Bollywood honestly isn’t so bad. I mean, let’s face it, for every shitty vulgar, crass, sexually inappropriate or overly sexual movie or a Bhai starrer that aims at a certain section of the audience, there is one great movie to put against them as well. While we have movies like Mastizaade, Great Grand Masti, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Ragini MMS 2 and Jism, we have Piku, Dil Dhadakne Do, Airlift, Maanjhi, and Nil Battey Sanata as well. I guess that’s equilibrium maintained. We can’t have too many shitty movies and we can’t have too many good movies. Either movies can be made on two extremes, amazing and pathetic or mediocre. But if all movies were mediocre, then there would be no mediocre. Right? Or not? I don’t know this is too confusing. Arghhhh!!! Too much science.
And I think this year has had many baaaaaad movies made and some really amazing movies made as well. Neerja is one of those movies.
Neerja is an amazing amazing movie. It’s ending, and the scenes leading up to it are beautiful and full of intensity. And the intensity doesn’t fade. I’ve seen the ending four times now, and the intensity has reached me every time.
Neerja is such an unburdened, uninhibited and unpretentious affair. From start to finish, the movie stays incredibly simple. There are no complicated storylines with complicated characters, or grand directorial techniques used or any hidden sub plots and such. The movie aimed to tell a story, which it does perfectly.
Neerja centers on the tale of Neerja Bhanot, the hear purser for Pan Am Airlines, who shows intense compassion and bravery with a gun pointed at her , to save the lives of the passengers on board her airplane with no regard for her own.
By the time the movie ends, you know every aspect of Neerja Bhanot’s life. How she was raised, the complications at birth, how she was raised, her modelling work, her failed marriage, what she loved and what she did and how she spent every second of her life, inside and outside that aircraft and the impact and legacy she left behind. There would not be a single facet of her life that you can say, “Wait, you said nothing about that”. You know Neerja Bhanot. And you feel for Neerja Bhanot, giving up her life at 22. But when she goes, she goes behind leaving a strong legacy and inspiration for all those who will get to know about her. And I think the producers, directors did us all a favour by educating us about Neerja Bhanot.
This is a testament to the skills of Ram Madhvani, the director of the movie and Saiwyn Quadras and Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh, the writers for the movie (Quadras penned the screenplay as well). There is nothing about this movie you can put a finger on. This movie seemingly has no flaws. It’s pretty much perfect. Sonam Kapoor as Neerja. This is her role. This is her best role yet and one of the best pieces of acting in Bollywood, by any actor of any gender. The supporting cast as well, Shabana Azmi as Rama Bhanot, Neerja’s mother, and Yogendra Tiku as Harish Bhanot, Neerja’s father, Jim Sarbh as Khalil and many others as well. Her brothers, the people in the hijacked plane, everyone. Superb acting. It is becoming a delight to see such a thing happening again and seeming as though it’s becoming a norm in Bollywood (like in Piku, Dil Dhadakne Do, and Masaan).
The movie starts with a message from Rama Bhanot, Neerja Bhanot’s mother and ends with Neerja Bhanot’s pictures on the credit roll. It feels invigorating and a great way to pay tribute to one of the bravest people ever existed.
I don’t know what much can be said. This is, this is without a doubt one of the best movies made this year. A heart wrenching moving piece that will leave you in tears. It is one of those movies that everyone must watch at least once, a lot like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, The Dark Knight and the likes.