Back in time when Liam Neeson wasn't playing an assassin or saving his kidnapped kin, he featured as a central protagonist in Steven Spielberg's Oscar winning drama Schindler's List (1993). Now more than a couple of decades down the line, Akshay Kumar is playing a similar part in a similar setting for the film Airlift.
"The similarity between the two films is too uncanny," comments an observer, "In Schindler's List, Neeson played an influential German businessman Oskar Schindler who saved several Jews from being killed by the Nazis, by pooling in his own resources down to the last penny. Now in Airlift, Akshay is playing a ruthless businessman Ranjit Katyal who takes it upon him to rescue 1,70,000 Indians from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait by putting everything of his own on stake."
Incidentally, while Oskar Schindler was a real life character, Ranjit Katyal too is based on four real life characters, who have been combined into one.
"Both films have a war setting to them and are an emotional drama at the core of it all," the observer adds, "Those who have seen Schindler's List would remember that it was a moving affair that resulted in Liam Neeson delivering an award winning performance. Also, the film fetched Steven Spielberg a couple of Oscars (Best Director, Best Picture)."
When contacted, Vikram Malhotra - ?Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Abundantia, said, "Well, for starters, it is indeed flattering to be even talked about in the same breath as Schindler's List. Yes, it was a brilliant movie and if you actually compare Airlift with that, then the common element is of course that of the triumph of human spirit. Both films deal with evacuation and Airlift does leave a major impression."
Schindler's List also starred Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes in notable roles who came up with remarkable performances as well. Now Airlift has reliable actors like Prakash Belawadi, Purab Kohli and Kumud Mishra in key parts, and one waits to see if third time director Raja Menon has come up with an award winning affair too.
"Well, that is something which would be known a couple of months from now but what is pretty much apparent for now is that just like Schindler's List, even Airlift is a no-nonsense affair," an industry insider comments, "There isn't anything frivolous around this heart wrenching drama that managed to find an entry into the record books. Akshay has delivered a performance of a lifetime in the film. Just like Liam Neeson's part in the Spielberg drama, you would find a strong human touch in Akshay's act as well. It is one of his most sensitive acts ever and he has surpassed himself."
Well, we would like to see that for real now.