Director: Sunhil Sippy
Cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Purab Kohli, Kanan Gill
Sonakshi Sinha’s Noor is the story of a young journalist who covers small stories but aspires to bring “real stories” to the light.
It is an adaptation of Saba Kazmi’s critically acclaimed book, Karachi! You Are Killing Me! Directed by Sunhil Sippy, Noor fails exactly where the book excelled. Karachi... was appreciated thanks to its “honest portrayal” of a small journalist trying her best to maintain the eluding work-life balance and fighting the demons in a bad world in her efforts to find an award-winning report.
Sonakshi SInha in a still from Noor.
Noor comes across as a breezy, light-hearted rom-com - for almost half the film at least - that tells the story of Sonakshi’s Noor Roy Choudhary as a clumsy 28-year-old journalist, who lives with her unbelievably understanding father and a cute cat.
Noor starts off in a very Sex and the City style - rather longish but fun - voice-over by Sonakshi where she tells us about her life and ambitions. Dialogue writer Ishita Moitra Udhwani must be credited for keeping the tone light and conversationalist.
Sonakshi looks quite convincing with the grimaces, pouts, eye rolls, scowls and goofy grins - displaying an amusing dorkiness. Even when her character turns serious, Sonakshi displays her prowess and aces the grim looks.
Noor keeps complaining about her life, lack of opportunities to shine and a boyfriend but makes little effort to get any of those. Unlike Saba’s protagonist, Noor is lazy as a person - she does not even research for her stories and at home, she does not even make her own bed.
She tells her editor (Manish Chaudhary) at least thrice that she has submitted 6 “well-researched, good stories” but is instead asked to cover a Sunny Leone interview or a woman who never takes off her helmet.
While these anecdotes could have made for a hilarious, light-hearted movie, the misunderstanding of the profession in the film is appalling.
Noor’s lack of professionalism is consistent throughout the film - she yawns while interviewing Sunny Leone, interrupts a meeting with her editor to meet a friend and, when she stumbles onto what she believes is her “big break story”, she records one statement and rushes to her editor insisting it must be aired ASAP.
Even for what she believes is the path-breaking story of her career, she does not bother to cross check facts, reach out to the accused and even give him a single chance to respond. And what’s bothering, the film does not even pretend to ponder upon her unprofessionalism when she fails to get her name on the story - the narrative focuses on her heartbreak and the fact that she was conned.
Sonakshi Sinha and Purab Kohli in a scene from Noor.
While Sonakshi, Kanan Gill (who plays her friend Saad) and even Purab Kohli (who has a small but important role) and all other supporting actors are confident and impressive in their roles, the film fails to engage as a whole. Had it not been for her and Kanan, the movie would have been unbearable.
Noor does not understand journalism, it fails to establish enough angst for the protest it hopes to ignite, it stops being the rom-com (the one thing that the movie was getting right) pretty soon and it does not give the victims enough time for us to empathise, nor does it ponder over the aggressors enough, for us to loathe them.
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