Onto the final release of the weekend and I finished watching Runway 34 directed by Ajay Devgn. This might be an unpopular opinion but I find Ajay Devgn the director quite underrated. I had thoroughly enjoyed his craft in You Me Aur Hum and even in Shivaay which was a bit of a mixed bag but there were some breathtaking moments which would stand out. Currently in the news for not the right reasons, this review of mine is completely based on the film irrespective of his remarks. Its trailer seemed to be very interesting although it did give a feel of the Hollywood films Flight and Sully. On reading a bit about the film, I got to know that it was based on a true incident which had happened in 2015 in Trivandrum. So this cannot be termed as a copy or a remake although the basic premise maybe similar. That said, does Runway 34 manage to impress, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Loosely based on true events, Runway 34 follows the story of the investigation of the mysterious landing of a flight. Is there something more that meets the eye? The story is refreshing considering that such a subject has not been attempted in Bollywood prior to this. Although, the basic premise is similar to the English films Flight and Sully, this story stands on its own two feet. The screenplay is engaging for most parts. After a quick introduction of the protagonist, the excitement begins when the actual flight journey begins. There are some genuinely tense moments which will keep you hooked and booked. The entire extended sequence of a flight caught in the eye of a storm just seemed so authentic and real that it would make anyone stand up and take notice. In other words, it is a nail biting sequence till the half way mark.
The issue begins in the second hour which is consistently watchable but considerably slowed down too so much so that it seemed to be slightly lethargic and exhaustive. The entire court sequence lacked that bite which would have you invested throughout. I feel this is where films like Sully excelled because they opted for a non linear screenplay which would never give you the entire picture. But it would do just enough to keep your interests in check. While here all the nail biting moments were reserved in the first hour, the second hour just ran a bit dry. The thing which held my attention in the second hour and something which would also reflect in my overall rating was the performance of Mr. Bachchan which I will get to in a bit. The film gathers steam in the final act wrapping up a screenplay that deserves credit for attempting to stand out from the regular stuff.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are smartly penned and they leave the desired impact. The music is good although not memorable. The BGM is pretty good and keeps you invested for most parts. The film is technically very superior with great production designs and VFX which would really make for a great viewing. Director Ajay Devgn has definitely got the craft and he ensures that he delivers well here. His direction was pretty impressive particularly in the first hour although slightly under baked in the second hour, but overall a good job done.
The performances are pretty good. Carryminati playing himself really was a good addition here. Boman Irani is pretty good here. Angira Dhar as Radhika is fiery despite a limited screen time and she makes her presence felt. Aakanksha Singh as Samaira is well restrained and does a pretty good job. Rakul Preet Singh as Tanya is excellent here and she portrays a range of emotions while being well within herself. Amitabh Bachchan as Narayan is exceptional and it was amazing to watch him miraculously hold things together almost single handedly in the second hour when the writing wasn’t sharp enough and things were beginning to fall apart. Ajay Devgn as Captain Vikrant Khanna does a great job particularly in the first hour although the face off in the second hour could have had a little more impact.
Runway 34 is a refreshing concept with some good performances that make for a good watch. Available in a theatre near you.