Translating real incidents to reel is always a tough job. Filmmaker Raja Krishna Menon couldn’t agree more. Menon, who started his research in 2005, finally managed to piece the script together and now, Airlift, starring Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur, is set to release.
While Akshay came into the picture much later, the filmmaker does agree that he turned out to be the perfect choice to play a Kuwait-based Indian businessman during the time that Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. “My producers were talking to Akshay for some other film that didn’t work out for whatever reasons. Luckily for me, most people I narrated the script to were instantly hooked on to the story within a minute. Akshay happened to hear the script and demanded to know why this role wasn’t being offered to him. Akshay embodies the character of the leading man perfectly. He is self-made, disciplined and has that gravitas. People want to follow Akshay Kumar and that was something my character needed. He was the perfect choice for the role,” Menon explains.
Watch the Airlift trailer here
The fact that Menon hails from Kerela also helped him in his research as most Malayalis were affected by the Gulf war. “The maximum number of Indians trapped there were from Kerela. We knew at least someone or the other who was working in Gulf. I have been lucky enough to meet people who have told me their first-person account stories. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, people were rendered homeless and it was the Indian government that took the responsibility of evacuating Indians stuck there. This is the biggest-ever evacuation to be carried out by a country and it was upsetting that no one seemed to know about it. Had this been America, there would have been 50 movies made on it so I took it upon myself to tell this glorious story to the world,” he signs off.
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