Industry Leaders, Interviews

Hot 100 – Film Directors, Ram Madhvani, Neerja

Known for making award-winning commercials, Ram Madhvani had directed a film called Let’s Talk (2002). He spent the next 12 years trying to get a movie off the ground, in vain.

Not one to concede, he teamed up with newbie producer Atul Kasbekar to make a biopic on the late Ashok Chakra-winning airhostess Neerja Bhanot who intrepidly stood her ground against hijackers in 1986.While presenting a thriller, Madhvani also imparted a poignant emotional quotient that left you with an aching heart. Not surprisingly, Neerja turned out to be the sleeper hit of 2016!

The film followed two arcs; a “mother-daughter story”as veteran actress Shabana Azmi brought the cumulative weight of her experience by making the mother’s role her own. Madhvani also chose Kapoor not because she shared a resemblance to Neerja, but because “she could play an interior kind of role.”

Kapoor’s open-eyed idealism and bravery touched a chord – amongst viewers, critics, and Madhvani … he will definitely not have to wait 12 years
for his next film.

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