'Airlift:' A dose of patriotism

Stories are at a premium for film scripts, so are the imaginative script writers and, if there are a few around, the makers are not willing to indulge them at premium. No wonder that more often than not, even our superstars fail to carry a film through.

In quest of new themes, some makers tried with scripts our people dream about; like bringing Dawood back (D-Day) or like assassinating a Pakistani terror outfit chief (Baby). However, these films did not really convince the film buffs; they were daydreams, after all.

Airlift, hence, is about a real life massive venture of safeguarding 1.7 lakh Indian expatriates in Kuwait when Iran invaded the country in 1990. Makers in search of real life stories have made films like Who Killed Jessica, Talvar, Manjhi, Pan Singh Tomar, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag etc may confuse the event with the last year’s airlifting/shipping Indians out of Middle East.

While all above named films have been dramatised for film adaptations, Airlift has taken such a liberty by combining the actions of four protagonists of this 1990 Kuwait operation into one hero in Akshay Kumar.

Akshay is a successful businessman in Kuwait living with his wife, Nimrat Kaur, and a daughter. He has taken to Kuwait and feels very much at home there; India no more means much to him. That is when his world turns topsy-turvy. The long running feud between Iraq and Kuwait climaxes into Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Initially, Akshay as well as other expats think it is another usual threat till they see Iraqi troops demolishing Kuwait and killing the locals at random.

Fortunately for Akshay and others, India is considered a friendly nation by Iraq and the troops have instructions not to harm Indians. Akshay senses the seriousness of the situation and decides to send away Nimrat and his daughter to England till things settle down. But, while driving through the city, he is captured by soldiers. His driver is shot dead. He is presented in front of the Iraqi army general. Again fortunately for Akshay, the general knows him from one of his trips to Iraq when he was in charge of Akshay’s security. He promises help for a consideration.

As Akshay visits his office, his staff members look at him expectantly and it soon dawns on him that only he and his family can’t run away leaving his people behind. He settles all his staffers and their families in the office premises and, to his surprise, soon discovers that those who have taken refuge in and around his office don’t all belong to his company.

The situation around makes him a changed man. From a hardcore, self-centred businessman, he has softened up into a caring person; he takes charge of the Indians who have taken shelter with him and plans on getting them out of Kuwait. His contacts are no use in such a situation, only dollar talk is understood.

Akshay’s efforts to involve the Indian embassies in Kuwait as well as Iraq fail. So do his attempts to involve the Indian government. The lethargic babus don’t want to take the responsibility while the ministers concerned are not even willing to face the one babu who shows concern and appeals on behalf of the 1.7 lakh Indians. But, it is because of that one babu’s persistence that the minister finally approves action.

Airlift may come as a new story to the audience who generally is exposed to little besides cross border terrorism. For them, the film is informative with the plus being this is a true account. But, that being the case, the film also has a documentary kind of effect, especially through its first part. Post interval, the film picks up pace as the evacuation drama unfolds and comes up with moments, which stir up patriotism in the viewer. Considering the dry subject, efforts are made to keep the script and narrative as tight and short as possible.

Direction is generally good sticking to ambience of the region. However, the Iraqi shoulders look shabby and un-Iraqi like. The film has a pleasant musical score and, considering the theme, all songs play in the background. Camera work is apt. Dialogue is sharp. Casting is perfect with Akshay being just the star to invoke patriotism. Nimrat does very well as do others.

Airlift caters mainly to the elite audience. Its opening is fair. The film, however, should pick up over the weekend with 26 January - Republic Day fervour adding to the patriotic quotient.

Producers: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Nikhil Advani

Director: Raja Krishna Menon

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Purab Kohli, Prakash Belawadi, Kumud Mishra, Avtar Gill

‘Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3:’ About being fools!

Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 is the third instalment of the Kyaa Kool… series from Balaji Motion Pictures, a sex comedy that has proved lucrative for the makers. The idea is titillation bordering on vulgarity.

Aftab Shivdasani and Tusshar Kapoor are best friends who are doing things together. Tusshar has a problem with colours, which affects his eyes. The pair usually goofs up and is rendered penniless as well as homeless.

A friend, Krishna Abhishek, throws them a lifeline and invites them to visit him in Bangkok where he makes porn films. His aides and stars are Claudia Ciesla, Gizele Thakral, Andy Kumar and Danny Sura. Tusshar and Aftab are offered to do porn films, which they are reluctant to do at first. But, they need money badly and that makes them change their minds.

There has to be something in the name of story to go on so, Tusshar falls in love with Mandana Karimi. Mandana’s father, Darshan Jariwala, however, wants to meet his daughter’s choice along with his family. Where would Tusshar get a family from? Easy! His porn star team comes to his aid. They all have to present themselves as a traditional sanskari family to Jariwala. This is where the film is expected to generate comic situations with its acting challenged cast, some of which has been imported from Bigg Boss show.

Hindi comedy is usually about gags stolen from here and there and slaps and lewd expressions aided by double meaning dialogue. This film tries to include all of that.

Uday Ghadge has directed a Marathi film earlier and assisted David Dhawan on a few films. Dhawan’s flair for comedy does not seem to have influenced him. The film is average in all aspects with even songs being of no help.

Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 will find some audience in youth and single screens.

Producers: Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor

Director: Uday Ghadge

Cast: Tusshar Kapoor, Aftab Shivdasani, Krishna Abhishek, Mandana Karimi, Darshan Jariwala, Gizele Thakral, Claudia Ciesla, Shakti Kapoor

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