This week there are four releases and out of which the one that most struck me was Neerja starring Sonam Kapoor in the title role directed by Ad Guru Ram Madhvani. Based on the real life story of Neerja Bhanot, an air-hostess, who lost her life saving many others in 1986 during the unforgettable PanAm hijacking.

The story – Neerja (Sonam) is a successful model and a purser at PanAm airlines. She is also a die-hard Rajesh Khanna fan and is doted by her parents (Shabana Azmi and Yogendra Tiku). She also has a loving boyfriend in Jaideep (Shekhar Ravjiani). Life is all set for Neerja until the day she boards the PanAm flight bound for New York as the head purser. The flight gets hijacked in Karachi by terrorists backed by Libya based Palestinian terrorist group Abu Nidal. Neerja warns the pilots who follow the protocol and abandon the cockpit. With no one to fly the plane to Cyprus (where the terrorists want to go) the terrorists take the passengers as ransom and demand for pilots. They start killing passengers one after another to show the Airport authorities that they definitely mean business. In all this mayhem, Neerja musters courage and tries to calm the passengers down however, the end as everyone knows is not very sweet.

First thing first, Ram Madhvani does a very brave attempt by adapting a real life situation to screen. He has got the screenplay in place and so does the characters. From the main lead to the character artists everyone are aptly cast. There is no breather in this tightly made thriller. One can feel the tense situation when the terrorists board the plane. The background music is quite riveting and gells well with the plot.

Sonam Kapoor delivers one of her finest performances till date. Shabana Azmi does a wonderful job as Neerja’s mother. New find Yogendra Tiku who plays Neerja’s father shows lot of promise.

The music by Vishal Khurrana is not out of place and mixes well with the theme of the movie. The editing is tight and you will be hooked to your seat till the end.

On the whole, a very good movie that should be watched by everyone.

My Verdict: ****


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