Every once in a while comes along a film that grows organically on you, through careful crafting by the film-maker, coupled by sincere performances from the actors, and manages to reiterate the strong message that every film is not made with the viewpoint of setting the cash-register clinking. And for that reason alone the producers of Sonam Kapoor starrer Neerja deserves a salute. Here’s a film made, to tell a story that needed to be told—the story of an ordinary person placed in an extraordinary situation and the choices she exercised. This is the tale of Neerja Bhanot, the young Indian airhostess, who braved the armed terrorists to save 300 lives on board the ill-fated Pan Am Flight 73, back in 1986. Director Ram Madhvani carries the responsibility of doing justice to the real life situation as well as to the heroic deeds of Neerja. He does the job with tremendous sincerity as he portrays the biopic on celluloid without employing frills. ALSO READ: Neerja star Sonam Kapoor chats exclusively with India.com (Watch Video!) Also Read - Veere Di Wedding 2: Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhaskar, Shikha Talsania Give Their Nod, To Begin Shoot Post Bebo’s Delivery
Madhvani doesn’t waste time in creating the tension and tautness the film requires. He deserves a special mention for keeping the details life-like—from the quintessential flavour of the 80’s, with the charm lied in the simplicity of the days gone by, to recreating the ill-fated plane, when digitization had not dawned on us, everything is appropriately placed. The diligence that has gone into detailing is truly remarkable. The actors too have immersed themselves into the situation. After briefly introducing the audiences to the inner world of Neerja, and her family, the film’s focus shifts on recreating the crucial 17 hours before the big escape. The journey onwards, right till the end, is fear-inducing and gripping. Never did we get a chance to move our gaze away from the screen. The end is haunting. You could not help but feel choked from the sea of turbulent emotions that will leave your eyes misty. Also Read - Sonam Kapoor Shares Her PCOS Diet and How She Stays Energised On Long Days
Madhvani refrains from using dramebzaai to inject tension. He lets his screenplay and editing do the talking instead. The background score used merges seamlessly with the storyline. The real strength of the lead character depicted here lies in how she channelizes her inner strength and how she chooses to look the danger in the eye. Madhvani uses a back-story that justifies how Neerja uses her quick thinking to make a decision that helped saves lives of hundreds of people. Also Read - Sonam Kapoor's Cousin Priya Singh Files FIR Against Caretakers For Beating up Handicapped Dogs at Her Shelter
As for the performances, Sonam Kapoor is sincere with her efforts. The four terrorists invoke fear with their deliciously menacing demeanour. Shabana Azmi as Neerja’s mother proves yet again why she is not called the talent extraodinaire for nothing with a scene that will bring a lump in your throat.
Our verdict: Don’t miss this extraordinary tale of an ordinary young girl who made the nation proud with her incredible courage. Madhvani gives the real-life hero a befitting tribute!
Rating: 4 stars