Defying every standard laid down from the Egyptian Bollywood rule-book, Neerja coaxes a riveting two-hour drama from a real-life story of exceptional courage.
For people old enough to recall how the hijacking of this 1986 Pan Am flight 73 panned out, the particulars are all in the public domain.
Still, the requirement to bring the narrative of Neerja Bhanot into the large screen can’t be contested, particularly from the perspective of a younger crowd.
Neerja not just puts a woman at its center, but in addition, it showcases the pluck of a flight attendant that makes no differentiation between nationalities if her passengers confront a grave danger. Indians, Pakistanis Americans and Brits? With no thought of this price she may need to pay.
Manager Ram Madhvani chooses for just the ideal psychological amplitude to deliver to the screen the unique tale of a courageous fashion model and flight attendant who, hours shy of her 23rd birthday, then laid down her life to rescue 350 passengers.
It plunges headlong into the life span of a bubbly 1980s woman who awakens in and from the nation for a living whilst successfully pursuing a flourishing modelling career.
The protagonist, whose private life revolves round her mother (Shabana Azmi), inviting dad (Yogendra Tiku), along with her milk-white Spitz, is a diehard Rajesh Khanna buff.
The transience of presence and the utter senseless of this violence which snatches away promising lifestyles is contrasted with all the large-hearted cheerfulness of Neerja.
There’s not any method of telling how demanding her life was in the previous couple of months as she seems to make a fresh start.
She’s a man friend, Jaideep (Shekhar Ravjiani at a special appearance), who’ve been her ticket to another chance in life’d destiny permitted her a more stint in the world.
From the first minutes, the movie cuts back and forth between Neerja?s errands at the run-up into the previous trip of her life along with scenes showing a quartet of Palestinian desperadoes prepping for the fateful attack on Pan Am flight 73. A structured marriage gone sour and her bonding with her journalist-father.
However, what retains one crucial portion of Neerja collectively is its own sensitive and enlightening mother-daughter relationship.
It’s a movie about a hijacking and also a woman who didn’t allow gun-toting and explosives-laden terrorists bunny down her into the course of a hold-up that lasted 16 hours.
Minus the light it throws on Neerja?s upbringing, it could be another tale of courage under duress. It’s significantly more.
Neerja is a portrait of a household that, like another Indian household, had to grapple with the idea that a girl-child is exposed in our society and, thus, needing more protection compared to both brothers.
The heroine of the movie is really a woman of substance who follows her heart and, barring a brush using the husband from whom she breaks loose, gets exactly what she wants.
Her mother worries constantly about her, however, can’t prevent her from accepting wings and flying off from the instructions that she enjoys. Reply is straightforward? I adore my job. ?
She enjoys her calling that when she’s placed into the sternest test, she sticks to its soul, taking over the stewardship of this cottage in her capacity as head purser when armed terrorists barge to the airplane at Karachi airport.
Hindi cinema has recently developed a fondness for real life character models, but a number of those movies achieve any amount of verisimilitude, obsessed as they are with dumbing down the narrative with an eye on a broader audience.
Madhvani does nothing of this kind and can be none the worse for this. He’s got able allies at DoP Mitesh Mirchandani (who catches remarkable depths and particulars from closed spaces) and editor Monisha Baldawa (who provides the movie its rate ).
The 3 chief actors in the cast? Sonam Kapoor, Yogendra Tiku and Shabana Azmi? Are at the top of the game. When pushed from her comfort zone, she’s genuine and convincing since the child with nerves of steel.
Shabana Azmi informs her character with subtle nuances that include startling layers into the characterization.
Yogendra Tiku, a capable actor who seldom receives the drama he warrants in Hindi theatre, conveys the welled-up feelings of a dad egging her daughter to maintain charge of her life.
If it’s going to be one Hindi movie this week, then make certain it is Neerja.
It’s a potent story that tugs softly and gently at the heartstrings.
It doesn’t go overboard on assaulting the lachrymal glands. But when it does, it’s bang on.