Why ‘Neerja’ Is a Special Story Worth Telling in Today’s Times

Often cinema fans get inspired by movie stars that portray realistic characters, performing astonishing acts of bravery or sacrifice. Similarly, a lot of real life people form inspiration for filmmakers and writers to create exciting on-screen stories.

The creators usually do it by choosing a very popular individual’s life story. The writers or filmmakers either opt to create a movie on the famous person’s entire life or an event that made the person famous.

However, there are hundreds and thousands of individuals who had led inspiring lives and whose tales have never been made into films. One such person whose brave sacrifice has been made into a biopic, releasing this week, is Neerja Bhanot.

Though many youngsters of today would lack the knowledge of Neerja Bhanot’s ultimate sacrifice, the movie has created an exciting wave among them and they are looking forward to watch this young yet valiant personality on-screen.

Many of the film goers today would certainly wonder who Neerja Bhanot was, and what makes the film about her so special. Was her life so extraordinary to be immortalized on-screen? Yes, Neerja Bhanot’s extraordinary life story deserves to be told.

At the age of just 23, she succumbed to death by saving a group of American children aboard a Pan Am flight which was hijacked on the ground of Karachi. She was killed in the shootout following the hijack at Karachi

International Airport on 5th of September in the year 1986. During the hijack, Neerja could easily have been the first one to get away, but she opted to stay back and help others. While doing so, she saved 359 lives that day which also included 39 American citizens and three children. By any account, the events that happened that day were far more terrible than one can imagine. But, getting a visual account of the horrifying scenes can give an idea of the untold story of Neerja Bhanot.

As a matter of fact, she was just some hours away from turning into 24 years of age. Neerja, the film that hits the screens on 19th of February is based on the dreadful series of

Neerja, the film that hits the screens on 19th of February is based on the dreadful series of occurrences that led to and followed the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73. According to the film’s team, this is an oft-forgotten incident in India’s history, which is unfortunate.

Neerja Bhanot is played by Sonam Kapoor and the entire team has tried their best to tell the story of the gutsy air- hostess as realistically as possible. Produced by Fox Star Studios and Bling Unplugged, the film is written by Saiwyn Quadras and directed by Ram Madhwani.

The latter is an acclaimed ad-film director who is credited with a number of award-winning ads. Generally, these days, filmmakers keep aside a major portion of their film’s budget for international unit shoots, striking locations or big action sequences. But, this film is an exception, as the production team of this film allocated huge amount of their production budget just for the research.

The creators of ‘Neerja’ are firm and confident that they have showed the events in her life just the way they had occurred. According to reports, the production team has spent an astounding sum of Rs 3 crores for the research work in Neerja’s life, before and during the hijack. This gives all the more reason for us to watch this film as it is not every day that we get to watch an authentically researched Indian movie.

Way back in 1986, there wasn’t much technology, scope and resources to show plenty of details in the news. Hence, the necessity of the production team to conduct such an extensive research work can be understood and also the reason that it demanded such a sum of money. The budget was instrumental to do wide research in the four countries – India, Pakistan, Libya and the USA, that the film travels through.

The reason behind this is that the makers of the film wished to get to the bottom of the complete details that were shown in the news in the year 1986 around the tragic event. It is also said that the ‘Neerja’ team contacted a lot of the survivors, who were on board that day.

According to them, this was the only way to acquire a first-hand account of the incidents that occurred on the unlucky flight. All said and done, such stories of individual bravery with selfless sacrifice needs to be celebrated with honesty and sincerity much like the way the production team of ‘Neerja’ seem to have done.

They have tried to bring to screen a rare glimpse of human resolve while facing fatality against evil. In an era where social evils such as terrorism is rampant, the need for individual bravery is paramount than at any time in human history. Also, with the information age in full swing, there is an important need to document such events of the past in order to reach the masses.

Neerja Bhanot was posthumously conferred upon with the Ashoka Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award, in 1987. She was the youngest and first female recipient of the medal. Without ever claiming attention to herself during her short life and shouting from roof tops to gather spotlight, Neerja silently touched the hearts of many through her last deed. Such humane acts need to be remembered and treasured.

If you are planning to watch this movie, do share with us about what made you pick it. Also, please feel free to leave comments and let us know about any such brave acts based movies that come to your mind. If you enjoy our work do like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Jayesh is a writer by design. Alphabets create same impact on him as cheese would create on Jerry the Mouse. His romance with words dates back to the twilight years of 20th century when he lost his heart to Miss British Lingo. He loves to write on Digital Marketing, Advertising, Branding, Language, and Entertainment.