‘Neerja’ was released worldwide on February 19, 2016. I watched the thriller recently at my wife’s insistence and I did not regret it at all. It is based on a true incident – the 1986 hijacking in Karachi, Pakistan of Pan Am Flight 73 by the Libya-backed Abu Nidal Organization.
(Spoilers ahead. If you know Neerja’s story, please keep reading!)
The movie revolves around the life of a flight attendant, Neerja Bhanot, (played by Sonam Kapoor) whose brave and timely actions saved the lives of 359 passengers and crew on board.
If the actors succeed in making you forget that what the audience are watching is only staged enactment, then they have succeeded in their job. The actors who play the terrorists, particularly the two lead characters do justice to this statement. Sonam Kapoor, too, does a great job portraying Neerja’s character.
For instance, Neerja was fondly called “Babu Moshaay”in the movie, that famous phrase from Rajesh Khanna’s hit movie “Anand”, in which Khanna plays a terminal patient with a jolly heart. It is sadly curious how Neerja’s life would also be cut off unnaturally early like one of her favourite movie characters.
The movie also has a lot of nostalgia value for those who grew up in the 80’s in urban India.
Parties in the society lawn with cool, yellow “squash”(drink) being served as big fans blow air onto a sultry evening?
‘Spotlight’ will be easily known as the movie that trumped the Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer ‘The Revenant’ for the Best Picture Oscar award this year.
It’s based on the true story of how persistent investigative journalism uncovered the scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic church in the city of Boston. Some might remember the 2002 case and the worldwide outrage that sent tremors through the Roman Catholic Church around the world and sadly revealed many more child abuse cases that had been perpetrated across decades.
“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” – Arthur C. Clarke
You may have as a father, as an older sibling, walked into a lovely field at night, an open space far away from bulbs, mobile screens and headlights. With a canopy filled with far-away stars and the misty hint of our galaxy, the Milky Way, looking down, you may have had to face a jolly volley of questions –
“ Papa, what comes after that last star there?” “Didi, does that star have another Didi like you?” “Is there ice-cream on Mars?”
Few things fascinate us like the vastness and mystery of outer space. One way popular culture reflects this is from our own childhoods; glued to the TV screen by enthralling space fiction shows. So many of us have cherished adventure stories at the cosmic-level, showcased by T.V. shows like Star Trek, and by a host of movies ranging from Star Wars to Sunshine, all exploring in one way or the other, the excitement and vastness of the unknown deep expanses of space, chasing that near-eternal question : who is out there?