A blind critic reviews Neerja
February 20, 2016
Directed by Ram Madhvani and produced by Atul Kasbekar the biopic "Neerja" has done a brilliant job when presenting the life of the youngest recipient of the Ashok Chakra, Neerja Bhanot. Neerja is perfect blend of bravery, courage and humanity. Sonam Kapoor portrays Neerja with conviction. Shabana Azmi does a great job as the emotional, loving and superstitious mom. Her performance in the final scene is extremely moving.
At the very start of the film, the sound of balloons bursting is symbolic of the later events in the story. The film has superb direction, editing, and music. However, in many parts English subtitles were displayed on the screen for Arabic dialogues. It becomes impossible for visually impaired people to understand the reasons behind the plane hijack plan without a sighted buddy. Neerja is a heart-felt biopic that rises above ordinary with a great direction. We suggest you to go for Neerja this weekend and salute the India's daughter by watching it! Of course, with a sighted friend!A sighted perspective:
Neerja is an inspirational ride showing Neerja's (Sonam Kapoor) courage in the face of danger. It shows us the two defining events of Neerja Bhanot's life. At one point, she leaves her physically abusive husband. In another, she thinks of helping people escape the Arab-speaking terrorists as another similar escape. Sonam Kapoor delivers a decent performance. Even if one goes emotionally prepared for the tragedy in the film (knowing Neerja Bhanot's story), the film still manages to affect you at an emotional level. This says a lot about the film.
My experience of watching this film was different because I watched it with two visually impaired friends. With no audio description, my explanations of the Arab dialogues fell short because of the fast pace of the dialogues.