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A boy is forced meet a girl for an arranged marriage but even though he refuses the match, they secretly become friends. As things get complicated and both get engaged to different people they realize they've fallen in love with each other.
Neerja is the story of the courageous Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life while protecting the lives of 359 passengers on the Pan Am flight 73 in 1986. The flight was hijacked by a terrorist organization.
After successfully arranging the marriage of her Delhi-based spinster aunt, Chitra, to Colonel Raghuvendra Singh, self-styled 'Event Manager', Aisha Kapoor, decides to turn match-maker. She is convinced that she can find the right match for anyone, including Bahadurgarh-based naive and innocent Shefali Thakur. Chaos and bitterness results after Aisha decides to convert Shefali into a modern and fashionable woman, and concludes that Randhir Gambhir is the ideal groom for her.Written by
I thought Aisha was really cute. As an Emma adaptation, I thought it was excellent- they kept all the important elements of the story in, and I saw a few homages to Clueless in there as well. I like that Aisha wasn't 100% likable, as she shouldn't be- she is a girl who's been given everything in life, which doesn't always lend itself to peachy sweetness. Of course she's going to be arrogant! Nobody other than Arjun ever says no to her.
Because this film is about a very wealthy girl and her matchmaking pursuits, which do often come across as very superficial and celebrating monetary pleasures, and the characters are very shallow at times (their problems are hardly anything, compared to the very real struggles other Indians face) I can see how some people might not like it- my dad thought it was absolutely ridiculous (his exact quotes were "I can't believe filmmakers would waste celluloid on this trash").
However, the essence of the film is to show how silly Aisha's attempts are at forcing what cannot be forced, regardless of how much she tries to manipulate the situation or how much money she throws at it. She is portrayed as an arrogant girl, but we are shown that doing so ultimately alienates her friends from her. Do the filmmakers celebrate what could be labeled as "western excess" in the process of telling her story? Sure, but who doesn't like seeing pretty clothes and hairstyles once in a while? Aisha Kapoor is not one of the "mango people"- who would expect her to be?
The music was terrific, and the supporting cast did a wonderful job- especially Amrita Puri, who played the character of Shefali. For those who have seen Clueless, I definitely felt echoes of Brittany Murphy's character Tai through her performance- in a great way. She was really cute! And Ira Dubey played Aisha's sarcastic friend Pinky (Dion in Clueless) to a T, and Abhay Deol and Cyrus Shankar were great as Arjun and Randhir.
I personally highly recommend this film if you're looking for a fun, escapist Jane Austen adaptation with great clothes and danceable music.
16 of 25 people found this review helpful.
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