There have been quite a few films in which the leading ladies have played the role of a journalist. Testimonies to this are in the form of Kareena Kapoor Khan (SATYAGRAHA), Nargis Fakhri (MADRAS CAFÉ), Konkona Sen Sharma (PAGE 3), Preity Zinta (LAKSHYA), Rani Mukherji (NO ONE KILLED JESSICA) and many others. This time round, it’s Sonakshi Sinha who plays a journalist in this week’s release NOOR. Will the film create record-breaking collections or will it fall flat on its face, let’s analyze.
NOOR is slice of life Bollywood drama which tells the tale of a journalist’s adventures and misadventures while navigating her way through the city of Mumbai. The film starts off with the narrative introduction of Noor (Sonakshi Sinha) and her near and dear ones which includes her father (Maharaj Krishen Raina), her buddy Saad (Kanan Gill), her best friend Zara (Shibani Dandekar), her boss Shekhar (Manish Chaudhari) and her maid Malti (Smita Tambe). Noor, who works as a journalist in Shekhar’s office handles a show ‘Mumbai’s Believe It Or Not’. Not the one to be satisfied with that, she repeatedly applies for a job at the prestigious CNN only to be rejected each time. Life continues to be full of downs and ups (in that order) for the ‘never-satisfied-with-life’ Noor. One day, when her maid Malti resumes work after a 4-day holiday, Noor discovers something shocking about her and her brother, which changes everyone’s life forever. What is the shocking incident which changes everyone’s lives and how does Noor cope up with the same is what forms the rest of the story.
NOOR, which is a film adaptation of Saba Imtiaz’s book ‘Karachi: You're Killing Me’, is in tune with today’s time and age in terms of its canvas and presentation. The film’s screenplay (Althea Delmas-Kaushal, Shikhaa Sharma, Sunhil Sippy) is what binds the film together. There are no clichés and stereotypes in it that one generally links with such genres. The screenplay delivers a strong underlying social message.
The British-Indian filmmaker Sunhil Sippy, who had earlier directed the offbeat film SNIP, makes a comeback into Bollywood with NOOR. The first twenty minutes of the film establishes the film’s characters. The first half of the film is decent but the film’s second half plays the spoilsport with its excessive length. The pace of the film is the biggest culprit post interval. Also had the culmination been convincing, the film would have created an even stronger impact. Having said that, one needs to applaud the way in which Sunhil Sippy has handled the film’s premise, which is very contemporary and very today. The trials and tribulations faced by Sonakshi Sinha’s character in the film will surely find resonance with today’s generation.
As for the performances, it’s the feisty Sonakshi Sinha who leads the film totally. She is extremely earnest in the portrayal of her character. She plays her part with extremely conviction, so much so that, you cannot imagine anyone else playing her role. The role seems to be tailor made for her. On the other hand, the social media-star-turned actor Kanan Gill makes an impressive debut in Bollywood with NOOR. He has got an endearing screen presence. Despite having just an extended cameo, Purab Kohli delivers a decent performance. Smita Tambe and Maharaj Krishen Raina do their parts extremely well. Sunny Leone in a cameo is decent. Rest of the actors play their respective roles well.
The music of NOOR (Amaal Mallik) is largely breezy, what with good entertainment quotient coming in a small pack. On the other hand, the film’s background score (Naren Chandavarkar, Benedict Taylor) is decent.
The film’s cinematography (Keiko Nakahara) is decent. She has done a commendable job of capturing the bylanes of Mumbai. The film’s editing (Aarif Sheikh) could have been crisper. The film could have been trimmed by around 20 minutes.
On the whole, NOOR is a decent one time watch for the subject it addresses.