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Neerja (2016)

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Sunday, 14 February 2016, 3:56 | Biography, Drama | 0 Comment | 2644 Views
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Neerja (2016)

Detail

Director: Ram Madhvani
Writers: Saiwyn Qadras (story), Sanyukta Shaikh Chawla (dialogue)
Stars: Shabana Azmi, Sonam Kapoor, Shekhar Ravjiani
Producer : Atul Kasbekar, Shanti Sivaram Maini
Executive producer : Deepika Gandhi
Associate producer : Amita Madhvani, Anup Kumar Poddar
Music by : Vishal Khurana
Cinematography by : Mitesh Mirchandani
Film Editing by : Monisha R Baldawa
Country: India
Language: Hindi
Release Date: 19 February 2016


 

Storyline

WHAT was Neerja Bhanot’s biggest fear? This question puts her two elder brothers — Akhil and Aneesh — in deep thought. “There was nothing she feared,” says Akhil. “Maybe, she was a bit scared of cockroaches. Nothing else,” he adds, after giving the question some thought. Aneesh nods in agreement. Neerja, who was the flight attendant on Pan Am 73 that was hijacked by Libyan terrorists in Karachi, saved 359 passengers at the cost of her life on September 5, 1986. On February 19, a biopic, titled Neerja, is scheduled for release. It tells the story of her extraordinary courage that the new generation might not be familiar with. Sonam Kapoor plays the titular role in this Ram Madhvani-directed film.

The Bhanot brothers had flown in to Mumbai on Thursday from their hometown Chandigarh to attend the trailer launch of Neerja, whose tagline says: Fear gave her courage. The two brothers fondly remembered the sister who met a heroic death two days before her 23rd birthday. “She was a bully. Being the youngest in the family and the only daughter, whatever she wished prevailed. She was also fearless,” says Aneesh. Known to the world as the only woman recipient of Ashok Chakra, India’s highest civilian award for bravery, she was fondly referred to as ‘Lado’ in her family.

Kapoor did not know much about Neerja before she signed the film. However, shooting for the film — in an aircraft-lookalike set — became an insightful journey of discovering Neerja. The actor confessed about feeling emotional, thinking that she would get to leave the plane while Neerja didn’t. “I don’t know how to top this performance. I need to take some time out. For now, I have only signed my sister’s next film,” she says. Kapoor admits to being moved by Neerja’s attachment to her family and her courage.

Madhvani, who has earlier directed an indie film titled Let’s Talk, considered the task of directing Neerja to be a big responsibility.
Showing the story of passengers trapped in an aircraft for 16 hours was a challenge. “The film shows how Neerja overcame her fear to do what she needed to do. I hope we have done justice to that day and Neerja in the film,” says Madhvani. According to the director, at the heart of the “inspirational” film is also the mother-daughter relationship. Veteran actor Shabana Azmi essays the role of Neerja’s mother, Rama Bhanot.

One regret that Madhvani has is that Rama passed away before the movie could be completed. However, the recorded message of her on the sets of Neerja was played during the event. “Jeete raho, khus raho and bahut badiya picture banao (Live long, be happy and make an excellent movie),” she said.


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