Neerja

Written by Sapna

Neerja is a biopic of brave Neerja Bhanot who gave up her life at the age of 23. She passed away just 25 hours before her 23rd birthday. This is a movie directed by Ram Madhvani. This movie clearly depicts the short but memorable life of Neerja Bhanot. The movie has touched millions of hearts on the first day of its release in India.

The story tells us about how Neerja Bhanot gives up her life to save hundreds of people all aboard the flight Pan Am 73 which was on its way from Mumbai to Karachi and then from Karachi to Frankfurt and finally to New York. She was there at a house party. After the party she goes to sleep and asks her mother to wake her up at one o’clock early the next morning as she had to go for the flight Pan Am 73 and it was her first flight as a purser. She had been doing modeling and her mother asks her to leave the job of a flight attendant as her modeling was going on well. Neerja’s answer to this was that she liked her job and did not want to leave it. She is driven to the airport by her friend Jaideep. He gives her an advanced birthday present as her birthday was on 7 September and she was departing from home on 5 September. As Neerja was in the plane and the plane was about to depart from Mumbai, her friends ask her to marry Jaideep as he was a nice man but Neerja is afraid because when she had been married to a man, he had not treated her properly and put a great pressure of dowry on her family. He also said that she could not do house hold work properly. She returned to her mother and continued modeling. He then sent a letter saying that their daughter was of no use and also said that they should not send their daughter without money. She left him and took up a job in Pan Am.

On September 5, 1986 the plane landed on the Karachi airport. They enter the aircraft and reveal themselves as hijackers. Neerja alerts the pilots about the hijack and they escape from the aircraft so that the plane could not be flown to any place where the hijackers wished. An Indian-American travelling with his mother to America tells that he was American as he was afraid. The hijackers took hold of him and shot him in front of the Pakistani men who had come to talk to them. They had to open the door as when they had asked for a radio engineer, the man did not speak up as per Neerja’s signal. As they had opened the door, their pictures were taken to find out who they were. They use Neerja to make announcements to passengers. Then, the hijackers asked the flight attendants to collect the passports of everyone so that they could find out the Americans as they wanted to fly the plane to America to free their brothers from jail. Neerja tells all the attendants to collect non-American passports and kicks all American passports under the seats. The hijackers search the bags but they don’t find American passports. They find a British man and hold him and say that they would kill him if they didn’t send a pilot soon. Neerja starts giving snacks and water to everyone. The Pakistani men tell them the name of the radio engineer who was in the plane. He is caught and taken to the cockpit and they communicate with the Pakistani men. In anger, one of the hijackers shoots the radio engineer. Neerja keeps the hijackers engaged for about 17 hours. Soon the plane’s power is over and lights go off. Hijackers think that the army was going to attack so they had cut power supply. All attendants explain that it was normal but the hijackers did not understand. They began to shoot everyone. Neerja opens the emergency exit and all attendants help people to move out of the plane. Neerja is then shot by the hijackers while she was shielding three children. She receives numerous awards by India, Pakistan and USA.

This is a heart touching story. I would like to rate it. The rating I would give is 4 stars out of 5. It is a must watch film.