NOOR

Super Cassettes Industries Pvt. Ltd. and Abundantia Entertainment’s Noor (UA) is the story of a broadcast journalist. Based on Saba Imtiaz’s novel, Karachi: You’re Killing Me, it talks about a journalist who suddenly becomes a sensation.

Noor Roy Choudhary (Sonakshi Sinha) works for a broadcast news agency run by Shekhar (Manish Chaudhari). She is frustrated as she is asked to do inane and inconsequential stories while she is keen on doing socially relevant stories. Her personal life is also not in a great space – for one, she is overweight, and secondly, she has just had a break-up with boyfriend Rahul Parekh (Nikhil Khurana). In short, she is far from being happy. She has two close friends, Saad (Kanan Gill) and Zaara (Shibani Dandekar). Just recently, she has started hooking up with Ayananka Banerjee (Purab Kohli), a war photo-journalist.

One day, quite by chance, she hits upon a great story about the illegal business of trading in human organs, carried on by Dr. Shinde (Hempushpak Arora) who works for a trust run by her boss, Shekhar’s in-laws. She interviews one such victim, Vilas (Suraj Kumar Roy), whose kidney was removed forcibly by Dr. Shinde. Noor also interviews Vilas’ sister, Malti (Smita Tambe), who works as a maid in her house.

As is his wont, Shekhar sits over the story for a couple of days, during which time Noor’s boyfriend, Ayananka, sells her story as his own. Noor is devastated as this was going to be her ticket to fame. To make matters worse, Dr. Shinde is acquitted by the court in the case that follows the news story. Dr. Shinde also has Vilas killed. Noor is now in a miserable state of mind. She had a great story which her boyfriend had passed off as his own; and she realises that her reckless interview of Vilas exposing Dr. Shinde had led to his murder. Even her boss, Shekhar, fires her for being so insensitive to human life.

And then, Noor does something which changes her life. She becomes an overnight sensation. Not just that, Dr. Shinde is arrested too.

Saba Imtiaz’s story, taken from her novel, Karachi: You’re Killing Me, is hardly impactful, probably because of the slipshod way in which it unfolds in the film. The screenplay, written by Althea Delmas-Kaushal, Shikhaa Sharma and Sunhil Sippy, is full of holes and fails to involve the viewers. The audience never ever feels for Noor and can’t empathise with her predicament. Why, the viewer doesn’t even feel too bad when Noor’s boyfriend steals her story. The audience expects boss Shekhar to be angry with Noor for exposing a doctor working in a trust run by his wife’s family but that never happens. Why it doesn’t happen is not even clear. When Noor meets Shekhar after her story is stolen by Ayananka, she accuses him (Shekhar) of sitting on her story, which is true. But what is just not understandable is her comment that her career was doomed now that her story had been plagiarised. Doomed? At the most, Noor could have cried that her career could not take off because of the story hav­ing been flicked. But how on earth was her career going to be doomed because of this aberration? Also, Shekhar fires her from the job but it’s not clear why he does so. Is it because the great story could not go with his employee’s byline? Unlikely, because it was Shekhar responsible for this rather than Noor. Then, is it because Noor’s reckless action had led to Vilas’ murder? But why would a boss fire his employee for failing as a human being and not failing as a journalist – that too, a boss who is not at all shown as being conscientious? There is another scene in which Noor is interviewed on a television channel for posting a video which goes viral. After the interview, Saad and Zaara hug Noor as if she had climbed Mt. Everest. Why the excitement? Whatever may have happened, if at all, after the interview may have taken days to happen – then why were the three friends rejoicing immediately after the interview? Is a television interview so important or such an achievement for a broadcast journalist? All in all, the screenplay is childish and often silly. Actually, the opening of the film, wherein Noor goes on and on about her life is such a put-off that it prejudices the viewer’s mind.

Ishita Moitra Udhwani’s dialogues are weak. Many of the dialogues, designed to be funny, fail to evoke laughter or even bring a smile to the face.

Sonakshi Sinha does an average job as a journalist. Her constant crib­bing gets on the audience’s nerves but that’s got more to do with her characterisation than her acting. Kanan Gill is not hero material. His performance is okay but his Hindi pronunciation needs improvement. Purab Kohli is charming as Ayananka Banerjee. Shibani Dandekar gets very limited scope as Zaara. Manish Chaudhari is alright as Noor’s boss, Shekhar. Smita Tambe acts in a natural style as maid Malti. M.K. Raina is wooden in the role of Noor’s father. Suchitra Pillai (as Lavina, wife of Shekhar), Sunny Leone (as herself), Nikhil Khurana (as Rahul Parekh), Shahnaaz Deshpande (as Nayantara), Hempushpak Arora (as Dr. Shinde), Suraj Kumar Roy (as Vilas) and the others provide routine support.

Sunhil Sippy’s direction is dull. His narration fails to involve the audiences who then passively view the drama unfold on the screen. Sippy seems to be at sea about commercial cinema! Amaal Malik’s music is ordinary. One song (by Badshah) is somewhat entertaining. Lyrics (Manoj Muntashir and Kumaar) are okay. Adil Shaikh’s choreography is fair. Background music (by Naren Chandavarkar and Benedict Taylor) is average. Keiko Nakahara’s camerawork is okay. Production designing (by Mansi Dhruv Mehta) could’ve been better. Aarif Sheikh’s editing ought to have been far more tight.

On the whole, Noor is a flop fare.

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