Superstar Akshay Kumar starrer Airlift box office collections rose inexorably past the Rs 100 crore mark in India and its take is currently logged at Rs 122.65 crore – the film is still running in some cinemas. In this report, we take a look at some of the points that went in Airlift’s favour that really drove the masses to come and watch it in droves. Before that, take a look at some of the highlights of Airlift box office collections:
Airlift released on 22nd January, 2016 and its day 1 box office collections were good at Rs 12.35 crore as it released on a working Friday, rather than a holiday that most top cinema stars target. Airlift opening weekend collection (for the 3-day period of Friday, Saturday and Sunday) was a big Rs 44.30 crore and it almost doubled that to Rs 83.50 crore by the end of week 1. Indeed, the journey was quite a profitable one for all concerned, especially Akshay Kumar as he reportedly walked away with a Rs 50 crore personal profit.
The reasons why Airlift was such a success had to do with a number of things done right by Akshay Kumar and the filmmakers and not just one. The whole thing added up to a super-hit formula. The best part about the movie was that Akshay Kumar has delivered arguably, one of his career’s best performance in Airlift. He clearly lifts the film to a new level. He maps perfectly the transformation from a man who lived for himself to a man possessed with ensuring the survival and well-being of his fellow countrymen in a foreign land – it is marvellous to watch. The scene where he communicates helpless guilt through vacuous eyes to the wife of an employee who has been murdered in the mayhem is simply brilliant. There are many other such scenes where Akshay Kumar powers the film to a higher, more absorbing, plane as an actor.
The other cast members in Airlift too pitch in admirably too. Nimrat Kaur essays the role of a disgruntled wife who comes closer to her husband in the moment of crisis. Nimrat is fabulous in the confrontation sequence when she shuts up a cantankerous man (Prakash Belawadi) at a crucial juncture in the film. Belawadi as the irritating refugee is very convincing and noteworthy. Purab Kohli as Ibrahim Durrani, the right hand man of Akshay Kumar is first rate. Kumud Mishra as the Babu in External Affairs ministry brings in a laid back charm.
The background score of Airlift is a ‘character’ in itself and pulls the strings of the viewers’ emotions effectively. Amongst the songs, ‘Tu Bhoola Jise’ (composed by Amaal Malik and sung by KK) is an exceptional song that instills a unique wave of patriotism within viewers. Kumaar’s lyrics are truly moving. As ‘Vande Mataram’ rises to a crescendo, a sense of catharsis sets in. ‘Soch Na Sake’ (composed by Amaal Malik and sung by Arijit Singh) is another song that comes at a crucial time and thankfully only half of it is used that ensures that the effect of the moment isn’t diluted.
Writer-Director Raja Krishna Menon’s relatives were part of the Kuwait crisis. It must have been a story very close to his heart for he has poured his all in the project. His direction leaves strong impact. Raja Menon is a director to watch out for. Suresh Nair, Rahul Nangia, Ritesh Shah along with Menon share the writing credits. Screenplay is gripping. There are hardly any false notes. Dialogues are well written. At several junctures you get funny stuff like ‘Reti mein kheti karoon kya’ and many others.
Last, but not least, Airlift released on 22nd January at a crucial time ahead of the Republic Day, which with parades and flypasts drive patriotic fervour to the zenith in this period. Akshay Kumar thereby managed to corner big amounts during the first 3 days and then reaped a windfall on 26th January too (it fell on Tuesday)! As such, the film’s collections gained tremendous traction right through the first 5 days of release and carried that momentum into the next weekend. That there was no significant release next Friday on 29th January also meant more people came to watch Airlift. In effect, Akshay Kumar orchetsrated an extraordinary run for Airlift whose box office collections reflect that adequately.