Runway 34 REVIEW: Ajay Devgn directorial venture is visually extraordinary as it takes you on a turbulent airplane journey

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Film: Runway 34

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Amitabh Bachchan, Rakul Preet Singh, Aakanksha Singh, Boman Irani, Angira Dhar

Director: Ajay Devgn

Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3.5 stars

 

 

 

Other than hijack, the other thing you would never want to dream about is a turbulent aeroplane journey. There are a lot of stressful situations that come along with flying in planes but the one that puts your life at stake is the quite a nightmare. There are plenty of movies on aircraft which revolve around heroic pilots or a rampage of killer reptiles, among some of the scariest, funniest, and most memorable in cinema history. Movies like Mayday, Sully and many more have already given us an idea of a doomed flight and then comes Runway 34 which is gritty and gripping. There’s a fine line between right and wrong and Runway 34 tries to explore the matter in between. Ajay Devgn’s directorial venture is a cinematic piece and visually extraordinary. However, this is definitely not the film to watch when you’re actually on a flight. Continue to read Runway 34 movie review here.

Story: 

Inspired by true events, Captain Vikrant Khanna is one of the most skilled pilots who is appointed to fly the Skyline 777 flight from Dubai Doha to Cochin, Kerala. As he and his pilot (Rakul Preet Singh) start the journey, they come across a cyclone in Cochin because of which they are unable to land the flight. Due to low visibility and heavy rain, the plane hovered over Cochin for some time before crash landing. Later, the pilot decided to divert to Trivandrum, where they realised the weather is the same. The captain of the aircraft informed the Air Traffic Control (ATC) that the fuel levels were running low and he should be permitted to attempt landings despite the low visibility. The pilot tried to land on a different runway but failed to do so. By the time fuel level dropped to alarming levels, the pilot attempts to land almost blindly at the other end of runway 34. In between, he made a May Day call (an international radio distress signal used by ships and aircraft) while the passengers are praying to be free from this torment. However, the pilot managed to land the aircraft without any hitch, but the incident attracted a lot of attention. After saving 150 passengers from a turbulent aeroplane journey, Captain finds himself in the hot water when an elaborate enquiry session was held against him by Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) which investigates aircraft accidents and incidents in India. The enquiry session was held by one of the finest investigators Narayan Vedant (Amitabh Bachchan) who collects all the evidence and looks closely at the case, to prove that it was the pilot’s fault for the mishap that happened on August 17, 2015. But will Narayan prove the captain wrong? Is the captain guilty? Will Narayan unfold the truth as it is hidden 35,000 feet above ground level? Will he be declared a saviour or a culprit? Well, that is something one needs to find out in Runway 34.

 

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Star performances: 

Ajay Devgn as Captain Vikrant Khanna is calm and composed but has an edgy and risky side. He is a man of risk, a man with a photographic memory and has a lot of confidence in his skills. He is so confident about his aviation skills that he can fly a plane with his eyes shut. He abides by the rules and his sole motive is passengers’ safety. When it comes to facing the problems or in this case, turbulence, Vikrant will stick till the end. He calculates his every move and thinks rationally. Ajay as Vikrant is remarkable. We have seen the feisty side of him in movies like Singham or his comical side in Golmaal but in this one, he will impress you with his calmness. He plays the role with extreme ease and calm. It seems like Vikrant Khanna’s role was tailor-made for him.

Amitabh Bachchan as Narayan Vedant is sharp, keenly observant, and inspects minute details. His character is introduced in the second half of the movie where he puts the Captain in a tough spot after the incident. His intense gaze, his style and his baritone heavy voice are so intimidating that he will surely keep you focused. Being an investigator, he puts everything under the scanner which is quite intriguing. You will see some similarities between Big B’s character in Badla and Runway 34 but one cannot deny how effortlessly smooth and convincing he looked as an investigator.

Rakul Preet Singh as Tanya Albuquerque shines throughout with the two stalwart actors starring opposite her. She plays her part as the co-pilot with utmost conviction. Her character is naive and vulnerable but is very true. Rakul does full justice to bring out those emotions. 

The supporting cast like Boman Irani as Mr Suri, Angira Dhar as Radhika Roy and Aakanksha Singh as Samaira, the wife of Vikrant Khanna have done a wonderful job. They looked extremely convincing and true to their parts. A special mention to YouTuber Ajey Nagar who makes his debut (sort of) in Runway 34 plays himself, Carry Minati in the movie. He doesn’t really offer anything substantial to the movie apart from his one video.  

Direction/Screenplay: The first half of the film takes you on a roller coaster ride, actually a turbulent ride. Without wasting any time and adding unnecessary drama, Runway 34 comes straight to the point. I loved how the entire first half takes us through the highs and lows of the incident. It is well-edited as well as directed, maintaining the theme of the film. The first half will keep you on the edge of your seat and will only make you wonder if the captain will make it through. Not once did I lose interest because the impact was quite hitting. Whereas the second half had all the courtroom drama. Though it was quite engaging, in some parts it seems a little drag. It seemed like the writer wanted to show the story through an aviation journalist and a YouTuber’s point of view which looked quite out of place. 

Conclusion:

Runway 34 takes us through the highs and lows of Captain Vikrant Khanna’s heroic movement. Overall, it is a film that is best to be consumed in the theatre as one will understand the impact of the turbulence. We will be going with 3.5 stars, though we loved the exhilarating ride of a damned flight, Runway 34 has a few glitches which are quite off-putting.

Also read: Akshay Kumar heaps praise on Ajay Devgn, Amitabh Bachchan starrer Runway 34: Mazaa aa gaya