The biographical thriller film ‘Neerja’ clocked six years on Saturday as filmmaker Ram Madhvani recalled his meeting with Neerja Bhanot’s mother, Rama Bhanot.
He shares, “In remembering Neerja, one always has to remember Neerja’s mother and her family. When we went to Chandigarh to meet the family, one of the most spirited women that I have ever met was Neerja’s mother, Rama Bhanot. She blessed us while we were shooting. She could not, unfortunately, see the film. Her memory inspired the film which is about how a family overcomes the loss of their child.”
He adds, “Last year, Aneesh Bhanot, Neerja’s brother also passed away. He was a wonderful gentleman. The family now has Akhil Bhanot. The father, the mother, and the brother passed away. Every February 19, what the entire team at Ram Madhvani Films and the team at FoxStar Studios and Bling Unplugged want to do is to celebrate the memory of the Bhanot family. We owe the film to them.”
The film, which stars Sonam Kapoor in the titular role, is based on the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi. It shows how the head purser of the flight, Neerja Bhanot thwarted the hijack attempt by alerting the pilots, thereby grounding the plane. Bhanot laid down her life in the line of duty trying to help save the passengers and crew on board.
In addition, the film also stars Shabana Azmi, Yogendra Tiku, Shekhar Ravjiani, and Jim Sarbh in supporting roles.