In his only appearance on Karan Johar’s popular chat show superstar Salman Khan had admitted quite frankly that Akshay Kumar is the only actor in Bollywood who has grown in all these years as a performer. Akki has really excelled at keeping the much-needed balance between commerce and creativity. For someone who entered the industry based purely on his ability to deliver punches and kicks, Kumar has come a long way. Today, he is known for his remarkable performances, his superb comic timing and his tremendous strength to keep the cash register clinking.It would be interesting to note that for every Brothers he does Baby and for every mindless masala endeavor like Singh Is Bling he does Special 26. ALSO READ: Airlift music review: This Akshay Kumar starrer presents an interesting musical treat! Also Read - Bipasha Basu, Ranbir Kapoor, Srishty Rode, Urvashi Rautela, Akshay Kumar Spotted by Paps

Clearly, the man knows that certain movies he must do to keep the trappings of super-stardom (as indeed the riches, the lifestyle and the mass appeal) intact. Then again, he compensates for not so-appealing productions in his kitty with the kind of cinema he chooses to do to excel at the craft. Kumar’s new movie Airlift and the performance he has delivered in it falls in the second category. Also Read - Kiara Advani Wears a Gharara Set Worth Rs 98,000 by Designer Arpita Mehta For Laxmmi Bomb Promotions - Yay or Nay?

By now we all know that Airlift is based on the largest human evacuation carried out ever (during the 1990 Iraq-Kuwait war). The movie highlights the plight of 1,70,00 Indians trapped in Gulf, and how one individual carries the responsibility on his mighty shoulders to save lives and to ensure that people from his country are transported back to their homeland. Akshay Kumar plays Ranjit Katyal, a celebrity business tycoon of sorts. He is stylish but shrewd. He is so successful that everyone wants a piece of his influence and charisma. Also Read - Laxxmi Bomb's Burj Khalifa Song Out: Akshay Kumar, Kiara Advani Romance in Dessert, Fans Call it 'Chartbuster Hit'

Living with his wife (Nimrat Kaur) and daughter, Katyal is enjoying the riches and the lifestyle that comes from being enviably successful in Gulf. Life takes a dramatic twist when Iraqi forces invade Kuwait. They destroy everything that comes in their way and gun down every individual who opposes them. Director Raja Krishna Menon portrays the first half of the film quite grippingly as he shows the brutality that comes with invasions. Menon also portrays frailties and subtleties of relationships deftly. ALSO READ: Airlift song Tu Bhoola Jise: Akshay Kumar’s latest song will stir up the patriotism within you

The film has its heart at the right place. Menon shows the transition in Akki’s character quite convincingly. When the crisis strikes, the mean businessman gets transformed into a magnanimous, caring and courageous soul who would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the fellow Indians reach home safely. Even when Katyal gets a chance to sneak out of the life- threatening situation, he decides to stay back with his family for he cares for the safety of others.

There are scenes mounted beautifully that will push all the right buttons. You can’t help but feel for those who got trapped in Kuwait on that fateful day of August 2, 1990. The heart-wrenching drama unfolds with many twists and turns that will keep you hooked to the seat. It surely leaves you moist-eyed and your heart goes out for the helplessness of the victims, but you also enjoy the moment of triumph as raw emotions get displayed and the strength of togetherness as indeed the core moral values come to the surface.

As for the performances, Akshay delivers yet another superlative performance with honesty. Watch his body language suiting (and shifting as per) the situations—from vulnerability to being in the seat of power to being sensitive and caring, Kumar displays it all. The Lunchbox famed actor Nimrat Kaur stands out with her act. Purab Kohli deserves a special mention for his portrayal of Ibrahim creates an impact.

Rating: 3 stars