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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Neerja

Directed by: Ram Madhvani
Produced by: Atul Kasbekar, Shanti Sivaram Maini, Bling Unplugged and Fox Star Studios
Written by: Saiwyn Quadras, Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh (dialogues)
Screenplay by: Saiwyn Quadras
Based on: Neerja Bhanot
Starring: Sonam Kapoor, Shabana Azmi and Shekhar Ravjiani
Music by: Vishal Khurana
Cinematography: Mitesh Mirchandani
Edited by: Monisha R Baldawa
Production company: Fox Star Studios
Distributed by: Fox Star Studios
Release dates: February 19, 2016



Story line:

The film is based on the life of Neerja Bhanot who was shot dead by terrorists who hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi on 5 September 1986.

Bhanot was the senior flight purser on the ill-fated Pan Am Flight 73 flying from Mumbai to the USA, which was hijacked by four armed men on 5 September 1986 at Karachi airport in Pakistan. The aircraft was carrying 400 passengers. The terrorist wanted to redirect the plane, Israel and crash it into a building. As the plane was on the tarmac, the three-member American cockpit crew of pilot, co-pilot and the flight engineer evacuated the aircraft per their training so that the aircraft could not be forcibly flown. Bhanot, being the most senior cabin crew member aboard, took charge. After the terrorists boarded the plane, Neerja alerted the cockpit crew, who escaped through an overhead hatch in the cockpit.

The hijackers were part of the terrorist Abu Nidal Organization and were backed by Libya. The terrorists then instructed Bhanot to collect the passports of all the passengers so that they could identify the Americans. Bhanot and the other attendants under her charge hid the passports of the 41 Americans on board; some under a seat and the rest down a rubbish chute. They wanted to create a pressure on America by identifying the American on the aircraft. She hid the passports of the passengers on the flight so that the hijackers could not differentiate between American and Non-American citizens.

After 17 hours, the hijackers opened fire and set off explosives. Bhanot opened the emergency door, flung a chute and assisted all the passengers to escape. She could have been the first to jump out when she opened the door but she decided not to and was shot while shielding three children from a hail of bullets. From a total of 41 American passengers, only 2 were killed during firing. One of the children, then aged 7, is now a captain for a major airline and has stated that Neerja Bhanot has been his inspiration and he owes every day of his life to her. Bhanot was recognized internationally as "the heroine of the hijack" and is the youngest recipient of the Ashok Chakra Award, India's most prestigious gallantry award for bravery during peace time.

This incidence happened just two days before her twenty-third birthday. Not only had she assured the failure of the hijacking by preventing the plane from getting off the ground, she also saved the lives of hostages in those long hours of incarceration.

Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director:

Ram Madhvani is an Indian film director from Mumbai best known for directing several award-winning commercials in India. With over 20 years of experience in the profession Ram Madhvani has worked with every important advertising agency in the country to become one of India’s most respected filmmakers. In recognition of his talent and for his contributions to advertising Ram has been honoured with the Teachers Achievement Award (2004–2005).

Ram has also made his mark as a director outside of advertising. His debut feature film Let’s Talk premiered at the Locarno Film Festival. It then went on to win the Screen “Best Actor” award and “Best Debut Director” at the Srinivas Gollapudi National Awards.

In 2007, Aamir Khan asked Ram to direct the “Bheja kum” song for his film Taare Zameen Par.

In 2012, Ram was again approached by Aamir Khan to direct the official theme song video for his TV series Satyamev Jayate.

My Gut Feel and comments:

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom”. As I saw the trailer of  Neerja  and done some research around the filming process of Neerja I found this quote relevant.  As it’s seems to be a honest and sincere effort from the complete creative team starting from the writers Saiwyn Quadras and Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh, first time producer Atul Kasbekar, the director Ram Madhvani and complete the cast and supporting crew of this movie. Both Sonam Kapoor and Shabana Azmi seem brilliant in their respective roles.
It required wisdom to make a biopic and doing justice to a sensitive story and I am confident that Ram Madhvani did managed to do it. Ram is renowned advertisement maker and had also directed a Hinglish movie Let’s talk more than a decade ago.  In case of Neerja he used all his experience and surely done justice to this wonderful story.
I for see a good movie which has a potential to move heart and soul and will surely get its due at box office as well and will not go unnoticed.  Fox Star Studios put sincere effort in marketing the film which surely made it reachable to larger audience which will benefit the movie eventually.

Going by my gut feeling I am giving Neerja 3.5  stars out of 5, one day before the release.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Fitoor

Directed by: Abhishek Kapoor
Produced by: Abhishek Kapoor and Siddharth Roy Kapur
Written by: Abhishek Kapoor and Supratik Sen
Based on: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Starring: Aditya Roy Kapur, Katrina Kaif and Tabu
Music by: Amit Trivedi
Background score: Hitesh Sonik
Cinematography: Anay Goswamy
Edited by: Deepa Bhatia
Production company: UTV Motion Pictures
Distributed by: PVR Cinemas
Release dates: 12 February 2016
Running time: 129 minutes




Story line:

This story follows a young Kashmiri boy, Noor, his muse Firdaus, and a mercurial Begum, through love lost and realized over the course of two generations. Thirteen-year-old Noor, an impressionable boy, is lured into the world of the Begum - the wealthiest woman in town. Young Noor falls in love with the Begum's daughter, Firdaus. Suffering from a broken heart herself, the Begum finds her mark in Noor. Noor obsesses over Firdaus, someone who belongs to a world completely different from his. Seasons change and Noor leaves his hometown to move to Delhi to build his career. He strives to be accepted into the sophisticated social circles that Firdaus is a part of, while the Begum plots retribution on their young and innocent love.

Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director:

Abhishek Kapoor (born 6 August 1971) is an Indian film actor, writer and director.
He started his career as an actor in Uff! Yeh Mohabbat in 1996, opposite Twinkle Khanna, directed by Vipin Handa, and after two more films, he made his directorial d├ębut with Aryan in 2006.
In 2008, he directed Rock On!! starring Arjun Rampal, the screenplay was written by Pubali Choudary. The film also marked the acting debut of Farhan Akhtar and went on to become a success, bringing not just accolades but also a Filmfare Award in 2009

My Gut Feel and comments:

"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships."  This quote justified the team effort of  Abhishek Kapoor the director, Supratik Sen the writer and Anay Goswamy the Cinematographer who teamed up earlier as well and made excellent movie “Kai Po Che” and concluded “Fitoor” this time collectively.
Abhishek Kapoor proved his mettle as director through Rock On!!! And Kai Po che, he is quite good at projecting realistic human emotions through his characters that are relatable yet fits well in larger than life canvas of cinema.
In case of Fitoor its clear that Kashmir has been captured well, performances from Tabu and Aditya Roy Kapur would be exceptional however film pace would be slow. Film is based on an English novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and it’s indeed a daunting task to adapt it and aligning it to Indian audience’s sensibility.
Overall I am expecting a decent movie which would surely go well critically however commercial success would be difficult.
Going by my gut feeling I am giving Fitoor 3 stars out of 5, one night before the release.