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51 Reviews
39 Ratings
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Audience Rating

10 Reviews
23 Ratings

Movie Info





Neerja is a portrayal on the life of the courageous Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life while protecting the lives of 359 passengers on the Pan Am flight 73 in 1986. The flight was hijacked by a terrorist organization.Wikipedia

Neerja Reviews


A well-intentioned, heartfelt film that pays tribute to a real hero...

Shubhra Gupta
Indian Express


Minus the songs and the excessive schmaltz, ‘Neerja’ could have been outstanding. But still, the film holds, and hold us with it.

Rohit Vats
Hindustan Times


Such films where the filmmakers need to work in the same time and space zone are difficult to execute, but you’ll be surprised at the finesse with which Madhvani has shown most sides of Neerja’s personality. She falls, rises, falls again and rises again, until she emerges as that one name which will be associated with Pan Am Flight 73 forever.

Mehul S Thakkar
Deccan Chronicle


You will be visible shaken in the end and the death of a brave child will leave you teary eyed.

Raja Sen


This movie is many things, certainly, but is also a mother-daughter film for the ages.Madhvani's biggest strength in Neerja may be the way he alternates between letting us relate to the character and making us feel awed by her.

Neerja, the film is respectful to the memory of those who lost their lives and doesn't exploit their tragic end to extract a spectacle. It's also about a family coping with a crisis, a nightmare for anyone to know their child is in trouble yet helplessly wait and hope.

It is a powerful story that tugs gently and delicately at the heartstrings. It does not go overboard on attacking the lachrymal glands. But when it does, it is bang on.

Meena Iyer
Times Of India


This one raises a toast to the daunting spirit of India's daughters; every one of us must salute Neerja.

Neerja is a heart-felt biopic that rises above ordinary with a great direction and stellar performances. I suggest you fasten your seat belts for this weekend with Neerja.

Sarita Tanwar
DNA India


Neerja is 2016’s best film so far and that makes it a must watch. But more importantly, in a country where heroes are easily forgotten, this one’s for Neerja Bhanot – the bravest and boldest 23-year-old you’ve ever known.


Neerja is clearly among the best films Bollywood has been able to gift viewers with in recent times.

Suhani Singh
India Today


Neerja is a dream role for any actress and Sonam Kapoor pulls it off, delivering her career-best performance as she assuredly plays an abused wife, a beloved daughter and a flight attendant caught in her worst nightmare.

NEERJA is a must watch ode to the youngest recipient of the highest civilian honour Ashok Chakra for displaying extraordinary courage and human kindness. It is a film that will make you stand up for what's genuinely Right without bothering about nationality, religion, sex, cast or colour of the skin. Most importantly as a movie watching experience, you'll be glued to the movie screen with tears and admiration welling up in your eyes. NEERJA is a movie that will make you a better person. Don't miss it!

‘Neerja’ deserves loud applause because not only is it an exceptional story of courage but because it is an ode to the undying spirit of humanity.

Reviewer Profile
Deccan Herald


Ram Madhvani’s restrained direction gives an edge to the film, which takes viewers right into the middle of the action as four men unleash terror on 360 passengers. And Sonam pays a fitting tribute to Neerja’s valour in a career-best.


Neerja won't steal your heart or make you hate terrorists. It won't resort to highlighting the inefficiency of Indian and/or Pakistani governments. It doesn't over dramatize the story. It takes an emotional and mature stance about its subject. It makes you believe in the power of human beings. That ordinary people can make a difference if they try. That heroes need not be worshipped, but they need to be thanked. That just a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

Audience Reviews for Neerja

  • Midhun Ben Thomas (Dilseben)
    Midhun Ben Thomas (Dilseben)
    104 reviews
    Top Reviewer

    "Extraordinary display of courage which will leave us teary-eyed!!!"

