Why Neerja will certainly be a game changer for Sonam Kapoor!

There are times when you watch a trailer and can feel the pain, the angst of the character right-away. Neerja fits into that bracket. Firstly, I must admit that although it’s really shameful, I didn’t have a clue about who Neerja Bhanot was until I heard a film was being made on her inspirational life. Now, Neerja’s life is not just inspirational. It’s aspirational too. A simple, ordinary girl from the by-lanes of Mumbai became the true embodiment of courage when she saved so many lives from being killed and tortured.

At a time when Bhanot could have saved her own life and jumped out of the plane, she stuck around only to be shot while protecting three kids. Sonam’s all set to step into her shoes and the actress is super-confident about the film. So are we. People still consider Ranjhanaa her best work till date. Will Neerja topple that? We have high hopes pinned from this one.
Neerja’s certainly going to be a game changer for Sonam and for a lot of other people in more ways than one. After having experimented with different kinds of films, this will be Sonam’s first biopic in the truest sense. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag had her playing Biro but that was just a miniscule cameo we’re talking about. Here, Sonam is shouldering an entire film on her own and the power-puff girl is on her way to hit a home-run.
Sharing screen space with stalwarts like Shabana Azmi made her a little worried. But in a good way. Sonam says, “Shabana aunty is the person who’s responsible for me to get into films. When I decided I want to act, my dad called her up and he asked her to speak to me. After a conversation, she told my dad that I should definitely be an actress. From there to here being her daughter in the film, it’s been fantastic. She was not intimidating but her presence made me up my game for sure.”
Who would have expected Sonam to quickly make a trademark shift from the commercial mainstream cinema that she was doing to try out something more content-driven? But she did take the plunge. After a stupendously successful Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Sonam’s bang on with Neerja. And this isn’t the first time for her. “People have a very short memory in Bollywood. They have forgotten that Delhi 6 was my second film and I have done Ranjhanaa at a time when people criticised me for my acting. So today when people talk about me making these shifts, I just laugh it off.”
Undoubtedly, it’s the best time for a film of this calibre to hit screens. Reason? Today, audience’s acceptance has vastly increased towards different genres. People aren’t just craving for the mindless masala anymore. With so much exposure to content from the West – be it films or TV – the audiences have become more receptive of smaller films as well. And there’s enough proof to validate that point. A film like The Lunchbox has a percentage ROI (return on investment) which many heavyweight films with A-listers cannot boast of. A Ranjhanaa, a Queen and a Piku is making their way at the box office, recording great figures- something that one could not have imagined a few years back. But the biggest accomplishment is in the fact that today, writers and producers have the liberty and opportunity to experiment with different forms of films. The gap between the conventional and unconventional is slowly getting bridged and what was considered a risk say 5 years back isn’t a risk anymore. And all these factors are testament to the fact that a film like Neerja might create wonders at the box office. By wonders, we don’t necessarily mean the 100 crore figure but in its own fashion, Neerja is a film that might turn tables yet another time. This time for Sonam Kapoor!

Like I said, I didn’t know about Neerja. Now, I know her and I can also sense what she must have gone through in those 16 hours of her life. Am sure most of you didn’t know about her as well but will be ashamed to admit that in public. So go out and watch the film. After all, Neerja is not just a film that I want to watch. It is a film that needs to be watched. To commemorate and salute the courage, the bravado of the youngest woman to have received the Ashok Chakra. After all, that’s a bigger feat than crossing the Rs 100 or 200 crore mark for sure!