Release Date: January 22, 2016
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Prakash Belawadi, Kumud Mishra, Purab Kohli, Inaamulhaq
Director: Raja Krishna Menon
Genre: Drama, History, Thriller
Duration: 2 hour 04 minutes
People forgotten by the world, and for whom, their country of birth is no longer relevant, Airlift tracks the lives of Indians immigrants living in Kuwait, who faced one of the worst socio-political crisis in 1990, and were ultimately rescued by the Indian Government. Airlift casts a concrete message that even when people may immigrate to foreign countries and make it their new home, their country of birth will always care for them, irrespective of whether they care for it or not. The movie tells the masses that you may be rich, successful and highly respected in a foreign country, but in times of crisis, the only one you can trust is your country of birth, your motherland.
Ranjit Katyal (Akshay) is a highly successful and rich businessman of Indian-origin, who only loves profits and dislikes the idea of India, just like the thousands of other Indian immigrants. However, his thinking and ideology undergo a drastic change when Iraqi forces invade Kuwait in 1990, and start targeting the most vulnerable ones, the immigrant diaspora, including Indians. As uncontrolled Iraqi forces start to plunder, pillage, and molest and rape Indian women, Katyal is overwhelmed with the atrocities and decides to help the Indian diaspora. This time, his business partner would be the Indian government and the profits would be the lives saved of the thousands of Indian immigrants.
As Ranjit Katyal, this is one of Akshay’s best performances ever. The ‘khiladi’ swag exists, but there is more mature control, leading to a polished, restrained and powerful role play. Nimrat Kaur has also done a good job playing the realistic role of Katyal’s wife. The sheer scale of movie sequences, shot with hundreds of people simultaneously, deserves a lot of credit, as also the deft editing done by Hemanti Sarkar.
Go for this for some superb performances by Akshay and others as well, a strong storyline, edge-of-the-seat entertainment, and the strong messages that the movie carries.