Neerja Movie Review – Sonam Kapoor, Shabana Azmi
Movie : Neerja
Directed by : Ram Madhvani
Produced by : Atul Kasbekar, Shanti Sivaram Maini, Bling Unplugged, Fox Star Studios
Cast : Sonam Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Shekhar Ravjiani
Music by : Vishal Khurana
Release dates : 19 February 2016
Neerja Bhanot, not many of us might have heard about her. Those who have known and heard of her might have already forgotten her by now. Neerja, a model and a flight attendant is a brave girl who showed her grit, courage and selflessness in saving close to three hundred and fifty passengers from a Pan Am flight from Palestinian terrorists. This happened in the year 1986.
Neerja the movie directed by Ram Madhavani is a fitting tribute to this brave girl. Portrayed in a realistic manner and without making it look like a documentary, Neerja is a film full of life that will touch you, will make you cry and ultimately salute the bravery of this twenty three year old girl.
A US bound flight from Mumbai via Karachi is hijacked by three terrorists at Karachi airport. The tension, the fear and the mental agony the passengers on board experience is captured brilliantly in the film that has plenty of drama to show which is based on a true story.
The tension filled scenes inside the flight is shown along with the family life of Neerja making it less tiring. Had they shown only the hijack part of the drama and scenes connected with the hijack, it would have become a bit boring and we might also loose patience beyond a certain point.
On that note, I would say the director is successful here in presenting the screenplay in a fully convincing manner maintaining hundred percent justice to the true story of Neerja Bhanot. The tension beginning once the hijackers enter the flight have been filmed remarkably well such that the tension and fear in reel life is transferred to the people watching the reel life drama on screen.
Sonam Kapoor fitted into the role of Neerja with ease. But saying that, one can definitely see the effort she has taken to ensure the character of Neerja look perfect on screen.
On one side, she had to be the simple and fun loving Laado to her family mouthing the one liner dialogues of Rajesh Khanna her favourite actor. While on the other side as part of the hijacked flight, she had to portray the trauma of an ordinary girl and also show the courage to help the hapless passengers to safety. In both these areas, the actress in Sonam has come out triumphant in flying colours.
Shabna Azmi is always a reliable actress irrespective of the importance and number of scenes in a film. Here in Neerja, whatever scenes she had to perform as the mother of Neerja, it was portrayed in an awesome fashion thereby maintaining the high standard she has set in her illustrious career. Watch out for that emotional speech in the end especially her facial expression and the style of dialogue delivery matching the total mood of the scene.
Talking about this farewell speech in the end and the climax, it was a lengthy climax acting as a minor glitch. Nothing to complain on that as Neerja is a film that has lot of positives to offer with very little negatives that can be totally ignored.
Yogendra Tikku was the right choice for the role bringing out the anguish and helplessness of a father in the right way. It would be incomplete on the performance side if I don’t mention about the three guys who acted as the terrorists. One of them, (I am not sure about the name) was outstanding with his mannerisms and expressions bringing out the cruelty inside that person with his dedicated act.
Neerja the movie would be incomplete without its cinematography. Outstanding camera work as the majority of the scenes happen inside the flight and its no mean task to capture it and at the same time create the right feel for it. Fine cuts at the editing table along with decent background score.
In a nutshell, Neerja is a must watch film that stays closer to reality. Doing total justice to the true story of Neerja Bhanot, the film is highly recommended for its quality, execution and a powerful story that will make one root for the title protagonist.