Two things about the film Airlift surprised Anupama Chopra the most—the story itself and Akshay Kumar.
In 1990, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, about 1,70,000 Indians living there suddenly found themselves in peril. Homes, businesses, properties evaporated, and once wealthy expatriates struggled to survive in a war zone. A few good men engineered an escape and the Indian Government had all the refugees airlifted back home.
But, somehow this largest civilian evacuation in the world became a footnote in the film instead of being its headline.
Despite other flaws in the movie, Chopra is impressed with Akshay Kumar for having little trace of the superstar swagger. He plays a hero who feels fear, desperation and helplessness, and even in the action scenes he does not posturise, but reacts realistically when he's beaten up.
"If nothing else, watch it to see what Akshay Kumar can do. After all these years, he's proved himself to be a real khiladi," said Chopra.