Airlift turns really special towards the end kindling the right patriotic feelings, without going overboard or manipulative. Akshay Kumar is best suited for such serious roles and he leads this operation as the negotiator, and also watching out for his people and their needs. He isn't someone who is naturally patriotic but turns so, due to the situation at hand, as beautifully explained by Nimrat Kaur (playing his wife) in one confrontation scene.
It is a delight to see a proven actress like Nimrat playing Akshay's wife and she shines in whichever scene that she gets, as she has gelled so well with the character. Akshay looks very smart in trim clothes and a well-groomed stubble. This has to be the best from Akki in a long time, and is a genuinely good addition to his filmography. He shows good restraint, purpose and intensity. The feeling of accomplishment on his face and the closing voice-over are big clinchers.
Prakash Belawadi as the forever cynical Malayali, George, who gets on people's nerves with his selfish actions, is another standout character in the film. We also have the terrific Kumud Mishra who plays a key role in the whole rescue operation as a government official in the Indian External Affairs ministry. He is the one who keeps checking up with Akshay on the scene in Kuwait.
Airlift comes across as a really well-made film on a grand scale. There are many junior artistes playing their parts, and the producers haven't spared any expense. Airlift does give you the feeling of seeing a good Hollywood war-political flick like Argo or Body of Lies or Zero Dark Thirty. The visuals and locations are authentic and involve us in the proceedings even more.
There is a peppy 'appetizer' number just before the film gets heavy, while the rest of the numbers are montage sequences integrated well into the film. The final song leaves us on an emotional high due to its poignant, patriotic mood. The overall tension and grip in the film are a big plus, and even in the emotional moments which don't offer thrilling action, the viewer is bound to be invested in the film.
With all the actors and the technical crew giving out their best, Airlift is a worthy product without a doubt. Director Raja Krishna Menon and his team have done extensive research on the source incidents and it reflects in the film. And it runs for just over 2 hours. One uplifting experience indeed !! Go watch it ..
Kaushik L M