I did not intend to see this movie but I am thankful to Bobby Singh from http://www.bobbytalkscinema.com whose review and subsequent persuasion led me to watching it. At the offset, let me tell you that by the end of the movie, most people in the hall were left in tears and you could hear sniffling all over.
The reason I didn’t want to see it was because I didn’t expect much from Sonam Kapoor as far as her acting skills are concerned. But she is good in the role of Neerja Bhanot, a braveheart, who saved many lives through her courage and presence of mind in the Pan Am flight hijack at Karachi airport in 1986. But the actress who really shines through is Shabana Azmi in her crucial and impactful role of Neerja’s mother.
It was her dialogue delivery and heartfelt emoting that left us all in tears at the sorrow, regret and above all, the pride that a mother would feel when her beloved daughter dies at the age of 23, but does so while saving hundreds of lives of people who are not even related to her but she does so for the sake of her duty towards the passengers and basic human kindness. This kind of courage through kindness does not come to many people but blessed are those, who do not even fear to lay their own lives for the sake of duty.
Neerja was not a soldier but what she did was no less than what a soldier would do. The best part about this movie is the plot and the treatment of the plot. Sonam Kapoor does not let her own personality overshadow that of the character she is playing, which is commendable and I hope she continues improving on her acting and more importantly her dialect and voice modulation.
The camera being a little shaky at the start, kind of gives you a headache but that stops when the actual flight scenes begin. The irony lies in the scenes where Neerja is preparing for her first flight as the head of cabin crew and at the same time the terrorists are preparing to hijack the flight, and lacing themselves with guns and grenades. One wonders what does it all happen for. Are so many human lives worth being taken for the very God who has gifted them to us?
Watch this movie, even if you don’t like Sonam Kapoor because it is not about her. It is about the unflinching human spirit, love and compassion which is very nicely executed by Ram Madhvani. I would again like to mention here the sublime and stellar performance by Shabana Azmi. Its her depiction of the emotions of Neerja’s mother that brings you to tears and makes your heart go out to the family that has suffered through the pangs of losing such an exemplary daughter.
My Rating: 4.5/5