Akshay Kumar’s subtle performance as Ranjit Katyal, who helped evacuate 1,70,000 Indians from a war-ravaged Kuwait, received a lot of love from the critics and masses alike. It is extremely surprising, then, that the actor and the film were ignored by all major award shows this year.
Director Raja Menon opened up about his film’s exclusion from the nominations. “Airlift got immense love from the audience. Even today, a year-and-a-half after release, it is a film that’s talked-about. How many award-winning films can claim the same? I’ll any day prefer the love of the audience to the trophies that gather dust in some remote corner of one’s house,” he told Deccan Chronicle.
The filmmaker was all praise for his hero and said that awards or not, Akshay was brilliantly sublime in the film. “There is no question about the quality of his performance in Airlift. He is simply brilliant in the film. Neither he nor I or, for that matter, the audience needs to endorse his performance with an award. I don’t think it’s worth even thinking about. I’d rather focus on my work. And I am sure Akshay feels the same,” Raja Menon told the publication.
The grapevine is buzzing with rumours of Akshay’s name being removed from the list of nominations of a recently held award show because he was unable to attend the event. Apparently, the organisers had approached the actor to also perform at the event, but he was busy shooting for Reema Kagti’s Gold, and could not make time.