The first two months of 2016 saw two amazing Bollywood films – Airlift and Neerja, capturing the fancy of the nation. Both the movies are based on real incidents, dated back to he 80s and early 90s.
Airlift – This inspiring movie was based on the largest man-made evacuation in the history of the world. It showed how a multimillionaire Indian called Ranjit Katyal, risked everything to ensure that 1,70,000 lakh Indians were safely transported back to India from Kuwait, when the country was invaded by Iraq, in the year 1991. The movie turned out to be one of the biggest hits of Akshay Kumar’s career. Kumar produced the film under Hari Om Productions and the movie was directed by Raja Krishna Menon.
Neerja – Neerja is a story of the courageous model turned air-hostess Neerja Bhanot, who risked her life to save the lives of 359 people on-board the Pan Am 73 air-craft, when it was hijacked in Karachi on September 7, 1986. Neerja is the youngest recipient of Arjuna Award, the highest civilian honor conferred upon an Indian for acts of bravery. Sonam Kapoor who reprised the role of Neerja, gave her career-best performance and the movie went on to become one of the biggest hits of her career. The movie was directed by Ram Madhvani, an ad film director and produced by Atul Kasbekar.
Airlift vs Neerja
Airlift released on January 22, 2016 and Neerja released on February 19, in the same year.While both movies have riveting content, Neerja scores points on authenticity, especially considering the two movies are based on real-life events. Airlift took generous liberties with its script, for one, there was no real ‘Ranjit Kaytal’. On the other hand, Neerja was a true account of the brave girl, in its essence and form.