Review: Raja Krishna Menon’s Airlift

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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. In 1990, during the Persian Gulf War, over 170,000 Indians were stranded in Kuwait when it was attacked by Iraq, and a few local businessmen and Indian diplomats took on the valiant, significantly uphill task of bringing those people home. The number itself is staggering — necessitating nearly 500 aeroplanes full of people — and Airlift, for the most part, delivers this action with efficiency and a relative lack of exaggerated drama.

The situation itself is patently absurd, with armoured tanks rolling onto city streets in Kuwait one loud night, and Menon does well to keep things reined in more than most Bollywood filmmakers would. Akshay Kumar plays a profit-hungry businessman, a man who disapproves of Hindi film music and would rather listen to Arabic…

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