Star Cast: Ajay Devgn, Amitabh Bachchan, Rakul Preet, Boman Irani, Angira Dhar, Aakanksha Singh, Ajey Nagar
Director: Ajay Devgn
What’s Good: Ajay Devgn’s fight to find that one right film to direct, an extremely natural presence of Rakul Preet
What’s Bad: A misdirected turn in the second half & all that follows post that
Loo Break: Anytime during the second half
Watch or Not?: Walkout during the interval & you won’t miss anything substantial
Available On: Theatrical Release
Runtime: 148 Minutes
Meet Vikrant Khanna (Ajay Devgn), a middle-aged extremely cocky pilot, who is in his late 30s but still bets for his friend’s swanky car on getting a chick by his side in Dubai’s pub. He parties the whole night, drinks and drives to reach home in the morning for flying a flight in the same evening. He keeps a Cigarette in his mouth in a non-smoking zone only to say “Jalaya toh nahi na” to people annoyed around him.
How do you show your character is arrogant? Make him walk to the airport donning goggles and earphones, ignoring the world around him and that’s how Vikrant meets his co-pilot Tanya Albuquerque (Rakul Preet). Vikrant along with Tanya takes off from Dubai for Cochin, because of a cyclone incoming (and his cockiness) he decides to land the flight in Trivandrum going against the co-pilot’s suggestion. He somehow lands the plane safely but lands himself in an investigation around his controversial decision. How would you get out of an investigation that’s led by Amitabh Bachchan? Well, that’s what the film is all about.
Runway 34 Movie Review: Script Analysis
Heavily inspired by Tom Hanks’ Sully and Denzel Washington’s Flight, Sandeep Kewlani & Aamil Keeyan Khan’s story takes off on a thrilling note. Barring the forced emotional backstories of a few passengers on the flight, the first half’s safe-landing aspect brings in a few electrifying sequences (one I loved the most is in which Rakul’s Tanya just freezes on knowing their landing is in a deadly danger). It’s the second half that causes turbulence in the narrative, the courtroom sequences which were supposed to be the lifeline of the story turn out to be extremely generic.
All the good ends really fast leaving everyone with Amitabh Bachchan confusing with his ‘shudh Hindi’ & arguments that aren’t as smartly penned as Pink, Badla, Section 375 or Mulk. Aseem Bajaj’s camerawork is extensively used in the first half (owing to a poor story structure) where he does some cool tricks leading to the landing sequence. The structure made me wonder, why didn’t they mix up the court sequences along with the flight scenes to keep a proper balance? Why show your cards so soon, to fold up losing?
Runway 34 Movie Review: Star Performance
Ajay Devgn as a director lets down Ajay as an actor because somewhere between doing both, he spoils the actor in him. Getting an extremely uni-dimensional character, there’s nothing much Ajay’s Vikrant does throughout the film apart from being cocky. The emotions come across as forced due to poor writing.
Amitabh Bachchan comes in the second half to continue doing something very similar like Badla (and even Pink to some extent). You get the usual package of baritone-heavy dialogues in ‘shudh Hindi’, but we all have seen a better version of the same before. Rakul Preet remains to be the most humane character among everyone else. Though her character doesn’t have any say in changing the narrative, she compensates by acting really good in whatever she gets.
Boman Irani, Angira Dhar, and Aakanksha Singh are wasted. And what the FU*K is even Carry doing here? Being a fan of Ajey Nagar‘s previous work, this is an abomination for me to watch. The idea of making him look exactly the same off-screen, as he’s in front of the camera just doesn’t work. He mouths dialogues just as he does in his videos, but that doesn’t work at any level. If he’s thinking this would up his image, it won’t!
Runway 34 Movie Review: Direction, Music
Crazy respect for Ajay Devgn to keep attempting his hand at directing films, it’s just he isn’t getting the right direction as of now. One day, he could definitely create a masterpiece but today’s not that day. Sully, a way superior product, had the tension during landing because of the surface Tom’s character had to land flight on, water. But, here, the heavy rains as an obstruction, didn’t bring in a similar impact or jitters because we all had an idea of how the pilot is going to land the flight safely. This dislodges Ajay‘s direction making it look average at the best.
This has just one song sung by Jasleen Royal and it’s the best thing about this film for me. The timing of ‘The Fall Song’ makes it sound so heavenly, major credit goes to Jasleen Royal though.
Runway 34 Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Runway 34 could’ve been a runaway success if not for falling into the trap of getting inspired by other films. It could’ve been way better if it ended in the interval.
Two and a half stars!
Runway 34 Trailer
Runway 34 releases on 29 April, 2020.
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