Neerja, the movie, is all about courage, passion for job and respect for human life. This 2.02 hours’ spell-bounding masterpiece of Ram Madhvani is going to leave you struggling with an emotional outburst.
There was a blend of feelings like sorry, respect, proud for this extra courageous 23 years old flight purser played by Sonam Kapoor and volcanic anger for those four hijackers.
Beside top class story line, screenplay, direction, background sounds, editing and presentation, another interesting part of the movie was, “Tribute to Rajesh Khanna Sahib,”one and only Romantic superstar of Bollywood. The whole Bhanot family seems to be a fan of Kaka Sahib as they repeatedly talk about Rajesh Khanna’s dialogues and songs.
With a belief that one must live a big life than a long life, Neerja will make you both cry abundantly and will empower you with the strength to raise your voice against unfairness. No words and definitely a Salute deserving movie.
The movie starts with a society party, Navjeevan Society, where Neerja was residing with her parents Mr. Harish Bhanot (Hindustan Times Journalist) and Rama Bhanot (housewife)and her brothers, Aneesh, and Akhil.
A day before the hijack of ill-fated Pan Am 73, the entire neighborhood was in society celebration humming and dancing on “Bye Bye Miss Good Night.” Regardless of what is going to happen just after a day, Neerja was singing, dancing eating samosas with her parents and society kids. Around 1 AM, the drama begins.
On the one side of the frames, Neerja was preparing for her flight departure (as a flight purser) and on the other side, Terrorists were loading themselves with guns, hand grenades and other explosive materials. Neerja’s mother was so concerned about her daughter and her missed ring that she had from an astrologer for Neerja’s safety.
On the other side, a senior from Abu Nidal Organization was concerned about the success of his mission; hijacking of the plane and re-routing it to Cyprus so that they can pressurize the authorities about releasing a few of their team members.
Well, on the day, Neerja says Good Bye to her family and her lover Jaideep (Shekhar Ravjiani – Vishal-Shekhar duos). Pan Am 73 leaves Mumbai Airport for its second boarding point Karachi Airport, Pakistan before arriving at its final destination, Frankfurt, USA.
Happiness and giggles all around, but it only lasted for a few minutes until the hijacker board the plane with explosives. Sonam Kapoor’s performance as Neerja is breathtaking. Literally, she delivered the performance of her life and I would like to thank her, for saying yes to such a risky subject. The emotions from Sonam was impressive.
In a scene where she opens her boyfriend’s gift and eats the chocolate biscuit and cry, was beyond words. In one frame she is like completely broken, and exactly after that she gathers strength; super acting.
The second best scene that made me cry was, where she narrate the insulting letters written to her father by her ex-husband left me heart-broken. I was like, please tell me where this douche-bag is, I really want to smash his face hard.
In the same scene, Shabana Ji’s is scolding her off against divorce and very next scene (after listening to the letters), she is hugging her to console her daughter. Similarly, (Sonam) she does to the horrified kids. I am just, speechless.
Without any shadow of a doubt, the gripping screenplay (by Saiwyn) and flawless cinematography (Mitesh Mirchandani’s), Sanyukta’s dialogues, is the linchpin of NEERJA.
From the point when Neerja makes her first attempt of alerting pilots about the hi-jack (so that they can evacuate the plane as per protocols, ruling out all possibilities of forceful take-off) till the end, when she was fatally shot while evacuating a group of kids, the movie keeps you on the edge of your seat. Four artists who played terrorists were equally impressive.
The acting was so genuine, at some points we as an audience feels like, “Maar Saley Ko.” Their acting as terrorists who are as feared and nervous as the passengers is simply mind-blowing.
Yogendra Tiku (Who played father) and the great Shabana Azmi (who played mother) are equally impressive. Throughout the movie, they acted so well.
The emotions like love for their laado, fearlessness while talking to each other, encouraging each other about staying positive and keeping their head cool all time, will not let you take your eyes off from the screen.
The flashback from Neerja’s past life (continuous humiliation Neerja had from her first Doha based Ex-husband) and her bonding with her father who always encourage her, “Bahadur Bacha Kon?” pushes the right buttons.
On the whole, this is a must watch movie and I am sure, will make you a better person. The final message of Neerja for her mother, “Pushpa, I hate tears,” and the closure speech by Shabana Azmi will make your heart go out.
By the end of this bravery saga, you will have all praises for Neerja Bhanot, the youngest recipient of Ashok Chakra who saved 341 lives without giving any second though about her own life. Please go and watch!