Zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahin!
A woman of substance, a symbol of bravery and an icon to look upto, Neerja was all this and much more.
Director Ram Madhvani recreates the last day of this 23 year old wonderful soul, who was killed brutally by three hijackers who boarded the flight in Karachi, back in 1986. Neerja Bhanot was the head purser, who kept her cool, followed her duties diligently and saved the lives of over 300 passengers, without a single moment of hesitance.
The movie is highly gripping from the very first scene and leaves you with teary eyes in the end but inspires you in more ways than one. Neerja is shown to be a Rajesh Khanna fan, who believes in his famous dialogue- ‘Zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahin’ and then exemplifies exactly this over the next 2 hours. She is shown to be a bubbly, carefree girl, attached to her family, the star amongst her friends, a simple young girl filled with energy and zeal, but all this just adds to the dread as you know the frightful climax right from the start. There are over 300 passengers in the flight but they come without a backstory, but Neerja is not portrayed as an obvious heroic figure. She has troubles facing her fears, she misses her mother and wishes to go back to the boy she loves! Neerja is very believably shown as an ordinary woman who has dealt with extraordinary circumstances and has dealt with every phase of her life with a smiling face! The calmness with which she engages with the terrified passengers, keeping her own fears aside, talks a lot about this young lady. And of course her final fall made us all mourn as much as her family. The heart kept wishing that somehow she escapes that bullet and death, but fate had something else in store. I don’t remember the last movie which had such deep impact on my life.
Honestly speaking, I had my doubts on Sonam Kapoor being able to deliver this role. She is known more for her clothes than for her acting. But to my surprise, she fell right in Neerja’s shoes and gave us her best performance so far. She made the character come alive, she was high spirited yet vulnerable, brave yet scared. Shabana Azmi, who plays Neerja’s mother , Rama Bhanot has delivered yet another masterful performance. She is shown to be like any other mother, over protective, warm & wise and her ultimate loss makes your heart ache and you just want to hug her.
The movie is not meant to entertain you, but to educate you about Neerja and how we all should embrace our fears and rise upto the occasion when needed. I highly recommend you to watch this movie and pay your tribute to this brave soul. Hats off to her!
Pic Credit Google Images
Originally posted on Mar 16 2016
Writersbrew Reading Room
Movie review of Neerja, a biopic of Ms. Neerja Bhanot, the youngest recipient of Ashok Chakra. Directed by Mr. Ram Madhvani and lead role played by Ms. Sonam Kapoor