170,000 refugees. 488 flights. 59 days. 1 man.
Airlift is the story of the maybe biggest evacuation in modern history, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, and 170,000 Indians were involuntarily caught in the middle of a slaughter. Unlike the Kuwaitians they were left alive, but also left with nowhere to go, and what starts as a simple escape plan for Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar) and his family, ends with a coordinated escape for pretty much the entire Indian population in Kuwait.
It's an inspiring movie, and Akshay is the perfect leader, charismatic and familiar. The scenes of war are devastating - the streets soon desolate and trashed, and the dystopian city scenes are layered with scenes of winding desert roads that slither around billowing dunes of sand in a land devoid of life, yet full of beauty.
The filming is stylish, the fights empowering, and there's a few light-hearted dance breaks (wouldn't be a Bollywood movie if there wasn't!) along with the more somber scenes. Characters like George (the one who always complains) might be cliché, but he's the perfect excuse for both an inspiring speech and the overhanging threat of potential rebellion. It wouldn't be the same without him.
The fact that all of this is based on a real story only makes it better, and I'm glad Akshay was the solo popularization of what was actually two people: Mr. Mathunny Mathews, and another man who... was mentioned by name in the movie credits but apparently is barely mentioned anywhere else! Who was this mystery mention? Well, either way, Akshay combines the two and turns it all into an inspiring movie.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle