Noor is a film that starts off relatively well, falters and when it looks like it has finally found its feet, falters all over again. It begins as a slice-of-life story of a 28 year old single girl who is feeling short changed by life. Professionally she is going nowhere, reduced to interviewing starlets and weird people instead of writing stories on serious issues, has a low paying job and a lower bank balance. On a personal level as well Noor has been unable to find a guy for herself. This part is realistic as well as fantastic. Realistic because a lot of struggling journalists will identify with her predicament. Fantastic because despite her financial woes, she has no problems in frequently getting drunk and dance the night away in discs. Not really the life of a struggling journalist. Her office has no resemblance to a real news office and let’s just say a boss like Noor’s exists only in movies. Just to make sure the viewers don’t forget, Noor is made to repeat “I hate my life” so many times that you want to whack her for it. Moreover, this ranting of Noor extends almost an hour and you begin to wonder if this is all that this film has to offer.
Hope comes in the form of an organ harvesting racket Noor stumbles upon. Perhaps the film will shift to a riveting thriller-drama mode and the real story will start now? Alas none of that happens. For all the talk about being a topper in her journalism school, Noor does zero research on the story before pushing the editor to publish it. However the focus of the film is Noor and only Noor, any other promising thread be damned. Even after the story is published, though not in a way Noor imagined or planned, there is no real focus on the impact of the story. As the drama is unfolding, Noor is whisked off to London and we are made to suffer her trauma at the state of affairs in Mumbai. The unfolding investigative story melts away and we get a monologue from Noor about her angst on Mumbai.
By this time I have lost all hope in the story. The film goes into wishful territory now. A tiresome monologue goes viral and Noor becomes an internet sensation. The monologue is so powerful and far reaching, the bad guy magically gets arrested! Adapted from the critically successful Pakistani novel Karachi, You’re Killing Me!, the screenplay, inexplicably, is the weakest part of the film. This is at best a languid story that lacks any cohesive direction.
Sonakshi Sinha as the titular character has the difficult task of singlehandedly shouldering the film. She is good in the first half but feels out of depth when the film turns serious and some heavy emoting is required. Her monologue, for one, is too long and painful to sit through. Purab Kohli is effective in the cameo. As Noor’s boss, Manish Choudhary provides solid support. Kanan Gill as Noor’s friend is a disappointment. He is much more effective in his web series. He had mentioned in an interview once that he would jump at the chance of doing a pretentious movie review of his film, if he ever acted in one. Hopefully he will walk the talk now.
There are some good points on Journalism that Noor raises. The ethics of finding and making stories public, the human cost behind every news item we come across, the barter news channels constantly engage in to bolster TRP, the responsibility a reporter has to bear towards those who are impacted by her stories. However, none of these thoughts are followed up. The film keeps its lens focused on Noor who runs out of steam once she has real investigative work to do. So does the film.
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53387505
Rating : 2/5
Starring: Sonakshi Sinha, Kanan Gill, Manish Chaudhary, Purab Kohli, Shibani Dandekar
Director: Sunhil Sippy