    Life abounds with stories of unbelievable feats of courage & resilience of ordinary people on the face of crisis. If January saw Bollywood capture the exemplary valour of Ranjit Katyal (modeled after numerous brave individuals) during the Gulf War through "Airlift", then this month is about Neerja Bhanot who is revered for her extraordinary display of courage which saved the passengers of the Pan Am airlines in 1986. She was honoured posthumously with the Ashoka Chakra & was the youngest recipient of it apart from other honours from the US and Pakistan. So will "Neerja" be able to do justice to the exceptional spirit of this great female???

    For those who arent quite well versed about the tragic events that unfolded on the fateful night of September 5th, 1986; I will just give a brief overview. Neerja Bhanot (Sonam Kapoor) was the darling of her parents, who instilled confidence & courage in her to pursue her dreams even when life inflicted a harsh blow in the form of a failed marriage. Two days prior to her 23rd birthday, she was on her maiden flight as the senior flight purser of Pan Am 73 from Mumbai to New York via Karachi. Incidentally, four armed terrorists of the Abu Nidal Organization was plotting to hijack the plane from Karachi in exchange for their men in prison. As planned, the terrorists managed to hijack the plane however Neerja's timely alert ensured that the pilots escaped leaving the plane stranded on the tarmac. As the patience of the terrorists wore thin, so did the hopes of the passengers on board but Neerja was determined to protect as many as possible. How this incredible female managed to pull off this daring feat forms the crux of the movie.

    The movie has been helmed by Ram Madhvani who has made it appear as authentic as possible rather than make it into a stylish thriller that we are so used to nowadays. As a matter of fact, the jerky cinematography coupled with the apt choice of lighting by Mitesh Mirchandani really helps in providing the impact. With regard to the screenplay, Saiwyn Quadras has done a praise worthy job for most parts especially the portions which shows flashbacks of her past & how she gathers strength from that. However, I felt the parts which focused on the incidents inside the plane lacked detail & seemed more like just reading the wikipedia page.

    It's no secret that Sonam Kapoor isn't a talented actress as is evident by most of her performances to date. But she definitely impresses this time around & likely to be in pole position to swoop up awards. From a physical appearance point of view, Sonam was spot on & does her part well also, but I believe Kangana Ranaut could have been a better choice. The best performance in the movie however belonged to Shabana Azmi who just owns the scene every time she came on screen & equally awesome was Yogendra Tiku (as Neerja's father) (the scene where both talk over the phone comforting each other was brilliant). As for the rest, they were average & didnt have much to do.

    Verdict: The film will not take the box office by storm but it will have the word of mouth in its favour which will help it in the long run. It's not about how captivated we will be on watching the movie, but rather it's an occasion to be inspired by a young female who sacrificed her life in the line of duty & more importantly, to protect the life of her fellow beings. So do check it out as it will surely move your heart, it sure did for me!!!

    Rating: 3/5


    September 16, 16
  • Saheb Abdullah
    Saheb Abdullah
    82 reviews
    Top Reviewer

    Not That Convincing, Brilliant Or Emotional As People Said..
    As Much I Liked Sonam's Performance, I Liked Shabana Azmi's Performance.Shabana's Last Speech Was The High Point Of The Film.I Found Direction Of The Film Average, But The Story Inspired From The Real Incident Works Well.Many Scenes Lacks Realistic Approach, Sudden Softness & Hardness Of Terrorists Towards Neerja, The Scene Where The Terrorists Fights & Kills Each Other Is Also Not Convincing At All.But All Over These Things,Neerja Is A Nice Female Centric Film, Though Could Have Been Better.

    May 11, 16
  • Rakshit Raina
    Rakshit Raina
    33 reviews
    Top Reviewer

    The ending is a bit trite, but overall, the film packs a powerful punch!

    February 29, 16
  • Bindu Cherungath
    Bindu Cherungath
    92 reviews
    Top Reviewer

    Watch Neerja, an excellent film, which would leave you in tears for the kind of human spirits displayed by the braveheart.

