Raja Krishna Menon’s Airlift tells an important story and tells it well. Akshay Kumar returns to the silver screen after iffy performers Brothers and Singh is Bliing as Ranjit Katial, a Kuwait-based business magnate who has everything that a man could ask for. And then, Saddam Hussein attacks the country and Iraqi forces run rampage on the streets.
Akshay’s Ranjit loses everything in a moment and must depend on India, a country he has left behind, for his very survival. The film is about India’s massive evacuation of its citizens from Kuwait in 1990. A total of 1,70,000 people were evacuated and transported back to Mumbai by 488 flights in coordination with Indian Airlines.
It is in this tense atmosphere that Akshay and his wife, played by Nimrat Kaur, are stuck. High on action and tense, nerve-racking scenes, the film also stars Feryna Wazheir, Purab Kohli, Lena, Kumud Mishra and Prakash Belawadi.
The film bravely tackles a subject which happened in living memory, something that Bollywood traditionally shies from. It stays gritty and realistic. The only complaint is its shaky second half which is too quick to be done with the actual evacuation.