NON HORROR REVIEW- In a plethora of true story films released in the United States, it’s ample time to switch to another relevant and thriving industry, “Bollywood” and find one that can compete with the best of the best, and that film is simply entitled, ‘Airlift.’
There is no question about the quality of films that India produces, from the stunning visuals, to charismatically comedic casts and wonderful soundtracks, do yourself a favor and test the waters of this world, with no better title to start with than the 2016 Raja Menon directed, ‘Airlift.’
Based on the dramatic events from the 1990-91 Gulf War that led nearly 170,000 Indians that had been living and working in Kuwait to be dangerously stuck in the melee ridden war-zone, ‘Airlift’ begins with some intense sequences that focuses around Ranjit Katyal, whom was acted out with stellar showmanship by Akshay Kumar (Special 26, Baby).
When Ranjit’s attempt to figure out what was going on in Kuwait began with his driver/friend being fatally shot and business partner hanged, the tone of the film’s story was set in a demandingly drastic and dangerous way for not only Ranjit, but for all Indians living in Kuwait.
What audiences get following that initial sequence is over two hours of adrenaline embodied with anxiety angled attempts to return to their homeland safely…all 170,000 of them. An almost unmanageable number, that Ranjit decides to help despite his wife’s (Nimrat Kaur) wishes, as Kaur excels greatly in her role as well.
The story was compelling enough, yet with supplemental help from script writers Ritesh Shah, Suresh Nair, Raja Menon and Rahul Nangia, ‘Airlift’ was supremely well rounded into a fantastic piece of film-making. The cast was as strong as any I’ve seen with stand out performances by Sameer Ali Khan, Purab Kohli and the guy you love to hate at times and love to love at others, Prakash Belawad.
The subtitles were placed perfectly in order for non Hindi speaking viewers to enjoy the visuals as well as follow along with the story. An added bonus with most Bollywood films is that the songs are usually laced with the lyrics by way of subtitles and the songs from ‘Airlift’ are superb!
The love inspired “Soch Na Sake” and feel good dancing track “Mera Nachan Nu” were highlights of the flawless music housed in ‘Airlift’ and helps compliment the moods of the plot as it switches back and forth in the roller coaster ride these unfortunate Indian citizens has to endure.
Even though the situation had a high level of distress, ‘Airlift’ still spins several heartwarming threads throughout the film touching so many aspects of Indian culture, the conflict of patriotism and the special structure of families, whether bonded by blood or a country.
I highly recommend this film to everyone, especially Americans that are unaware or insensitively forgotten this moment in our world’s history. I always advise a dash of cultural awareness in everyone’s life and ‘Airlift’ is the perfect spice.
Currently Red Cinemas in Greensboro, NC is showing ‘Airlift’ and usually shows a few Indian films each week, if you are in the North Carolina triad area, make sure to check their listings often and immerse yourself into a different culture via Bollywood releases. It’ll do you some good, I promise that.