‘Runway 34’ Review : An Engrossing Thriller with a few rough edges

Runway 34 ( 2022/ Thriller/ Cinema Release)

This thriller is based on a real life incident wherein a disaster was averted when an airplane landing faced an extremely dangerous and life threatening situation. 

Director – Ajay Devgn

Writer – Sandeep Kewlani, Aamil Keeyan Khan

Cast – Ajay Devgn, Rakul Preet Singh, Amitabh Bachhan, Boman Irani

Plot

Pilot Vikrant Khanna (Ajay Devgn) is extremely competent and unabashedly smug.

He loves his family but has his vices too.

His experience and competence turned saviour in landing a turbulent plane after a life threatening situation.

But… could his overconfidence and negligence have been the culprits?

Analysis 

The film starts with introducing us to Capt Vikrant and his swag. And that sets the ball and the mood  rolling. Only events preceding the flight in question have been focused on and the pace remains crisp. The setting quickly shifts to the flight and first half of the film is mainly set inside the plane.

What is very striking is that the film is extremely engrossing, remains true to the thriller format and keeps you totally glued, despite few rough edges.

It is not an easy task with such a closed setting and hardly any remarkable characters except the two main protagonists.

Despite the fact that the story could be guessed ahead to some extent (considering the real life incident and the trailers), it maintains an intrigue factor. As the film raced towards intermission, it gives you some edge of the seat moments and an overwhelming culmination of the first half.

In the second half, the focus shifts to the enquiry, brings in some interesting characters, fantastic actors like Big B and Boman, courtroom-like exchanges (though a tad over dramatic) but it keeps you gripped.

It’s noteworthy that Ajay Devgn has given Big B (Narayan Vedant) an entry and introduction at par or even better than himself. It was absolutely dashing.

The film has some suspense under its layers, though not difficult to guess from far off, and has a cliched but satisfying ending.

Performances

Ajay Devgn looks great as the cocksure and arrogant Vikrant. Compared to his own benchmarks like Omkara, Zakhm, or Singham, I wouldn’t say this one was remarkable but his brooding demeanour and conceited body language suited the character well.

Rakul Preet as co-pilot Tanya Albuquerque is great. In a very subdued role, she makes a mark. Personally, I was left wanting to see more of her. 

The most surprising opinion that made the Big B super-fan in me guilty was that Amitabh Bachhan as Narayan Vedant seemed repetitive, too loud and overtly dramatic. We absolutely love the polished accent that rolls of his tongue, that suave and dapper look, those sharp looks and dialogues that come off him but don’t know why they seemed over played this time.

Boman Irani looked good in that little role.

The film did have certain rough edges. 

In my opinion, if the writing had been better, we could have had a much sharper film.

The dialogues could definitely have been much better. The screenplay at some places seemed a bit amateurish. Certain aspects looked odd like that sudden trendy music in AD’s intro and the juvenile dramatic expressions of the inquiry committee members. 

But despite those, it was quite an engrossing and entertaining thriller. For a duration of 2 hr 30 min, it kept us appreciably captivated with plenty of heart thudding moments, a decent intrigue factor and good VFX.

It is good, sensible and clean entertainment worth the money and time.

Definitely recommended for those seeking such cinema and for AD fans of course.

Score 3.5 on 5

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