She was fearless...
Ram Madhvani's 'Neerja' is so far the best Hindi film I have seen this year. The reason lies in the narrative the film chose to depict alone.
Neerja Bhanot. A young, beautiful actress-turned-air hostess. Pan Am flight. She is on duty woth her comrades. And suddenly, some hijackers board the plane in Karanchi. She is trapped. But so are tye passengers. Many lives, suddenly turned upside down. Neerja should try to save herself. But first, she will do her duty. She is a 'bahadur bachcha', a brave kid which her mother had given birth to.
Airplane toilet. She is fearful. But then, she remembers- it's not the only time a turbulence came to her life. She has experienced it before. An abusive relationship. She broke free. This is but a small attack! But unfortunately, fate has other plans for her.
And that plan is 'Neerja' the film. The biopic of Neerja Bhanot, the brave air hostess who sacrificed her lives for other passengers of the plane, is a moving, iconic depiction of a narrative, and it is told in effective ways for sure.
And the reason behind this is the performance of Sonam Kapoor, who plays the struggling beauty that was Neerja. She blazes the iconic persona of her character quite exactly. Shekhar Ravijani (of Vishal-Shekhar duo) has made his film debut, and he sure makes the character of Neerja's boyfriend sing. Shabana Azmi as Neerja's mother is effectively deep. I had tears in my eyes as she made a speech about her daughter, when her daughter won the Ashok Chakra (deceased). We soar with pride and weep at the tragedy.
Saiwyn Quadras cooperates masterfully with Madhvani and the starcast, as he pens down a 'bollywoodized' sotry but gives it fine hues. The music moves with a consistent beat. And the cinematography by Mitesh Mirchandani is deep-down the emotional ride. It slowly moves over the aeroplane and gives it the touch of dazzle amidst the darkness, lighting some of the most priceless details such as Neerja's lispticks, the lights beyond the aeroplane's windows, and many other things.
'Neerja' is a subtly made film which produces a zeal and a new wave of emotions. It is not as thrilling as it is supposed to be, but the filmmaker more than succeeds in his mission. I am going with 4 stars out of 5 for 'Neerja'. Please, please watch.
Rare masterpiece in Bollywood
'Neerja'is a biopic on Neerja Bhanot, who saved 359 passengers in the Pan Am Flight 73 from terrorists. Sonam Kapoor gave her career best by portraying a brave lady in the movie. The movie shows the bravery and Courage shown by young lady during tense situation. The movie direction was very good By Ram Madhvani and terrific performance not only by Sonam but also the ones who portrayed the terrorists. Such films are rarely made in Bollywood and it feels good to watch movies based on real life incidents. A great tribute to Neerja Bhanot through this movie. I hope Bollywood keep on making biographic movies like this. A must watch movie for everyone.
"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!!!
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.
The ending is a bit trite, but overall, the film packs a powerful punch!
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.
The Story Will Get You. ♦ Grade B+
Bollywood has been experimenting a lot with biographies lately and I must admit it is doing very well. Following up to the Kuwaiti evacuation drama, Airlift, which released to critical acclaim earlier this year, we have another brilliant and thrilling biography which salutes a brave hero for her unprecedented loyalty.
Neerja (Kapoor) is a Mumbai-based flight attendant for the Pan Am with an ugly matrimonial past and a loving family. Hoping to move froward in her career by honestly doing her job, she boards her first flight as the head purser only to find it being hijacked at a transit airport by a group of terrorists with shades of sadistic characteristics. Her virtuous upbringing, brought about by her parents (played wonderfully by Azmi and Tikku), provides her strength and courage to help her passengers get to safety. The plot revolves around the terrorists' attempt to get the plane flying, while Neerja attempts to find a way out.
The story about the brave purser who takes a bullet to save more than 300 passengers needed to be told. And the film tells it beautifully, sampling right amounts of emotions and thrills. It is fairly evident from the beginning that the hijack attempt was going south causing the psychotic terrorists to pile a nerve and go berserk. Neerja, maintaining her posture, simultaneously reminiscing her past and the values showered upon her by her parents, fights for the passengers. It is a basic and essential tale of courage showcased by an ordinary woman in time of ultimate crisis, showing us that greatness can often be found in the ordinary.
