Sky Is NOT The Limit For These Stars

Photograph: Kind courtesy Kareena Kapoor/Instagram

Armed with a smile and grace, her only concern is the passenger’s security and seat belt. Whether she’s having a bad day or good one, the only baggage she cares about is safely tucked away in the overhead bin.

Impeccably put together and comely to a fault, she’s ever alert and just a call button away catering to our every comfort and query.

A picture of glamour and grit in the face of an emergency, the air hostess, flight attendant or air stewardess is often the hero we didn’t know we needed.

There are several portrayals of her in Hindi movies.

We are curious about three of our finest actors, Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Kriti Sanon essaying her in The Crew, which hits the screens on March 21.

Then, there’s Disha Patani playing one in Yodha.

When terrorists hijack a plane carrying a hoard of unsuspecting passengers and Disha’s svelte flight attendant, dashing commando Sidharth Malhotra must serve gallantry at its peak in the upcoming offering from Karan Johar’s production house, Dharma.

Sukanya Verma lists some other notable on screen avatars.

Yami Gautam, Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga

Things go awry mid-air when heist and hijack collide in the twisty crime thriller starring Yami Gautam as flight attendant scheming with her shady boyfriend for the sake of fast bucks.

Yami is an old hand when it comes to conveying nerves of steel. It’s one of the few things you can be assured about in the otherwise middling Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga.

Alia Bhatt, Badrinath Ki Dulhania

A small-town girl dumps her groom-to-be at the altar to pursue her air hostess dreams in Badrinath Ki Dulhania‘s wishy-washy take on women’s empowerment versus entitled patriarchy.

Though the rom-com social takes a bizarre route to its well-meaning realisations, what stands out is Alia Bhatt’s committed delivery of a young independent woman finding her calling at Singapore’s flight training programme.

Sonam Kapoor, Neerja

Ram Madhavani’s moving biopic of the 22-year-old Pan Am flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, who lost her life on September 5, 1986 saving young passengers, after her plane was hijacked by ANO (Abu Nidal Organisation) terrorists is easily Sonam Kapoor’s best work.

Its three National Awards, including a special mention for Sonam, is a validation of Neerja‘s excellence.

Celina Jaitley, Silsilay

Despite the presence of heavyweights like Shah Rukh Khan (in an extended cameo), Tabu and Kay Kay Menon, journalist turned film-maker Khalid Mohamad’s Silsilay has faded from public memory.

Here’s refreshing it a little. One of its anthology style segments stars Celina Jaitley as a green-eyed glamour oozing air hostess engaged in an extramarital affair with a wealthy man where the lure of luxury outweighs the guilt of being looked at as a home wrecker.

Bipasha Basu, Zameen

Rohit Shetty’s directorial debut revolves around a terrorist hijack wherein Bipasha Basu plays a spirited air hostess maintaining calm among horrified passengers while her cop boyfriend Abhishek Bachchan and army man Ajay Devgn come to their rescue.

Sonali Bendre, Sapoot

Sonali Bendre’s flight attendant duties have no real impact on Sapoot‘s masala mentality except to give a smitten Suniel Shetty to book the entire flight and serenade her in classic Bollywood hero style.

Madhuri Dixit, Anjaam

Kursi ki petiyan bandh le, Madhuri Dixit is on board. Pre-Pathaan era Shah Rukh Khan had a hard time taking no for an answer and he obsessively goes after Madhuri’s patient air hostess, flying every flight she’s scheduled on, to and fro between countries, till she makes her displeasure loud and clear by mixing his drink with salt and chilli.

It’s only the start of revengeful things to come in Rahul Rawail’s over-the-top Anjaam.

Manisha Koirala, Khauff

In Sanjay Gupta’s dodgy The Juror rip-off, Manisha Koirala’s chirpy flight pursuer and boss Jaspal Bhatt lighten up the mood with their goofy humour until the drama descends into a bizarre thriller territory and stops making any sense.

Tanushree Dutta, Apartment

Tanushree Dutta appears every bit the slim and trim air hostess in her red and white uniform for Jag Mundhra’s Apartment, which takes ample inspiration from the Hollywood thriller, Single White Female.

The remake was no good and captures Dutta spending all her free time ranting about her obsessive roommate.

Neetu Chandra, Daisy Bopanna, Nargis Bagheri, Garam Masala

In the Hindi remake of his Malayalam comedy, Boeing Boieng, Priyadarshan pits colleagues and flatmates Akshay Kumar and John Abraham as they juggle between three women, all three air hostesses, under the same roof.

Esha Deol, Hijack

In its by-the-numbers storytelling, a terrorist organisation hijacks a plane leaving the leading man and his ladylove to save the innocent passengers from harm.

Hijack bombed, but Esha Deol puts on a brave front in the role of a quick-witted air hostess as she goes on to save the day alongside airport engineer Shiny Ahuja.

Soha Ali Khan, Dil Maange More

Though it’s a cliched part of a small-town girl nursing sky-high dreams at the cost of breaking her chocolate-faced beau’s heart, Soha Ali Khan hopes to hold her own in her debut, Dil Maange More.

Loosely reminiscent of Teen Deviyan‘s romance, Soha’s character dumps Shahid Kapoor to become an air hostess only to learn her castle in the clouds doesn’t have ex-flame’s down-to-earth charm.

Shenaz Treasury, Delhi Belly

Embracing the movie’s madcap tone, Shenaz Treasury seamlessly slips under the skin of a loony air hostess triggering a chain reaction of crazy, comic events.

Widely hailed as a cult classic of sorts today, Abhinay Deo’s sophomore caper wouldn’t be the same sans her many, many sighs, sobs and a serious amount of cleavage.

Sandhya Mridul, Page 3

Madhur Bhandarkar’s National Award-winning commentary on socialite culture explores the lives of the rich and the famous as well as the working professionals looking for a breakthrough.

Like Konkona Sen Sharma’s air hostess roommate Sandhya Mridul’s unapologetic desire to marry a moneybags and live the life of luxury no matter how loveless it may be.

Raakhee, Heera Panna

Falling head over heels in love on a flight is something Dev Anand surely approves of.

In his home production Heera Panna, the evergreen hero flirts Raakhee’s doe-eyed air hostess until she coyly relents. Alas, the meet cute is short-lived after she dies in a plane crash setting the stage for a rebound romance.

Mala Sinha, Neela Akash

Back in the 1960s when the heroine’s only job was to play the hero’s arm candy, Mala Sinha proves sky’s the limit by pursuing a career as an air hostess.

Neela Akash documents her meticulous preparation to become one until she becomes romantically involved with Dharmendra’s irresistible airline pilot.