Runway 34 Review: Ajay Devgn’s Film Takes Off Well But Gets Shaky Down the Road

Runway 34, a Hindi film starring Ajay Devgn, Amitabh Bachchan, Rakul Preet, Boman Irani and others, is now out in theatres. Directed by Ajay, the story is penned by Sandeep Kewlani and Aamil Keeyan Khan. The film is based on the true story of Jet Airways Doha to Kochi flight 9W 555, a Boeing 737–800 aircraft that narrowly missed landing at Cochin International Airport on August 18, 2015, due to terrible weather and poor visibility.

Runway 34 Review: Plot Summary

In Runway 34, we meet Captain Vikrant Khanna (Ajay Devgn), a pilot who has a photographic memory but he is also smug. Vikrant has to fly from Dubai to Kochi but he parties and drinks a lot the previous night. The next day, Vikrant and his co-pilot Tanya Alburquerque (Rakul Preet), fly 150 passengers from Dubai to Cochin. As the plane takes off, Vikrant is more pompous towards his co-pilot. You wonder, are we supposed to like the character?

Due to the stormy and rainy weather at Cochin, the pilots have to turn around and land at another airport. Vikrant decides the landing destination should be Trivandrum, without thinking that it won’t be that far and would also have similar weather. The pilots somehow land the plane and save the passengers. But the authorities question their decision to land the plane in Trivandrum and on Runway 34? That’s the first half.

The second half consists of the court drama as Amitabh Bachchan’s Narayan Vedant conducts the investigation. Narayan is a strict and highly professional man who can’t stand any error. So knowing what Vikrant and Tanya did with their landing stunt, he definitely has a lot to ask. The courtroom drama goes on for the entire second half, where Vikrant Khanna forgets his cockiness for some time. There’s more than what meets the eyes, and Runway 34 has attempted to tell us the same.

Runway 34 Review: Discussion

The first half of Runway 34 is highly intriguing and builds great tension. The plane sequence is shot well with good VFX that leaves you worried about what you see on the screen. The passengers’ behaviour, panic, rude passengers’ attitude toward the cabin crew and the pilots’ state of mind are captured well. The tonality is intense throughout and works well to captivate your attention.

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The second half starts quite well, but Bachchan’s character somewhat bothers you. Narayan Vedant uses pure Hindi in his sentences to add a’ humour’ factor. It takes away the story’s seriousness that was maintained in the first half. We’ve seen Amitabh Bachchan in a courtroom drama before, and his performance has been compelling. But in Runway 34, even Big B’s character appeared a bit egotistical and not funny (if that was the intention).

After some time, the second half fails to keep us intrigued till the end. It could’ve been crispier, shorter and followed the same intensity. Ajay Devgn and Amitabh Bachchan are phenomenal actors, and they give a good performances. However, they would’ve totally won us with their heated discussions in the second half if it had been better. Rakul Preet has a limited screen presence as a co-pilot, and she delivers it well. Boman Irani is truly wasted in a character that wasn’t needed.

Runway 34 still

Runway 34 Review: Final Thoughts

Overall, Runway 34 has an impressive first half. The second half loses its grip and fails to keep us focused till the end. The performances are good but could’ve been better with better execution of the second half. If you want to know the story of what happened, you can watch it once on the big screen.

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Ajay Devgn starrer Runway 34 is now out in theatres.

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Ajay Devgn starrer Runway 34 is now out in theatres.Runway 34 Review: Ajay Devgn's Film Takes Off Well But Gets Shaky Down the Road