Neerja is a 2016 Indian Hindi-language biographical thriller film directed by Ram Madhvani and written by Saiwyn Quadras and Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh. It was produced by Atul Kasbekar's company, Bling Unplugged, alongside Fox Star Studios. The film features Sonam Kapoor as the title character, with Shabana Azmi, Yogendra Tiku and Shekhar Ravjiani in supporting roles. The plot centres on the Libyan-backed Abu Nidal Organization's hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan, on 5 September 1986. The film is shown from the point of view of the flight's head purser, Neerja Bhanot, who thwarted the hijack attempt by alerting the pilots, thus grounding the plane; Bhanot died trying to help save 359 of the 379 passengers and crew on board. Development began in September 2014, when Kasbekar signed Madhvani and Kapoor for a film to be made by Bling Unplugged and Fox Star Studios. Saiwyn Quadras and Sanyuktha Chawla worked on the script, with principal photography taking place in Mumbai. The film features music by Vishal Khurana, with lyrics written by Prasoon Joshi. Neerja was released on 19 February 2016 to positive critical reception, with praise directed to Kapoor's performance, and became one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films featuring a female protagonist. The film received a number of accolades at Bollywood award organisations, with particular praise for Kapoor's performance and direction.
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