The Pinkvilla Movie Review-Airlift

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Much like Ben Affleck's Argo, the newest Akshay Kumar outing Airlift is the celebration of human spirit. It is based on a highly improbable story that just couldn't have been true, had it not been based on a real life event. Though it isn't half as phenomenal as the former, Airlift, nevertheless, is a novel, earnest and compelling attempt at pressing every patriotic button on the remote and jerk out a tear or two this Republic Day.

The herculean task of evacuating 1,70,000 Indians out of war-torn Kuwait during the Gulf War was executed single-handedly by a man named Ranjit Katyal (played by Akshay) in this story. Akshay quits his larger-than-life image to settle for being the messiah of the underdog and manages to lure us with his simplicity. The same cannot be said about the screenplay that despite being rooted in raw, powerful emotions is never half as good as it was touted to be. Gritty in parts and nail-biting surely, Raja Krishna Menon's film is an over simplistic account that never rings true. Though the actors give us enough and more to cheer for, the film manages to engage only in parts.

Ranjit Katyal has a picture-perfect life. He is the richest Indian in Kuwait and he commands great respect and power in the expat circles. He is suave, successful and has a lovely family by his side. But Ranjit's life comes crashing down like a house of cards when Kuwait is annexed by Iraq. His home is plundered, his wife and children go missing for a bit, his men are killed. 

The first hour of the film is heartbreaking. The brutalities on display will have your stomach in knots. In years Akshay hasn't brought so much soul to any of his characters as he does to Ranjit. The actor's emotional investment shows as he performs the toughest scenes most flawlessly. In a sequence, when his driver is gunned down by Iraqis - there is fear, anguish, hopelessness on his face at the same time. Only an actor of experience can bring something so raw that effortlessly on screen. 

As he self assigns to himself the role of the messiah for fellow Indians, the film's patriotic card comes to play. Ranjit's Indian identity doesn't feature in his life till it becomes his passport to survival. It is strange that the director establishes his sudden deshbhakti in just one line - Jab chot lagti hai toh insan sabse pehle maa maa hi chillata hai. The explanation is hardly convincing but if you play along, Airlift might surprise you.

Ranjit's relationship with his wife Amrita (Nimrat Kaur) evolves with each frame and even as a breathless saga unravels parallely, there is an imperfect couple who are looking to create a perfect marriage. From playing a shadow to her man, she steps up to be a bitter critic and loyal aid, through the screenplay. She stands up for him in dire times, even though she doesn't subscribe to his ideology. Nimrat does justice to her underwritten part by bringing out more shades to her character. She nails it and in a certain scene in the refugee camp where she has an outburst, she is top notch. The film's supporting cast deserves a special mention, especially Inaam-ul-Haq and Kumud Mishra, who were both great in their respective roles.

What this movie lacks is the desired tension that you will walk in expecting. It never gives edge-of-your-seat moments that evoke fear. For a film of this order, that isn't an unjustified expectation. In its climax, the film falls limp. It is wrapped up too easy, too soon. An evacuation story needs to have a thrilling climax to go with it, but the real 'airlift' is wrapped up in no time. As Akshay's plane descends in Indian soil, you don't feel that gush of joy. The contrived finale dampens the impact by a large extent. 

Airlift is gripping in its first half and shaky in its second. It starts off with gusto but loses momentum halfway through. As you root for the indomitable spirit of those who survived the horrific war, let's take a moment to think why such well-mounted films fail to create the macabre, suspenseful, race-against-time impact. Why settle for being just about okay when you have the makings of being mesmeric!

We rate this film a 62% on the Pinkvilla Movie Meter. 


One of the BEST movies I have seen in a long time. Couldn't really think of a flaw. Acting superb, direction suberb, and so on

Airlift is a good movie. Story is good and Akshay and Nimrat both are very good. Akshay keep giving us good movies.

But why krk said that this is an average movie

Because it krk!

But why krk said that this is an average movie

I enjoyed the film akshay and nimrat were amazing! Well acted

Just watched the movie. Really well-made. 'twas a story that needed to be told. Except for a couple of songs, the narrative and the acting was very well put together! Must watch. Akshaya Kumar does these roles outstandingly well.

Just watched this movie- the first Akshay Kumar movie I've watched in the theatres. This movie is brilliant. Even though I am born and raised in Canada, you just can't help but feel patriotic after watching this movie. This movie doesn't put any country down. Akshay was definitely the highlight of this movie. Purab Kohli makes your heart melt and the actor who played Mr. George was so brilliant that I've never been more annoyed by a person (on or off screen) than him! Amazing work! I do admit that Nimrit's role was short, but she was great in what she was given!

AIRLIFT is a good movie. Thanks Akshay making a sensible movie.

I love akshay he's best actor x

I love akshay he's best actor x

jab tak Yeh movie 100 cr kamayegi,akshay ki nayi movie ka trailor already launch ho chuka hoga.

Brilliant Film!!! Loved the movie.

Must Watch
Kudos to Akshay Kumar and Team
Airlift should be rated 100%
Great Movie

Good movie. I definitely teared up towards the end-- watching India and the Indian government rise up to an occasion will do that to you! AK is great, you root for him throughout. And the supporting actor who plays George and Purab Kohli were really good too. It really makes you well up with pride!

I just wish the editing had been better. There are a few nonsense songs (that song De di in the beginning is lifted of the popular Didi song by Khaled), and super cliched sequences. Also, except for one great scene, Nimrat is just wasted. But despite these drawbacks, the movie is definitely worth watching in a theater. You won't be bored!

The reviews are great. On IMDB, Airlift is 9.7/10 currently. Can't wait to watch it.

Came here to check on Nimrat Kaur's performance. This underrated actress is easily the best one. Loved her in the Lunchbox. She also came in homeland for those who don't know.

Akshay movies are good have a good content. People please go and watch the movie.

yeah like Singh Is Bling ...
he makes couple good movies then back to normal movies ...

Because he can afford a variety of releasing 4 films of different genres, alternating masala and serious cinema. You do not like it? There is a choice - do not look. By the way, Singh is Bling a pretty good movie, better than the so-called masala "blockbusters"


Will watch it for sure.


Awesome film - watch it

Will watch it for sure.

To be honest, I'm a different assessment from that site are not expected. All films Akshay get low opinion here even Baby, but Dilwale received a higher rating.I not disappointed as I will not disappointed that my post will not publish (as always)

dilwale was rated 50% by pinkvilla
and airlift is rated 62%
how come dilwale got a higher rating ??

sounds great.

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