Akshay Kumar’s upcoming Bollywood film ‘Airlift’ is based on the biggest evacuation of Indians, when Saddam Hussein led Iraq invaded Kuwait. It’s still considered to be the biggest human evacuation in the world.
What’s the Movie About
The movie Airlift is an edge-of-the-seat-thriller, and is based on true events. Its based on the heroic story of Ranjit Katyal (played by Akshay Kumar), a wealthy and powerful Indian businessman in Kuwait, who was instrumental in saving the lives of 1,70,000 Indians while they were stranded in Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion (led by Saddam Hussein).
The movie struck a chord with all those Indians who are settled abroad, especially in Middle East. Lots of good dialogues, especially the line: “Aadmi ki fitrat aisi hai jab chot lagti hai toh maa maa hi chillata hai”
Where was the Movie Shot?
Although the movie is based on the events in Kuwait, the movie was reportedly shot in Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates (made to depict Kuwait during the 1990s), whereas the second schedule of the film will be shot in Rajasthan, India.
Airlift Movie Reviews
Here are the top reviews for the movie ‘Airlift’ from the top critics/newspaper available online.
Ratings:3.5/5, Review By:Rajeev Masand, Site:CNN IBN
Based on the largely forgotten real-life incident that involved the evacuation of 1,70,000 Indians stuck in Kuwait, Airlift is the inspiring story of an ordinary man who turns into a hero when faced with extraordinary circumstances.I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five for Airlift. The occasional speed bumps aside, there are many moments that soar. Raja Menon turns an important story into a compelling film. Don’t miss it.
Ratings:– Review By:Taran Adarsh Site:Twitter
Some stories *should* be told. #Airlift sheds light on the evacuation of Indians in Kuwait after the invasion by Iraq. Narrated BRILLIANTLY.Airlift is taut, engrossing, leaves a hammer-strong impact. Akshay Kumar is OUTSTANDING. His performance is the soul of #Airlift. An award-worthy act. Ranks easily amongst his finest works.Airlift is a must must watch. One of the finest films to come out of the Hindi film industry. Just do not miss this one!
Ratings:4/5 Review By:Srijana Das Site:TOI
So, Airlift has one of Akshay Kumar’s best performances – along with other sterling acts. Yet, 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.
Ratings:– Review By:Komal Nahta Site:Zee ETC Bollywood Business
On the whole, Airlift is an entertaining film which will be liked by the classes and family audiences. That it tackles a subject not many are aware of is a major plus point because that keeps the audience’s interest alive from the start till the end. It has emotional and patriotic value and will, therefore, prove to be a plus fare for its producers and a safe bet/earning proposal for its various distributors.
Ratings:3/5 Review By:Raja Sen Site:Rediff
Airlift is compelling, thanks largely to a sterling performance from Akshay Kumar — who is both suitably weary and suitably level-headed for the part — enough to anchor the proceedings.The problem with Airlift, however, cinematically speaking, is that its protagonist, while messianic, might be reined in too far: There is not much Kumar has to do besides have faith and talk to people; there is no audacious plan, there is no stroke of genius — it’s all just hope and humanity. That sounds noble enough, but it makes things less interesting cinematically — compared, say, to the madly elaborate schemes carried out in Ben Affleck’s Argo.
Ratings:4/5 Review By:Saibal Chaterjee Site:NDTV
His recreation of the harrowing events leading up to one of the most glorious chapters in Indian civil aviation history is marked by moderation and a keen sense of balance. Menon steers clear of the traps in his way while delivering a sharply written, gripping thriller that rarely, if ever, flags.Airlift is a film that every Indian, and every Bollywood buff despairing for genuinely high quality storytelling, must watch.
Why did Iraq Invade kuwait?
Because of the long-drawn Iraq & Iran conflict, Iraq was in huge debt of the US. To lessen that burden, Iraq pressurized Kuwait to reduce oil production (to create a scarcity of oil) which would have led to increasing oil prices, thereby helping Iraq raise more money.
Iraq was hoping that Kuwait would oblige, but Kuwait refused, which made Saddam Hussein furious and Iraq attacked Kuwait. On August 2nd 1990, Iraqi army invaded Kuwait and took over the city within a few hours.
The Kuwaiti royal family escaped to Saudi Arabia, leaving the country at the mercy of the Iraqi army. The city was looted and the general population had to suffer great tragedies in the hands of the Iraqi army.
The 170,000 Indians in Kuwait had suddenly become moneyless and homeless, but more importantly their lives were at risk.
But thanks to Ranjit Katyal, who, with the help of the Indian government, safely evacuated around 170,000 Indians back to India (this heroic evacuation that also won a Guinness World Record for India).
Kuwait today is one of the most advanced countries in the Arabian Peninsula and almost a perfect example of a modern Arab democracy, with several notable achievements in business and trade.
Bollywood Actors Who Learnt to Speak Arabic
For this movie, our Khiladi Bhaiya ‘Akshay Kumar’ learnt to speak Arabic.
In his forthcoming movie ‘Airlift’, Akshay Kumar portrays the role of Indian-Arab billionaire ‘Ranjit Katyal’. To make his role seem more realistic, Akshay learnt the nuances of the Arabic language, as for certain sequences, the actor was required to speak in Arabic. The Khiladi actor has been undergoing diction classes for the same.
Director Raja Krishna Menon says, “Arabic dialogues weren’t mandatory because a lot is conveyed through body language in the film. But we have used it in places where it was the demand of the script. For instance, Akshay has a few scenes where we’ve added subtitles. We didn’t want to compromise on the film’s authenticity.”
Arabic is spoken by over 200 million people in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East, and in several other countries it is an official, albeit not universally spoken, language.
When it comes to learning Arabic, or any other language for that matter, you have to break it into its component parts, so that you can form simple/small sentences in Arabic!