Airlift (2016)

India| January 2016| 130 min| Hindi
Airlift (2016)
Genre History, Thriller
Color Color
Certification UK:12A , India:UA , Canada:PG (British Columbia) , Ireland:12A , Singapore:PG13
Locations Bhuj, Gujarat, India
Rajasthan, India
Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
Director Raja Menon
Lead Cast Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Feryna Wazheir, Purab Kohli, Lena
Trailer
Watch Trailer of AIRLIFT (2016)
Plot Summary
The film follows Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar), a Kuwait-based businessman, who carries out the biggest civil operation of evacuating Indians based in Kuwait during the Iraq-Kuwait war under the reign President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Katyal is a ruthless and successsful businessman, based in Kuwait, with his wife Amrita (Nimrat Kaur) and daughter Simran (Adiba Hussain). Even though he is Indian by origin, he calls himself a Kuwaiti, and ridicules other Indian living in Kuwait. But at the onset of the war, Katyal finds himself to be one of the 170,000 Indians stranded in Kuwait amidst the socio-economic tensions that gripped the country at that time. The rest of the plot revolves around how, the 170,000 Indians, braved all odds and travelled thousands of kilometers across the border into Amman, Jordan, and were brought to India after having survived the Iraqi invasion, with the help of Katyal. The Indian Government flew over 488 Air India commercial flights over a span of 2 months to evacuate all 170,000 Indians from the war zone. This is considered as the largest and the most successful evacuation ever attempted by any country, in the history of the world.
Trivia
Actors Akshay Kumar and Purab Kohli learned Arabic language for their roles in the film.

The character Ranjit Katyal is based on the life of Sunny Matthews who was a Kuwait-based businessman, and was said to have been there till last flight took off with Indians onboard.

This is the first time pairing of Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur.

This is the first Bollywood film based on Gulf War.

Actor Akshay Kumar stated that Balraj Sahni's role in the film Waqt (1965) was his inspiration for the role where an earthquake shatters the peaceful life of Sahni's character.

Akshay Kumar did not charge a penny as remuneration. Instead he is said to be sharing 80% of the profit as his fees.
Akshay Kumar Ranjit Katyal
Nimrat Kaur Amrita Katyal
Feryna Wazheir Tasneem
Inaamulhaq Major Khalaf Bin Zayd
Purab Kohli Ibrahim Durrani
Prakash Belawadi George Kutty
Lena Deepti Jayarajan, George's wife
Kumud Mishra Sanjeev Kohli
Sameer Ali Khan Prince
Pawan Chopra Indian Ambassador Brij
Taranjit Kaur Nair's wife
Kaizaad Kotwal Poonawalla
Nissar Khan Ashok, Ranjit's friend
Narendra Jetley Embassy Officer
Avtar Gill cameo
Arun Bali Bauji
Gunjan Malhotra Meher, Poonawalla's daughter
Surendra Pal External Affairs Minister
Ninad Kamat Kurien, Ranjit's friend
Rajesh Jais Officer at the Indian Embassy in Iraq
Sanjay Bhatia Official at the Indian Embassy in Amman
Pooja Nair Preethi
Bachchan Pachera Old Indian
Ajay Kumar Joseph
Abhijit Bhor Captain
Adiba Hussain Simran, Ranjit's daughter
Director Raja Menon
Producer Monisha Advani
Nikhil Advani
Aruna Bhatia
Madhu Bhojwani
Bhushan Kumar
Krishan Kumar
Vikram Malhotra
Executive Producer
Writer Ritesh Shah(story)
Suresh Nair(story)
Raja Menon(story)
Rahul Nangia(story)
Ritesh Shah(screenplay)
Suresh Nair(screenplay)
Raja Menon(screenplay)
Rahul Nangia(screenplay)
Lyricist Kumaar
Music Composer Amaal Mallik
Ankit Tiwari
Singers Arijit Singh
Tulsi Kumar
Amaal Mallik
Ankit Tiwari
Brijesh Shandilya
Divya Kumar
KK
Choreographers Ahmed Khan
Arvind Thakur
Cinematographer Priya Seth
Action Director Manohar Verma
Film Editor Hemanti Sarkar
Casting Director Vicky Sidana
Production Designer Mustafa Stationwala
Art Director
Costume Designer Sheetal Sharma
Production Companies Cape of Good Films
Emmay Entertainment
T-Series
Distributor Prateek Entertainment
Song # 1Soch Na Sake
Written byKumaar
Composed byAmaal Mallik
Performed byArijit Singh,   Tulsi Kumar,   Amaal Mallik
 
Song # 2Dil Cheez Tujhe Dedi
Written byKumaar
Composed byAnkit Tiwari
Performed byAnkit Tiwari,   Arijit Singh
 
Song # 3Mera Nachan Nu
Written byKumaar
Composed byAmaal Mallik
Performed byBrijesh Shandilya,   Divya Kumar,   Amaal Mallik
 
Song # 4Tu Bhoola Jise
Written byKumaar
Composed byAmaal Mallik
Performed byKK
 
Song # 5Soch Na Sake (solo)
Written byKumaar
Composed byAmaal Mallik
Performed byArijit Singh
 
Not available
Reviews on external websites
All ratings are based on 5. NA indicates rating not available.

Times Of India|Review by Srijana Mitra Das
Airlift works because it conveys a time when armies will attack civilians - you're struck by how IS was born from the Iraqi army's core - and raises Bollywood's generic bar. Plus, it movingly celebrates the most beautiful flag in the world.
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4
NDTV|Review by Saibal Chatterjee
Airlift is a film that every Indian, and every Bollywood buff despairing for genuinely high quality storytelling, must watch.
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4
Hindustan Times|Review by Anupama Chopra
Two things in Airlift will make your jaw drop. First, the story itself — in 1990, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, he made instant refugees of the approximately 1.7 lakh Indians who lived there. The second surprise is Akshay Kumar. This, I think, is his finest hour. There is little trace of the superstar swagger. Instead we get a man who is broken and vulnerable.
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3.5
Rediff.com|Review by Raja Sen
Films about genuinely unsung heroes are a fine thing, and Raja Krishna Menon's Airlift is a sincere effort to celebrate an insanely daunting task.
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3
IBN Live|Review by Rajeev Masand
Airlift, expectedly, rests on Akshay Kumar’s shoulders, and he underplays the heroism beautifully, bringing quiet but steely resolve to the character, even delivering the stray note of humor almost conversationally. There’s almost none of his starry baggage in this performance, which easily counts amongst his best.
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3.5
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