Neerja - Review
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Finally, we have a story that absorbs us completely. It isn't a surprise then that it is not fiction, not something created by someone through their imagination. In fact, the story is what it is because it is true. It is heartening because such humanity is not 'just in the movies'. Would Neerja, the film have the same impact if the story weren't true? Difficult to say. However, the story would certainly have been forgotten by many if it weren't for the film. And, of course, the story could have been forgettable, if it wasn't told this well.
It has been a long time since I heard applause by audience after the film ended and it has been a long time since I had tears well up and roll away because of a performance. Every time Shabana Azmi is on screen, I sensed a flood of emotion that I haven't felt in a movie in ages. Her voice inflections through the film, not only in one particular scene, touch a chord. Not just her, you empathize with Yogendra Tiku as her husband, Neerja's father every time he is speechless but is required to form words.
And of course, Sonam Kapoor has vowed with keeping it restrained and real. A word here for the actors who play the terrorists, though I feel that even acknowledging the terrrorists' existence is giving them too much. Well, then that is how well the actors have done. Shekhar Ravjiani – even before we watched the film, we knew that we have to see this man in bigger roles on screen, didn't we?
One could complain that the film could have been shorter making it crisper because after all it is almost two hours of being stuck in a plane. However, I would stop myself short while doing that, because it is about hijacked people who were stuck with terrorists in a plane for 16-17 hours. Remember we got breaks in the form of flashbacks. Other than that, sure, there is drama in the form of tight close-ups and use hand-held cameras. But it is not overdone. Maybe the Rajesh Khanna bit is a little over-the-top, here's hoping that Neerja Bhanot was really that big a fan.
Aside from telling a story about the events of PAN AM 73, Neerja has a lovely layer of woman empowerment sewed into the fabric of the film. This is not just about the woman's grit because she is a woman. But also about being wanted as a girl child, about her independent spirit and about her having to stand-up against labels and what was wrong. Not because she is a woman, but because she is human. And that is what is so enabling about the film's subtext. Indeed, you feel like standing up to salute her parents who instilled the values that she lived and died by.
Goodness forbid then, were we to find ourselves in a situation like this, will be remember this film and act accordingly? Even if a handful of us do and fewer stay as brave, we would have made Neerja's short life larger.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Terrorists shooting innocent people.
- Language: Clean.
- Nudity & Sexual content: None.
- Concept: A story based on true life about an air hostess saving passengers' lives from terrorists.
- General Look and Feel: Intense and grim.
Neerja - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Fox Star Studios, Bling Unplugged
- Producer: Atul Kasbekar, Shanti Sivaram Maini
- Director: Ram Madhwani
- Lead Cast: Sonam Kapoor, Shabana Azmi
- Supporting Cast: Shekhar Ravjiani, Yogendra Tikku, Jim Sarbh
- Cinematography: Mitesh Mirchandani
- Editor: Monisha R Baldawa
- Music Director: Vishal Khurana
- Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi
- Costume Designer: Kanika Berry
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 120 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Based on true life story, Social, Terrorism
Neerja - Trailer
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