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Review: 'Runway 34' begins a promising flight but comes crashing down in the second-half

Runway 34 marks the third directorial venture for actor Ajay Devgn and before we even get into the As and Bs of the film and anything else, one can safely say that his improvement as a director can be seen here.

Published: Thursday,Apr 28, 2022 12:26 PM GMT-06:00
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Runway 34

Runway 34

Runway 34 marks the third directorial venture for actor Ajay Devgn and before we even get into the As and Bs of the film and anything else, one can safely say that his improvement as a director can be seen here. 

Coming to the film, it is about Captain Vikrant Khanna (Devgn), a skilful, competent and intelligent pilot with a photographic memory who is a tad arrogant and loves to smoke literally anywhere and everywhere. Just like any day at work, Vikrant is on a flight with Tanya Albuquerque (Rakul Preet Singh), a novice who is still naive but skilled at her job. The flight journey witnesses unforeseen circumstances leading to Vikrant taking questionable decisions but still managing to have everyone land safely. This decision-making, however, then leads to an investigation headed by Narayan Vedant (Amitabh Bachchan) which enables a back-and-forth between the two characters. What happens later and will Vikrant ever fly again - is a question till the end.


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The Direction

The Direction

As mentioned earlier, considering this Devgn's third outing as a director, it is safe to say that this is best work out of the three. One can visibly see the improvement in his storytelling which has been a gradual process. Not that this film is perfect by any means but the execution and direction of the first-half especially is top-notch even though the second-half falters.

The Story

The Story

As a story, Runway 34 is novel enough for Hindi film industry. There are very few films in Hindi cinema that are done right when it comes to being set in and around the aviation industry - best example being the fantastic Neerja. And hence, when the film keeps its beating heart in the incident that took place - shines in the way it tells the story.

The Screenplay

The Screenplay

The best possible decision that the writers took was dividing the film into two literal halves. It is literally like we are watching two different films in the two halves. The screenplay is taut, chronological and delivers edge-of-the-seat action in the first half. But the flip side to this is that the film's second half stumbles immensely where the screenplay becomes generic and predictable.

The Production & VFX

The Production & VFX

The VFX is absolutely fantastic in the first half, especially in the sequences involving the flight journey. The visuals and the entire setting doesn't look fake or forced, and you, as a viewer is transported into that dreadful journey with them - feeling as claustrophobic and helpless as anyone can. The production value, too, is a job well done overall.

The Dialogues

The Dialogues

One of the weakest links of the film has to be the dialogues. Apart from the fine and apt airline jargons and terminologies that are mouthed in the first half, the second half has some of the most underwhelming and cliched dialogues. The weird character quirks given to Devgn and Bachchan are irrelevant and dialogues like 'I will finish you', 'miss katrina kaif' (addressed to Rakul's character) and much more are just flat out bland.

The Music & BGM

The Music & BGM

A fortunate thing about Runway 34 is that there aren't too many songs. In fact, there are just two songs - Mitra Re and The Fall Song - both of which are melodious and tense at the same time. The background score, especially during the flight sequences is masterful and there isn't too much unwanted BGM otherwise, which nowadays is a rare and good thing.

The Cinematography

The Cinematography

As expert as the first half is in terms of cinematography, it is exactly the opposite in the second half. Aseem Bajaj seem to have understood the assignment perfectly well in the first half but lost the plot in the second. There are jarring extreme close-up scenes in the second half which almost remind you of RGV style camera work since he has not been in his prime.

The Acting

The Acting

Devgn, at the helm does a fine job as you would expect of him. Apart from his signature swagger, he underplays the vulnerability in a few scenes well too. Rakul Preet Singh is a pleasant surprise here, where as the naive novice, she does a fine job of executing her emotions and cluelessness but also shows intelligence and spark in other scenes. It is a sad thing to see stalwarts like Amitabh Bachchan and Boman Irani be so underwhelming in a film. It almost feels like Bachchan is mimicking himself by giving extra depth to his already fantastical baritone voice and Irani was probably just told to overact as much as possible. The rest - Angira Dhar and Aakanksha Singh have barely anything to do but they do well with whatever is given to them.

The Verdict

Runway 34 takes a fantastic flight in the first half but comes crashing down in the second. Overall, it still turns out to be a decent watch and a sure improvement for Devgn, the director.

Rating - *** (3/5)


Amitabh Bachchan Ajay Devgn Aakanksha Singh Rakul Preet Singh Runway 34 


Comments (2)

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guddididi
guddididi 1 months ago is this a cartoon movie...seems so
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guddididi
guddididi 1 months ago just a f_cking bull sh_t.....
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