    Neerja, is a film by Ram Madhvani, which is based on the real hijacking incident of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan in 1986. The film is based on incredible presence of mind and bravery shown by a 23 year old air hostess Neerja Bhanot, who became instrumental in saving almost 359 lives out of 379 lives on board. Such films which are based on real stories are beyond any review. The only thing which becomes important is whether titular character’s life and the incident have been justified in the film or not. Ram Madhvani has nailed it. The film Neerja sticks to the core, and the events unfold naturally, gradually. Neerja, the titular character, is shown to be a very normal girl, who evolves during a crisis situation and puts her head and heart in place. The story telling is done in such a manner that it would indeed touch your heart. One would also feel proud of the fact that an Indian girl grew beyond her own limitations and displayed extraordinary courage during crisis time. Neerja Bhanot is the youngest Indian to be awarded the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest honour for courage.

    Background of the film is that a Pan Am Mumbai-Frankfurt-New York flight was hijacked on 5th September, 1986. This flight landed at Karachi prior to proceeding to Frankfurt, and that is where it was hijacked by four armed Palestinian terrorists of Abu Nidal Organization. Militants were planning to use the hijacked plane to pick up Palestinian prisoners in Cyprus and Israel. A survivor has also claimed that he had heard the hijackers intending to crash the plane into a target in Israel. This film Neerja is based on this hijacking incident.

    Neerja (Sonam Kapoor), a die-hard Rajesh Khanna fan, is shown to be a fun-loving person, who spreads energy wherever she is. Initial frames show her sprouting Rajesh Khanna’s dialogue : जिन्दगी बड़ी होनी चाहिए, लम्बी नहीं . Neerja is an airhostess as well as a model. She had just done an assignment for bridal wear. She reaches her society gathering, where her family (parents – Yogendra Tiku and Shabana Azmi playing Harish and Rama Bhanot, and two brothers) are all waiting for her so as to make the boring party lively. And that is what exactly she does, peps up the whole atmosphere.

    The next day she had to fly by Pan Am 73. It was her first trip as Head Purser. She was very fond of her job. Beautiful mother-daughter moments are shown before her departure. Rama tells Neerja also that her blood pressure shoots up whenever she goes for her duty and it comes down only when her flight lands. Rama is shown as typical mother, who gets worries for her child. She even worries, when Neerja misplaced her ring suggested by an astrologer. These small details make the movie even deeper.

    Shekhar plays the role of Jaideep, who is smitten by Neerja, comes to drop Neerja to the airport. Shekhar gifts her a small pack as her birthday gift, asking her to open the same only on her birthday on 7th September, 1986.

    Initial frames also shows the Palestinian terrorists’ preparation.
    As a head purser, Neerja ensured whether things are in order or not in flight. Neerja is shown to be lovingly interacting with the passengers. Little did the passengers know that a crisis was awaiting them?

    The flight landed at Karachi, where it was hijacked. Having taken a training to handle the hijack crisis, Neerja’s brain worked and she alerted the captain and his team at cockpit which made them leave the cockpit through an overhead hatch. Neerja’s thought behind alerting the captain and his team was to save them and also was sure that aircraft could not be forcibly flown. Neerja as a head purser handles the situation.

    Neerja’s marital discord and her divorce with Naresh (in Doha) is also shown interspersed with the hijack events.

    The film further shows the ordeal faced by the passengers and crew. How the events shape up? How did the terrorists treat passengers and the crew? How did Neerja save the lives? Was she able to maintain her cool in midst of this crisis? Was she able to negotiate with the terrorists and also simultaneously keep the passengers calm? What gift Shekhar had given Neerja? Watch the film for Neerja, the braveheart.

    Sonam Kapoor is good as Neerja. Shabana Azmi’s motherly affection would win your hearts. Rest of the cast has also done a good job.

    Certain scenes are extremely emotional: Roma and Harish’s conversation after the highjack, wishing her daughter to be safe but not able to console each other. The last scene where Roma shares her grief, pain, pride of being Neerja’s mother.

    Watch Neerja, an excellent film, which would leave you in tears for the kind of human spirits displayed by the braveheart. She made Rajesh Khanna starrer Anand film’s dialogue her own life’s philosophy: जिन्दगी बड़ी होनी चाहिए, लम्बी नहीं . She lived a great life. Grand Salute to Neerja.

    February 27, 16