Cast: ShabanaAzmi, Sonam Kapoor, Yogendra Tikku, Shekhar Ravjiani
Director: Ram Madhvani
It took 29 years for someone to pen down and narrate the story of our country’s brave heart Neerja Bhanot. Well, it’s better late than never! For generations to come, people will remember the immortal Neerja for her sacrifice and kindness. What really happened on that unfortunate day in 1986 was limited to Wikipedia and some old rewritten articles online. Ram Madhvani has proved that Neerja’s story is worth being told.
With a bad marriage behind her and the pressure of fighting against the so called ‘bharatiyanari’ stigma of our society, Neerjashowed immense bravery and sacrifice by saving 359 people on board the Pan Am 73 plane that fateful day. The story takes us back and forth between Neerja’s loving home in Bombay (Mumbai) and the Libyan terrorists getting ready for the hijack in Karachi on September 5, 1986.
Scene after scene, you are waiting to see what unfolds even though you have known Neerja’s story all along. Madhvani keeps you on the edge with the right emotions and perfect screenplay. Neerja would have celebrated her 24th birthday on September 7 and her body arrives on that day. The director kept Indian audiences sensitivity and puts you in a situation where you can’t help but feel the pain of Rama Bhanot, (Neerja’s mother), played by one of the best actresses we will ever have, Shabana Azmi. Her speech as Rama Bhanot will leave you sobbing (yes, we mean sobbing, literally).
The violent atmosphere created by the brutal hijackers and the on-the-spot decisions taken by Neerja to save the passengers was the highlight of the movie. We would like to make a special mention to Jim Sarbh who plays the role of the aggressive hijacker Khalil. He gives you a real life view of how a hijacker would behave.
If you doubted the acting skills of Sonam Kapoor, then this movie is a must watch for you!Sonam Kapoor slams her critics in style with a great portrayal of Neerja! If you’re asking yourself if Sonam can carry a movie on her shoulders, the answer is a loud Yes! Minus the songs which kill the pace of the movie, there’s no reason why this movie should not be on your must watch list. Closing credits show Neerja Bhanot’s modelling and childhood pictures and that’s the moment you realize the movie is worth every penny.
Verdict: A must watch for more than one reason!