Ajay Devgn’s aviation drama lands well on the runway

NARRATIVE: Captain Vikrant and First Officer Tanya Alburqurquee find themselves pissed off in an investigation following a Mayday call before landing a plane in test conditions. Do the pilots properly justify their actions and return to the cockpit?

REVIEW: Runway 34 is loosely based on the story of the narrow escape a flight from Doha to Kochi had a few years ago due to unclear visibility and poor weather conditions. Captain Vikrant Khanna (Ajay Devgn, also director and producer here) is a top-flight pilot who is confident and arrogant at the limit of his abilities, especially in handling turbulence and seizures at 35,000 feet above sea level. from the sea. He works in an airline company.

On what begins as a routine trip from Dubai to Cochin, he encounters scorching weather. Well against the suggestions of his first officer Tanya Alburqurque (Rakul Preet Singh), not only does he change the alternate destination of the flight, but he ends up sending the message ‘May Day’ just before the flight lands, inches away of an accident. The course of the investigation into the matter forms a considerable part of the narrative.

Even though there are precedents for similar drama films like Sully and Flight in Hollywood, director Ajay Devgn is a first in many ways for Hindi cinema, and a clear and pleasant departure from his previous attempts at directing the megaphone. . His growth as a storyteller is hard to miss. State-of-the-art visual treatment of narrative, crisp story (Sandeep Kewlani) and screenplay (Sandeep and Aamil Keeyan Khan) with no undue romantic and dramatic digressions or interludes, clever use of visual effects, thrilling moments that lead to closure of the first half, the film’s sound and production design are just a few of the film’s indisputable positives.

Even though its runtime is around two hours and 28 minutes, it doesn’t feel that long and commits to both the thrill and drama departments in equal measures. The performances of Amitabh Bachchan, Boman Irani and Ajay are well composed and in tune with their characters. The story’s intercut music also lends itself well to the unfolding.

However, there could have been more drama and layering in the trial-led second half. For starters, while the script continues to closely examine whether it was the weather or the pilot’s mental space that led to the “MayDay” call, it misses addressing a few crucial questions. One of them, for example, is why the pilot chose not to divert to the designated alternate destination of the flight despite prompting from his co-pilot? And why was this angle not pushed enough in a closed trial?

Smaller supporting characters like the aviation journalist, the furious businessman, and the guy who records videos on his phone during the flight felt like they would have more purpose in the trial games. Unfortunately, they didn’t. Moreover, although Boman Irani makes his presence felt, he doesn’t have much room to manoeuvre. Rakul, plays his part with all honesty, finding the right balance between a range of emotions but we would have liked to see his role a little more engraved. Angira Dhar and Aakanksha Singh could have settled for bigger roles to play and contributed more to the narrative as well.

However, Runway 34 should be experienced for how it depicts one of the scariest and most disastrous accidents in aviation in recent times with endearing characters, thrills and drama. While there have been movies shot in big and small chunks inside airplanes, this one plays wonderfully on the audience’s psyche by showing them exactly what can go wrong if time doesn’t allow it. landing a flight and when decisions have to be made against a clock. Overall, the movie doesn’t spend too much time rolling on the track; it takes off quickly and keeps you in suspense until you disembark from the aisles of the theater.