Banners: T-Series Films, Abundantia Entertainment
Producers: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Vikram Malhotra
Director: Sunhil Sippy
Cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Kanan Gill,
Shibani Dandekar, Purab Kohli, Manish
Chaudhuri, Smita Tambe
Writer: Saba Imtiaz (story), Althea
Shikhaa Sharma (screenplay), Sunhil Sippy(screenplay), Ishita Moitra Udhwani (dialogue)
Music: Amaal Mallik
The one thing the makers of Noor got right is their target audience – an uber-cool generation half-heartedly looking for meaning in their lives. And the protagonist, Sonakshi Sinha, delivers a superlative performance, playing a 28-year-old beset by all the ‘problems’ that afflict people her age.
If Noor is meant to be a breezy rom-com, then Sinha pulls off her role to perfection. The problem lies with the screenplay, which sadly trips up a film that could have been a winner all the way. But, alas! Moreover, considering that the protagonist is a journalist, the shocking lack of attention to the basics of the profession is off-putting and speaks of amateur writing. Thanks to poor writing, Noor impresses less and disappoints more.
Based on Saba Imtiaz’s novel Karachi, You’re Killing Me!, the film follows Noor Roy Chaudhary (Sonakshi Sinha), a junior correspondent with a news agency that is headed by editor Shekhar Das (Manish Chaudhuri). Dissatisfied with her job and prone to complaining about her weight, her love life, and her life in general, Noor wants to do issue-based broadcast journalism and aspires to be a serious journalist.
Instead, she’s assigned local stories about a woman who never takes off her helmet and a man who only walks on his hands. In her personal life, she has two best friends, Zara Patel (Shibani Dandekar) and Saad (Kannan Gill). Noor is single and in search of her dream man.
In a chance meeting, she stumbles across an ex-war reporter Ayananka Bannerjee (Purab Kohli) and soon falls in love with him. Her house help, Malti (Smita Tambe), unwittingly divulges some shocking details to Noor about her brother’s ill-health. Thanks to Noor’s nose for news, she finds her big story there. How Noor’s life suddenly changes track takes the story forward.
Directorially, Sunhil Sippy appears to have done his homework thoroughly, from the foundation to the character sketches of his actors, but he is let down by an uninspiring screenplay. The loose narrative drastically shifts from a romantic comedy to a drama. Kudos to the production department for the costumes, sets and detailing, which makes the film a treat to watch. Not to mention the obvious, Sonakshi Sinha, who essays the character of Noor with precision, assurance and certainty.
The most crucial ingredient in any film, especially an adaption, is the ability of the actor and the director to make the characters as authentic and convincing as possible, and this is where Sippy and Sinha succeed. The first half of the film is a smooth sail and the pace picks up when Noor starts to investigate her story. However, there are moments that fail to keep you hooked and that’s where the narrative is lacking. There are also some serious loopholes, such as Noor’s scam coverage backfiring without any reason and her decision to upload Malti’s video without checking the facts.
Also, when she feels defeated, Noor flops down in front of her laptop and records a diatribe about Mumbai’s sorry state. Is that an excuse to take off on vacation to London with Saad following her heartbreak? There are too many questions that linger.
Cinematography by Keiko Nakahara is impressive. From the streets of Mumbai to the sets, each frame brings out the narration beautifully. Editing by Aarif Sheikh is all right. The production values are absolutely top-notch. Costumes are apt. Dialogue by Ishita Moitra Udhwani complements the mood of the film.
Music and background score are one of the strongest aspects of the narration. Each song accentuates the situations and events in the story. With a runtime of 116 minutes, the film is well balanced pre- and post-interval.
Performance-wise, the film belongs to Sonakshi Sinha, who impresses with a flawless performance. She plays her part with aplomb and conviction. Kanan Gill delivers a superlative performance. Shibani Dandekar is noteworthy and plays her part with panache. Purab Kohli excels in his part. Manish Chaudhuri delivers a poignant performance. Smita Tambe does well. The rest of the supporting cast fits the bill.
Verdict: The film definitely belongs to Sonakshi Sinha but the writing trips it up, which is why it won’t last long at the ticket counter. Losing!