Movie: ‘Runway 34’ (Showing in theatres)
Duration: 148 minutes
Director: Ajay Devgn
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Rakul Preet Singh, Abhinay Raj Singh, Boman Irani, Sharik Khan, Aakanksha Singh, Angira Dhar
Ratings: 4 stars out of 5
‘Runway 34,’ directed by Ajay Devgn, is based on a true story and is evocative of the English film ‘Sully: Miracle on the Hudson,’ which was released in 2016. However, it is distinct and proves to be a gripping drama centred on Captain Vikrant Khanna’s flight from Dubai to Cochin on a rainy night, and how the skilled and experienced pilot saves 150 lives by preventing an impending aviation disaster with his maturity and foresight, landing in Trivandrum instead, with limited fuel.
The film is a gripping thriller that will have you glued to your seat from start to finish. The flying images depicting the terrified passengers’ terror and anxiety are real and palpable. The external flight shots of the plane flying through thunder and rain are also well-done and realistic. The plane’s last landing in extreme turbulence seems terrifyingly plausible.
While the passengers and media hail him as a hero, Captain Vikrant Khanna faces a thorough investigation into his decision to land in Trivandrum rather than Bengaluru, as well as his choice of Runway 34 over the preferred Runway 16.
The second half of the film is similarly interesting, with Amitabh Bachchan’s appearance as Narayan Vedant, the Investigating Officer, however it is more of a courtroom drama with the investigation committee and the pilots being probed.
The essence of this aviation drama is how Captain Vikrant Khanna manages to hold his own against Narayan Vedant, convincing him of his acute memory and flying talents through a simulated flight, hence defending his actions and decisions.
Captain Vikrant Khanna, played by Ajay Devgan, is dashing and accomplished, and he portrays his character with restraint and few reactions. He expresses a wide range of emotions through his eyes. Ajay Devgn is that pilot, an astute pilot who prioritises the safety of his passengers over all else, a family man with a playful side to his personality.
With his immaculate oratorical talents and magnetism, Amitabh Bachchan as Narayan Vedant takes centre stage and towers over everyone else in the inquiry sequences. He is, as usual, a joy to see.
Given the limited scope of her character, Rakul Preet Singh as Co-pilot Tania Albuquerque delivers exactly what is required of her. The scene where she is terrified because of the bad weather and believes it is all over is a little out of character for a pilot.
Mr. Suri, the owner of Skyline Aviation, is played by Boman Irani, who is trustworthy.
Although the drama quotient is fairly strong, the plot is told in a linear fashion and is fairly clear with no element of mystery or surprising turns.
The DGCA authorities’ investigation and the breath analyzer tests, in particular, appear to be hasty and unconvincing.
The background music is very excellent in the scene as Captain Vikrant Khanna departs from the airport following his heroic deed.
‘Runway 34’ is an intriguing picture that has a wonderful blend of drama and strong acting.
Aryan Jakhar works as an Editor-in-Chief at The Shining Media. Also, he is an editor at YouthPolitician (digital media situated in Taiwan). He writes his opinions on social issues at YouthKiAwaaz and also on his blogger website.