The plot is gripping which will hold you, tug at your heartstrings occasionally, and will eventually make you weep. We know that terrorism is a curse, but watching this 120-minute thriller biopic will restore your faith in humanity, like the millennials nowadays say. With good use of musical montage and crisp dialogs, this one is well-directed and well-acted. Kapoor does a fine job, but still, somehow somewhere things were lacking. Maybe it's got something to do with her expressions, but the rest of the cast support the film well, especially Azmi who preaches at the end, during the whole scene which could have been done away with. But apparently, the makers wanted to give her the second most screen space in the film. Apparently. Rajviani is good.
While there are definitely things that could have been done better, this biopic is at least better than 90% of the Bollywood films released in the past 6 months.
BOTTOM LINE: Ram Madhvani's biopic, Neerja, is an edge- of-the-seat thriller that will get you to scream in annoyance and anger, will make you cry due to an emotional overload, and will ultimately make you happy to know that a young lady named Neerja Bhanot showed what bravery actually means. Highly recommended!
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
And that, dear Bollywood, is how a biopic should be made.
Neither dripping with awkward sentimentality nor bordering on excessive hero worship, Neerja is every bit the film its titular protagonist deserved, and more.
This is a tricky tightrope that second-time filmmaker Ram Madhwani has chosen to walk, and one that he ends up conquering with great dexterity.
Kudos to him for telling a story that, quite simply put, just had to be told.
It took 28 years for Neerja Bhanot – that most exemplary of women – and her sacrifice to rise to public prominence on the big screen, but better late than never.
The acting is uniformly excellent – Shabana Azmi and Yogendra Tikku, playing Neerja’s parents, will render you speechless with tears even as they try and come to terms with the harrowing state of affairs on board the ill-fated Pan AM Flight 73.
As ruthless terrorist Khaleel, Jim Sarbh delivers an incredible performance, one that is spine-chillingly brutal and yet delivered with clinical precision.
But this is a film that belongs to Sonam Kapoor.
It is a stunning, stunning performance, and could very well end up being the one that marks her pinnacle as an actress.
Neerja is destined to go down as one of the year’s very best films.
A suitable tribute, then, to India’s very own paragon of selflessness.
May your light shine on for ever, Mademoiselle.
Sterling, Startling, Striving
There is a lot of craze in today’s generation for Biopics and stories which are based on real events. About 17 Biopics have released in India till today. And are hits in their way. The buzz about a Biopic is increasing rapidly day by day. Movies like ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and ’Manjhi’ have inspired a lot of people. And have also bagged many nominations and Awards. ‘Neerja’ starring Sonam Kapoor is also a biopic on Neerja Bhanot, a flight purser who extricated 359 lives from flight Pan Am 73 which was hijacked in Pakistan in 1986. And became the youngest recipient of the Ashok Chakra. The movie stars Sonam Kapoor in lead role as Neerja Bhanot, a 23 year girl who dies in a gun shot while saving a group of children.
Sonam Kapoor enacts her character with great panache and finesse, she emotes extremely well and has a fabled appearance. Her curvaceous face and expressive body structure completely reminds of a bona fide Neerja Bhanot. Shabana Azmi is a megastar, she does justice to her role and is very eloquent in her dialogues delivery.
The music and background score of the film creates the appropriate impact on the viewers as a biopic should have. Director Ram Madhvani’s anecdote is well made, has a good screenplay and is replete with instances of heroic bravery. His direction work and laborious work done by his team is appealing and endearing to one and all. ‘Neerja’ is an amazing real story to watch on a big screen. The performances are appreciating and the direction stuff is just striving. Sonam Kapoor gives a startling performance. And she is already on a great stride after ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’. Her ‘Neerja’ is a spectacular display about a women who saved many lives. It is imbued with an attractive storyline, a good screenplay. And is relished with splendour appearances of Sonam Kapoor as Neerja Bhanot. It is a magnificent attraction. And a masterly parable. I’m going with 10 stars. And also a must see.
Neerja movie 2016 real life story must watch.
Neerja...one of the best movies that i have ever seen...can imagine what the air staff and passengers would have gone through...A must see