Cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Kanan Gill, Purab Kohli
Direction: Sunhil Sippy
Sunhil Shetty’s ‘Noor’ works in parts – the light moments, the romance and comedy, make for a breezy watch but it flounders while trying to make a serious point.
Based on the novel, ‘Karachi, You’re Killing Me!’, the protagonist of this story is rookie journalist Noor Roy Chaudhury played by Sonakshi Sinha. Noor, like most young female journalists in the country aspires to be the next Barkha Dutt but is trapped covering insipid stories and Page 3 events. On her 28th birthday, she’s sets herself the goals of breaking new frontiers in journalism, losing the extra kilos and – of course – finding herself a hot boyfriend.
Her search for significance and a bigger cause is thwarted by how flippant her approach to work and life generally is. She is happy to wallow in self-pity now and then, but is not really a risk taker.
This is where things go pear shaped. If a big break is indeed what you seek as a hard-nosed journalist and then you do manage to get a lead on a sensational story, you would never, ever sit on it for two days. You’ll do everything in your power to build a stronger narrative. For someone who’s portrayed to have spent two years of her life on pure research, the lackadaisical approach when she does land the big fish comes across as surprising. Our heroine shows little skill in bolstering her nascent story with the facts that would be ideally needed to take on a multi-million organ harvesting scam.
The film’s big message about responsible journalism is lost because at no point do you see any attempt at serious reporting.
What works for the film then? The boys!
Kanan Gill turns on the boyish charm on Bollywood debut as the childhood friend who sticks with Noor through thick and thin, much like the physical states our female protagonists keeps oscillating between.
The dishy Purab Kohli rocks the salt-and-pepper look – charming, pretentious and manipulative, he carries off each element of his character with aplomb.
Still, this all about whether Sonakshi can carry a film entirely on her shoulders.
Here’s what I think. The Bridget Jonesy-part of her character largely works. The rest is rather spiritless. For all the effort, Sonakshi’s character just doesn’t come across as the quintessential feisty journalist. Is the script to blame? Well, maybe. But then Sonakshi hadn’t actually excelled as the eponymous ‘Akira’, either.
Decide for yourself.