Watch Take Off
- 2 hr 19 min
Take Off, released in 2017, is a gripping and emotionally charged Indian Malayalam-language drama-thriller film directed by Mahesh Narayanan and produced by Anto Joseph and Shebin Backer in association with Rajesh Pillai Films. Boasting riveting performances by Parvathy Thiruvothu, Fahadh Faasil, and Kunchacko Boban, the film encapsulates the life-threatening challenges and struggles faced by Indian nurses in the Middle East during an unsettling period of civil unrest.
Set against the backdrop of the 2014 crisis in Tikrit, Iraq when ISIS militants seized the city, "Take Off" chronicles the real-life inspired ordeal of a group of Indian nurses who find themselves trapped in the escalating conflict. The narrative expertly intertwines personal drama with geopolitical elements, crafting a poignant and suspenseful tale of survival, resilience, and heroism.
Parvathy Thiruvothu stars as Sameera, an ambitious and resilient Indian nurse who decides to leave for Iraq in pursuit of better financial prospects to support her family, despite the mounting tensions in the region. Her decision is driven by a combination of professional aspiration and personal necessity, showcasing the everyday struggles of individuals who are compelled to seek employment far from home. Parvathy's nuanced portrayal of Sameera is widely acclaimed, with her character embodying the strength and determination of a woman caught between personal obligations and a tumultuous socio-political landscape.
Fahadh Faasil steps into the role of Manoj Abraham, the Indian ambassador to Iraq, who becomes a key figure in orchestrating a rescue mission for the imperiled nurses. His character exemplifies the diplomatic challenges and bureaucratic obstacles involved in navigating such a high-stakes crisis. Fahadh delivers a subtle yet powerful performance, bringing depth to his role as a man caught between the protocols of his position and his underlying emotional drive to ensure the nurses' safety.
Kunchacko Boban plays the part of Shaheed, a nurse and Sameera's colleague, who adds a layer of complexity to the situation with his own personal dilemmas. As a nurse himself, he provides a different perspective on the hardships faced by the healthcare professionals working in hostile environments. His earnest depiction of Shaheed contributes to the film's examination of the theme of sacrifice and the human cost of conflict.
"Take Off" is lauded for its meticulous attention to detail, as it authentically reconstructs the environment of a war-torn Iraq in the midst of a devastating takeover. The filmmakers employ a documentary-like style at times, merging realistic set designs and an immersive sound design to transport the viewers into the heart of the conflict. The pacing of the film is handled with expert precision, allowing for the tension to build gradually and organically, leading to edge-of-your-seat moments that are both harrowing and emotionally resonant.
The movie also delves into the strength and unity of the stranded nurses, who despite their fear and uncertainty, come together under dire circumstances. It portrays their camaraderie and collective spirit in facing life-threatening situations. The screenplay, co-written by Mahesh Narayanan and PV Shajikumar, articulates the themes of hope and despair, mission and sacrifice, effectively drawing the audience into the plight and moral courage of the protagonists.
Cinematographer Sanu Varghese contributes significantly to the film’s harrowing atmosphere through his adept use of lighting and camera work, capturing the gritty reality of the nurses' entrapment as well as the overarching sense of tension and danger. The film's soundtrack, composed by Shaan Rahman and Gopi Sundar, further enhances the emotional gravity and intensity of the narrative.
In terms of critical reception, "Take Off" was met with universal acclaim, particularly for Parvathy Thiruvothu's stirring performance, which earned her several awards and accolades. The film's authentic portrayal of a true incident and its compassionate approach to storytelling have been praised for shedding light on the experiences of Indian expatriates and the often overlooked humanitarian crises.
Overall, "Take Off" is a compelling and thought-provoking cinematic experience that not only highlights an important chapter in recent history but also serves as a testament to the human spirit's capacity for endurance and hope amidst the darkest of circumstances. It is a movie that remains etched in the minds of its viewers long after the credits roll, owing to its emotional depth and the resonance of its true-to-life narrative.