Another day, another review! I have been wanting to watch this film for a VERY long time and I am finally glad that I have got to see it. It was exactly what I expected it to be and more.
Neerja Bhanot, played by Sonam Kapoor, is a lively girl who loves her jobs as a model and as an air hostess. She arrives at the airport for her shift as head purser for the Pan Am Flight 73. The flight is going smoothly until it lands in Karachi for a stop-over when it is hijacked by a group of terrorists. From there, you will witness how an ordinary girl’s quick and clever actions save an entire flight full of passengers. Since this is based on a true event that has happened in the past; you will be aware of how the movie will end. With that said, you will still feel emotional, at the edge of your seat and proud of Neerja.
Have a look at the trailer:
Sonam Kapoor was Neerja inside and out. It’s a shame that Rama Bhanot (Neerja’s mother) didn’t get a chance to see this film as she passed away near the time of the release. However, I am aware that she said very lovely things to Sonam Kapoor during the making and I know she would have been proud of her performance after watching the film. Not once does it cross your mind that you’re watching a film and Sonam Kapoor is acting in it – you sit quietly with the belief that she is, in fact, Neerja. My favourite scene of hers was when she went to the bathroom to calm herself down and gain composure. She trembles with so much fear in the bathroom but manages to leave the bathroom with a glaze of courage. The portrayal of the opposites was outstanding. Sonam Kapoor easily deserves a lot of accolades for her extremely sincere and realistic performance.
Another highlight of the film is Neerja’s mother, Rama Bhanot (played by Shabana Azmi). She imbibes all the qualities an Indian mother would possess and she is so caring that you just wish that the never-ending problems end so Neerja can go back to her mother as she pleads. Shabana’s most powerful moment in the film was her monologue. Her monologue displayed a variety of emotions with a layer of pride. This was a very uplifting moment.
Jim Sarbh, who played Khalil the angry terrorist, was phenomenal. His constant glare was incredibly intimidating and his ruthless behaviour towards the passengers was thrilling. My favourite scene of his was when he lost control and started shouting in so much anger. He hit the sides of the plane and himself in frustration and it all looked so convincing.
The rest of the cast delivered great performances too but my highlights are solely the ones listed above.
I disliked the camera angle a lot of the times. It was quite unnecessarily shaky for the majority of the film. For example, the shaky recording outside of Neerja’s father’s office just didn’t make any sense? It just felt like someone was vlogging it…
I really loved how the film went back and forth to showcase all points of view. I felt goosebumps when the scene cut from innocent children popping balloons to the terrorists observing their grenades.
The music in the film was used extremely well. Jeete Hain Chal being my favourite track out of the soundtrack.
It’s closely followed by Aisa Kyun Maa. The lyrics and the instruments used in both songs are so gentle and relaxing.
Finally, last but not least, I’d like to take this moment to remember Neerja Bhanot. This film was based on a true incident. No words can describe how brave that girl was to stand up to terrorists just to save her passengers. Her quick and clever mind managed to save 359 from that flight of 379. She was selfless as she made sure that all passengers left the plane before she did. She is a hero that needs to be celebrated and I am glad that Ram Madhvani decided to make this film. Thank you Neerja and thank you team Neerja for showcasing this to the world.
I would recommend this film to everyone. It is another 5/5 movie from 2016. I cannot rate it any less as it would be injustice to the true events that once happened and injustice to the outstanding work in this film.