3.5 Very Good

Neerja

Bravery has a new name and its Neerja. Neerja Bhanot saved the lives of 350 passengers when a Pan AM flight was hijacked in Karachi Pakistan,by Libyan terrorists.She gave her life to save the lives of everyone on that flight and she was just a 22 year old, air hostess. The courage she showed, is something very special especially at such a tender age, she could have saved her own life first, but she did not.Neerja is a real hero, a real life superhero. Honestly words cant describe her bravery.India, Pakistan, and USA all gave there bravery awards to Neerja Bhanot. After watching Neerja, the date September.5/1986 will haunt me forever, but I will always feel a sense of pride for India's true daughter Neerja Bhanot. Neerja is close to a flawless film, the film is a realistic drama about a true event. A horrific event which is depicted in the film without any commercial trapping, the film grips you from the first frame, and Neerja doesn't let you go till the tear jerking climax. Neerja is a film which is taunt, thrilling, its shocking, its grim, and its a film with some flawless performances. But above all its one of the most heroic films I have ever seen.

Story wise the film is based on the life of Neerja Bhanot who was shot dead by terrorists when trying to save 3 children who hijacked Pan Am flight 73 in Karachi on 5 September 1986. The aircraft was carrying 361 passengers and 19 crew members. What happened on the flight during the 17 hr hijack is what the film is about.

Acting wise Sonam Kapoor is a revelation, she is not Sonam, but she completely transforms into Neerja. The way she displays her vulnerability, and bravery on screen is completely awe inspiring. Has she already won the best actress award in February, well it seems like it. Its her career best act. Watch out for the scene, when she hides the American passports fearlessly. Shabana Azmi plays the relentless mother role to perfection. She plays the typical punjabi mother, but the way Azmi handles the role its something to marvel at. Her last monologue in Neerja will give you in goosebumps, and have you in tears. Yogendra Tiku was good. All the characters playing the terrorists were good and portrayed well, they weren't clichéd. The man playing Khalil was menacing to core and the best of the lot by far.

Neerja is a great film, and I don't have to hesitate even once before saying this. The film is shot so one feels a suffocated feeling as if the viewers are apart of the plane. Every character, every sequence feels realistic to the core nothing is commercialized, no cinematic liberties are taken. Neerja is very gripping from the first frame to the last, one never feels bored. What we are served up as viewers is a taunt, thrilling drama, which leaves one shocked and eventually in tears. The film has a dark tone, and some of the scenes will be hard to stomach for some viewers because of violence etc.The films last 30 min is when film is at its best, during the pre climax evacuation, and climax monologue. Bring tissues because you will surely cry in the last 30 mins of the film. I also loved how the film would overshadow the past and Neerja's character got strength from her past divorce, parents etc to handle the terrorists.The films music was average. The pace in 2nd half starts to slow down a bit. But these are minor flaws. One might call the film melo dramatic, but these melo dramatic emotions are real raw emotions one feels in a situation of this type that is shown in Neerja.

Overall I wont so much more other than go watch Neerja because its story about a real Indian hero, and because Neerja is a great film. This film will be remembered for a long time. Finally Salute to Neeraj Bhanot, thank you for being brave, when every one else was scared, you are a true hero.