Sarfira Movie Review: A Long & Eventful Takeoff

In the world of startups and aviation, Akshay Kumar's 'Sarfira' inspires everyone to dream big and pursue their ambitions, even if they're seen as unconventional.

General Rating

In a nut-shell:

A Long & Eventful Takeoff

Sarfira  Movie Star Cast/ Actors: Akshay Kumar as Vir Jagannath Mhatre, Radhika Madan as Rani, Paresh Rawal as Paresh Goswami, Seema Biswas as Vir’s Mother, Suriya as Cameo, Prakash Belawadi, Anil Charanjeett, Rahul Vohra, Saurabh Goyal & More.

Sarfira Movie Director: Sudha Kongara

Sarfira Movie Release Date: July 12, 2024

Sarfira Movie Available On: Theatrical Release and (likely to be released on OTT Plateform Disney+ Hotstar)

Sarfira Movie Released/ Available In Languages: Hindi

Sarfira Movie Runtime: 155 Minutes

Sarfira Movie Critic Review:

You’ve got to be crazily obsessed for the impossible to take flight. Vir Jagannath Mhatre (Akshay Kumar) dreamt of the poor and the lower middle class travelling by plane and floated the unheard-of idea of a budget airline with affordable tickets.

“Forget about buying a plane ticket, they wouldn’t dare to even dream or want to fly,” sneer potential investors. Especially the arrogantly successful Paresh Goswami (Paresh Rawal) of Jaz Airways, a man so well-connected that he practically owns the Indian skies.

“People didn’t know they wanted electricity or cars too, until they were invented,” counters Vir, an ex-Air Force pilot undeterred in the pursuit of his dream airline.

Soorarai Pottru (which roughly translates into Praise the Brave in Tamil) received much acclaim in 2020 with superstar Suriya as the compulsively focussed real-life Captain Gopinath who changed the face of Indian aviation with his low-cost airline. Writer-director Sudha Kongara Prasad (who’d helmed the original too) maintains the palpable energy of the Suriya starrer with an opening sequence that’s high on adrenaline.

The ’yeda’ meets ‘yedi’ (crazy in Marathi) track that brings together the unconventional Vir (who dances at a friend’s funeral) and the equally unorthodox Rani (Radhika Madan) with a dream of her own, is fun, feisty and daisy-fresh feminist. A marriage of two bull-strong individuals who dote on each other, back each other. Her Rani Bakery, his low-cost airline.

While the many abortive take-offs that travel from finding investors to dealing with wall-like bureaucrats take an overworked route, there are sequences that drip emotion. One is the aggressive Vir at loggerheads with his ahimsa believing father, polar opposites in their approach to achieving results.

The ruthless lengths to which rival airline owners could go to thwart a newcomer with a radically new concept, is portrayed with deviousness by Jaz Airways’ Paresh Goswami, a man with OCD, a man whose pomposity (“Who’d want the filthy poor sitting next to you on a plane?”) is matched by competitive inhumanity. Political clout, propaganda and sabotage, even risking a few lives is no deterrent to prove a point and put down the audacious new entrant.

Pooja Tolani and Shalini Ushadevi who co-write with Sudha, have a flair for the merry along with flourishes of feminism. Like the time Vir, buying himself a business class ticket only to force a meeting with the legendary Paresh Goswami, wittily identifies a co-passenger’s profession. Going by the many questions she asks him, she (Irawati Harshe) had to be a journalist. And she does play a part in Vir’s fortuitous meeting with President Abdul Kalam much later. Vir’s mother (Seema Biswas) too has her own spunk, showing it when she tells her husband, “I can read my own letter, I have passed 5th Class.” Or when she appreciates the spirited daughter-in-law with the chuckle, “The sher has met his sava sher.” Even a tractor in the background is discreetly named Bhagya Lakshmi.

Friendship also has a major role with buddies (well played by Anil Charanjeett, Saurabh Goyal) and an Air Force senior (the dignified R Sarathkumar) pitching in when Vir needs them most. Rani standing by Vir in the trickiest of times and springing her pregnancy at him at an unlikely moment, drawing an incredulous “Aisa koyi batate kya?” continue to be distinctively invigorating.

Where a well-intentioned narration gets grounded is when there is a detailed (read long) telling of the many hurdles Vir has to overcome and the exhaustive plans he articulates at different points. The take-off is aborted again and again until you want to get up and push the plane manually.

The lengthy telling is accompanied by several background songs that are not music to the ears, a sufi-qawwali looking rather forced for mandatory inclusivity.

But there is excellence too. Akshay Kumar revitalises the success story of Captain Gopinath/Vir Mhatre with a performance that impresses at every turn. Oozing confidence, Radhika Madan is a complete delight. Paresh Rawal makes Goswami so hate-worthy that you can’t help feeling Naresh Goyal who’s camouflaged as the Jaz guy (and Vijay Mallya thrown in too) got their just deserts in real life. Seema Biswas and Prakash Belawadi as a man willing to invest in Vir’s dream, are other actors who make a positive contribution to the film.

Sarfira Movie – Watch Or Not?: It’s over-stretched and the original is available on OTT. But if you’ve got the time, it’s a chapter of aviation history that’s worth a visit.

Sarfira Movie Review Score Rating:  3 out of 5 (i.e. 3/5)

Sarfira Movie Official Trailer:

Sarfira Official Trailer (Credits: Abundantia Entertainment)

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A Long & Eventful TakeoffSarfira Movie Review: A Long & Eventful Takeoff