Slaps: A couple of 'slow' moments in the film which jarrs the narrative.
What's New: 'Neerja' is a brave attempt to tell an inspiring story of an unsung hero
Popcorn Refill: Interval
Plot: 5th September 1986. We see a young cheerful Neerja, celebrating a function with her family and other society members at Navjeevan Society in Mumbai before boarding Pan Am Flight 73 as a senior flight attendant. She is like any other girl constantly trying to seize every moment of happiness. 'Lado' Neerja and her mother Rama (Shabana Azmi) bond over paranthas and Rajesh Khanna. The premise then shifts to Karachi, Pakistani where a few members of a terrorist organization are planning to hijack that same very flight and take its passengers as hostages.
What follows next is how Neerja overcomes her fear drawing parallels from her failed marriage and becomes a saviour for the passengers on the hijacked flight on that fateful night.
Performances: Sonam Kapoor gives an honest performance as Neerja though she takes her own time to sink her teeth into her role. Shabana Azmi as Neerja's mother Rama has some shining moments that leave you emotional. The mother-daughter bonding is extremely heart-warming. The rest of the cast too is apt and add various layers to the story of those crucial 17 hours of hijack translated on-screen.
Direction: One must applaud Ram Madhvani for choosing such a sensitive subject and giving it a voice. However this captain of the ship's journey isn't so smooth as there are a few scenes which could have had some more intensity to make 'Neerja' a gripping tale. He takes his own time to build a claustrophobic atmosphere. But in the process, the film slows down a bit which could work against it.
Saiwyn Quadras's screenplay could have been a bit more taut to create maximum impact. Inspite of these flaws, 'Neerja' deeply moves you especially the last 10-15 minutes which are quite impressive and heart-wrenching!
The film also has some soulful songs and music. The track 'Aisa Kyun Maa', a beautiful rendition stays with you for a long time.
Combo-on-offer: A story of courage and sacrifice+ Emotions
Verdict: We give 'Neerja' THUNDEROUS CLAPS for its emotional and inspiring tale which leaves you with goosebumps by the end of the journey.
'Babu Moshai, Zindagi badi honi chahiye..lambi nahi'. Yes, you stayed true to these words, Neerja Bhanot!