Indira Gandhi rightly said, 'Martyrdom does not end something, it's only a beginning.' Inspiring stories on extraordinary humans don't fail to amaze us even after they leave the world, their memories never fade off. Neerja Bhanot is amongst those very few and thanks to Ram Madhvani, Sonam Kapoor, Atul Kasbekar and Fox Studios, millions will now remember this real life superhero forever.
Senior flight attendant Neerja Harish Bhanot was shot dead by hijackers of PAN AM Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan on September 05, 1986, just 25 hours before her 24th birthday. She saved 360 lives and was killed while she was shielding three little children against a line of fire. Madhvani's 'Neerja' narrates the story of this brave heart in the most subtle yet effective way with its edge-of-the-seat screenplay and powerful direction.
Biographies are difficult to portray on the silver screen, and 'Neerja' is one of the very few ones that will be written in golden words in the 'Bollywood Hall of Fame'. Add to it, the magnificence by which it brings the character to life. It's so real that you will forget that you are watching a film. It makes you believe that all these incidents are happening right as you see them. Sonam Kapoor's earnest portrayal of Neerja sheds her glam girl image. She has worked hard for it and it shows. However, there are still nuances that she needs to tackle. The antagonists scare you and make you hate them. They are brilliant actors and need to be seen more on the silver screen. Neerja's father shows strength and subtlety. Shabana Azmi is spectacular as Neerja's mother and their will not be a single member of the audience who will not have tears in his eyes in the climax.
Madhvani, who has previously directed a few ad films and a documentary narrates the film in an absolutely stunning manner. The first half doesn't allow you to take your eyes off the screen even once, juxtaposing Neerja's character sketch, her relationship with her family and friends and an abusive failed marriage. The second half loses pace at a point but the climax sets the screen blazing with emotional outrage.
It's Saiwyn Qadras' screenplay that take the film to another level. Music by Vishal Khurana is soothing, background score apt. The makers took care of minutest details recreating the ambience of a PAN AM flight in 1986. Neerja's house too gave out the 80s vibe just right.
Neerja is a film not to be missed, not only for the respected martyr Ms Bhanot but for the performances and a good cinematic experience. Grab your tickets now!!!