Ram Madhvani is back from his exile of 14 years bringing in Sonam Kapoor in one of her possibly best performances in & as Neerja. Time for people to look up and take notice of the striving Kapoor showcasing her best. There couldn’t be anything inspirational than the real life stories. A tribute indeed with the right credits rolling at the end – makes you feel proud of Neerja.
Neerja though nicely packaged it majorly rides on the emotional waves than the edge of the seat drama – The pace is slow and the flashbacks take away the thrills and chills of the Hijack. The underlying currents of Neerja form part of these flashbacks evolving her bravery; allowing you to sigh between the scenes which could have been breatheless making it a great thriller than just plain biopic. The right selection of terrorists could have made Neerja an interesting watch if the writer could have been more crisp in the inflight situations. They make this watch purely mediocre else celluloid Neerja would have triumphed gloriously. Nevertheless; Sonam Kapoor is in the skin of the character and showcases her talent pretty well.
Neerja’s introduction along with the Hijack plan in parallel somewhere sets you ready for the upcoming historic tragedy. Its 5th sept 1986, you take off in the Flight PAN AM 73 along with Neerja – her first flight as purser. Soon you are at Karachi airport in minutes you are stormed by terrorists. Neerja with her sheer presence of mind rightly conveys HIJACK – allowing pilots to escape cockpit allowing the plane to stay grounded and you are captured till the end until Neerja sets you free with proud.
Neerja at the age of 23 saving 359 lives is magnum unfolding this drama on the celluloid is heart wrecking. Neerja Bhanot did this in her real life and Sonam Kapoor does this in her reel life making it pretty decent in her act. Shabhana Azmi proves her being a veteran – she is a cherry on the cake top-lining her performance as her mother bringing in the right sensibility. Each frame of her tells a story of the mother; brilliantly captured the sensibility a mother can bring in leaving you in tears at the end.
Neerja, indeed a great watch for its sheer performances.
Rating – 3/5