Ad filmmaker Ram Madhvani, who is making his foray into mainstream cinema with a biopic on Pan Am flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, says he wanted to bring out the beautiful mother-daughter bond in the movie.
The film is based on the heroic cabin crew member who died saving passengers on a hijacked flight and the director said he was clear that his story will be more about emotions.
“In my mind I always wanted ‘Neerja’ to be a mother-daughter story. The film is about a family and the mix of trauma and pride they went through. This was a story a lot of people didn’t know and I wanted to present it as per my vision,” Ram told PTI in an interview.
“Neerja” stars Sonam Kapoor in the titular role with veteran actress Shabana Azmi playing her mother and the filmmaker said he was glad to have them on board.
“I always wanted Shabana ji to play the role of mother. I knew her, but it was initially very daunting for me to work with her. However, with us being like minded, I became comfortable. Shabana ji imbibes the energy of the surrounding and the character. She has her own process of work which I respect.”
Sonam Kapoor has mostly played glamorous and chirpy roles in her career, but for Ram she was the perfect choice as she has a lot of traits similar to that of Neerja.
“Atul Kasbekar (photographer) came to me with the script of the film and he was the one to suggest Sonam’s name for the lead role. We met her and narrated the script and like all of us she also had tears in her eyes. I am glad she liked the story and said yes.
“Not only the look, she is also strong like Neerja, has opinions and speaks her mind. She is a family girl like the one in our story. Apart from her attitude towards life she definitely has acting chops,” he said.