let’s not crib about what our country has not done for us and appreciate what it did do for us. A very Happy Republic day to all of you!

My verdict: ****

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