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The Youngest Saviour!
by Rajan Nayak
At the age of 23 most of us would go out with friends, have fun, would make a bucket
list and work hard for it. But she was different. In 1986 a braveheart was lost while saving
passengers from Pan Am 73 flight which was hijacked at the time of its layover in Karachi.
She was Neerja Bhanot. This event inspired a biopic Neerja, starring Sonam Kapoor as
Neerja Bhanot which was released in 2016.
The biopic sets the tone right by introducing her as a sensitive, extremely affectionate and loving person. At the start itself you fall in love with her character. Knowing what is going to follow does make you anxious but youâ€™ll decide to live this moment and adore her for being such a loving person. The plot does not waste any time and moves forward. Neerja was a flight attendant for Pan Am 73 flight and was in Karachi for layover when it was Hijacked!
The biopic surely will make you cringe in your seats. It will unsettle you and might as well scar you for life if you travel by plane often. It does a great job by not allowing one to settle. Every minute is heart pumping. The tension can be felt. There are so many shots that are so beautifully done. One of them is when a terrorist, played by Jim Sarbh searches Neerja in an awful way. You literally feel disgusted. Jim in this is absolutely amazing. He nails the part as a terrorist and will make you feel annoyed. He makes the plot more frightening than any of the other terrorists.
Half way through, you would realize the fact that Neerja was the flight attendant and she was doing what she is supposed to do but how could she be so brave? The biopic does answer this question that lies in her past. She got married and started living in Gulf with her husband. Unfortunately, it didnâ€™t last long and all her dreams were shattered within 2 months. She was tortured in the name of dowry. She was starved for finance. She was all lost and down but she bravely came back to Mumbai and started her modelling career. But what followed was a humiliating letter which read, accept all the conditions and come back or weâ€™ll separate. But what follows makes the life of Neerja invincible. The letter also read "Youâ€™re only a graduate", as if it was asking her what she was? Neerja was shot in the head. She was killed two days before her 23rd birthday. The whole crew along with Neerja saved 340 passengers. 20 passengers were killed. More than 100 were injured. She received peace keeping award from three nations India, Pakistan and USA. She was the youngest recipient of Indiaâ€™s highest peacetime gallantry, Ashok Chakra.
It is as if she lived her life bravely to answer the question that the letter asked, what she was? She was a Braveheart and now she is invincible in the memories courtesy, the biopic.
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