Neerja (2016)

Cast – Sonam Kapoor,  Shabana Azmi, Yogendra Tiku, Shekhar Ravjiani, Kavi Shastri

Director – Ram Madhvani

Written by  – Saiwyn Quadras, Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh

We all knew that Neerja was to be a biopic about Neerja Bhanot based on the hijack incident of 1986.

But what sets it apart is that it’s a very crisp, non-dramatic and to-the-point story which starts just a day before the unfortunate incident and makes us live through those crucial 48 hours.

It was high time we woke up to celebrate the story of this Indian woman we all should be proud of.

The story is so well researched and well written that you can feel every moment of the terror.

In spite of the fact that the director had ample opportunity to add melodrama to the story, Ram Madhavani does not give in to the Bollywood trend and keeps it as realistic as possible and still manages to strike the right chord.

The editor keeps it fast paced and no nonsense.

The peeps into her personal life and flashbacks of her past life that have been incorporated were important to portray the kind of brave and courageous woman that she was, not to be cowed down by traumatic past life. She was full of life, ethics and love like any other woman and had her moments of fear. And yet she rose in a moment where anyone else could have faltered.

The team of writer, director and the editor have done a brilliant job of not only recreating the story but making it so believable that it touches the heart.

Performance wise, Sonam Kapoor has done a pretty good job. She did make us see the Neerja which we all should know and revere.

Shabana Azmi and Yogendra Tiku have given appreciable performances and so did many of the other unknown faces including the terrorists. For that matter, I think the casting team has done a good job too.

For a director to make a film so realistic and non-dramatic and still so high on emotional quotient is, I think, a commendable job.

It not only drives you to tears but also makes you proud of the valour of that ordinary woman whose extraordinary presence of mind and courage saved so many lives.

I would rate this one 8 on 10.

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