Film says so much without seeming to say anything

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‘Noor’ movie review
Film says so much without seeming to say
anything
By Subhash K Jha
Though I couldn’t relate to her endless
boozing and snoozing, Noor Roy Choudhary
as played by Sonakshi Sinha, is someone
I’ve known in passing. And that’s I would
keep her if I met her. At a safe distance.
‘Noor’ is not one of the best films on
journalistic ethics. It doesn’t do to the
contemporary Mumbai media world what the
Paul Newman-Sally Field starrer Absence Of
Malice did 30 years ago. It pricks at the
conscience in a rather undemanding way.
‘Noor’ takes sly and slender satirical
swipes at sensationalism in journalism,
more delectable for its many jibes than
the actual prick at the conscience.
The prick, when it comes, is not as
solidly impact-filled as it should be. But
by then, Noor has established her
credentials for being an aimless adrift
television journalist looking for a sense
of purpose. That purpose’ kind of falls
into her lap with a gentle thud. Of course
Noor messes it up. This is her prized USP,
the ability to be absolutely and candidly
self-serving without being apologetic
about. She messes up and moves on.
Director Suhnil Sippy whose last feature
film, the snappy and slick Snip came 17
years ago, doesn’t skip a beat. He allows
his vision to meander with Noor’s sense of
aimlessness, trailing her through endless
drinking binges and a never-ending quota
of bacchanalia with her two friends Saad
(Kannan Gill) and Zara (Shibani Dandekar).
While Kannan Gill definitely needs
elocution classes, Dandekar is
delightfully saucy specially in the scene
where she walks in to a bar to slap a man
who has betrayed her best friend. I wanted
to see more of her. More of Noor’s
editor’s no-nonsense socialite wife played
by Suchitra Pillai. And yes , more of
Noor’s boss played by the ever-excellent
Manish Choudhary. The last time I saw a
female journalist share such tactile vibes
with her boss it was in Rajkumar Gupta’s
‘No One Killed Jessica’.
Sonakshi Sinha gamely plunges into the
mediaperson’s home ‘groan’ zone, mining
into Noor’s insecurities and inadequacies
to come up with a character who is as real
as any neo-realistic urban character,
like, say Alia Bhatt in Gauri Shinde’s
‘Dear Zindagi’. Like Alia, Sonakshi is not
afraid to address her character’s
uncertainties about her body and sexual
activities.
This is a coming-of-age yarn that joyfully
gets into the head and bed of its heroine,
deconstructs the hoary Hindi Film Heroine,
highlighting her appetites, culinary or
otherwise, in ways that were considered
inappropriate until a decade ago. Whatever
‘Noor’ does, she does with an unabashed
ebullience where she can and often does,
trip and fall on her nose.
And when Noor falls in love she really
falls. The segment showing her growing
attraction to a rakish photojournalist
(played with splendid suaveness by Purab
Kohli) is brief and brilliant. The fit of
heated passion subsides quickly. This is
one of the film’s prominent attributes. It
rakes up issues and then quickly moves to
something else.
Perhaps this mood swing in the narrative
replicates the film’s protagonist’s
restless energy which is killing her
professional skills while destroying her
personal relationships.
Sonakshi Sinha kills it, even as her
character claims Mumbai is killing her.
Her monologue on the smog, smut,
corruption and heartbreak of Mumbai is
indeed a highlight. Sonakshi throws in her
weight with her character’s fight to float
above the metropolis’ rising sewage level
of moral turpitude.
The flow of conversational energy is the
key to the narrative’s efficacy. Ishita
Moitra’s dialogues add ample zest warmth
and humour to Saba Imtiaz’s skimpy novel
about the socio-political awakening ofA an
aimless reporter. In director Sunhil
Sippy’s hands, “Noor” is a lot more. It’s
about the media and sensationalism, the
city and the single girl.
It’s about ‘Noor’ and her friends and her
father (played by veteran M K Raina,
delightful) and her cat, and her
conscience. Sunhil Sippy packs it all in,
leaving enough breathing space for the
characters to acquire a life of their own.

‘Noor’ movie review

Film says so much without seeming to say anything

By Subhash K Jha

Though I couldn’t relate to her endless

boozing and snoozing, Noor Roy Choudhary

as played by Sonakshi Sinha, is someone

I’ve known in passing. And that’s I would

keep her if I met her. At a safe distance.

‘Noor’ is not one of the best films on

journalistic ethics. It doesn’t do to the

contemporary Mumbai media world what the

Paul Newman-Sally Field starrer Absence Of

Malice did 30 years ago. It pricks at the

conscience in a rather undemanding way.

‘Noor’ takes sly and slender satirical

swipes at sensationalism in journalism,

more delectable for its many jibes than

the actual prick at the conscience.

The prick, when it comes, is not as

solidly impact-filled as it should be. But

by then, Noor has established her

credentials for being an aimless adrift

television journalist looking for a sense

of purpose. That purpose’ kind of falls

into her lap with a gentle thud. Of course

Noor messes it up. This is her prized USP,

the ability to be absolutely and candidly

self-serving without being apologetic

about. She messes up and moves on.

Director Suhnil Sippy whose last feature

film, the snappy and slick Snip came 17

years ago, doesn’t skip a beat. He allows

his vision to meander with Noor’s sense of

aimlessness, trailing her through endless

drinking binges and a never-ending quota

of bacchanalia with her two friends Saad

(Kannan Gill) and Zara (Shibani Dandekar).

While Kannan Gill definitely needs

elocution classes, Dandekar is

delightfully saucy specially in the scene

where she walks in to a bar to slap a man

who has betrayed her best friend. I wanted

to see more of her. More of Noor’s

editor’s no-nonsense socialite wife played

by Suchitra Pillai. And yes , more of

Noor’s boss played by the ever-excellent

Manish Choudhary. The last time I saw a

female journalist share such tactile vibes

with her boss it was in Rajkumar Gupta’s

‘No One Killed Jessica’.

Sonakshi Sinha gamely plunges into the

mediaperson’s home ‘groan’ zone, mining

into Noor’s insecurities and inadequacies

to come up with a character who is as real

as any neo-realistic urban character,

like, say Alia Bhatt in Gauri Shinde’s

‘Dear Zindagi’. Like Alia, Sonakshi is not

afraid to address her character’s

uncertainties about her body and sexual

activities.

This is a coming-of-age yarn that joyfully

gets into the head and bed of its heroine,

deconstructs the hoary Hindi Film Heroine,

highlighting her appetites, culinary or

otherwise, in ways that were considered

inappropriate until a decade ago. Whatever

‘Noor’ does, she does with an unabashed

ebullience where she can and often does,

trip and fall on her nose.

And when Noor falls in love she really

falls. The segment showing her growing

attraction to a rakish photojournalist

(played with splendid suaveness by Purab

Kohli) is brief and brilliant. The fit of

heated passion subsides quickly. This is

one of the film’s prominent attributes. It

rakes up issues and then quickly moves to

something else.

Perhaps this mood swing in the narrative

replicates the film’s protagonist’s

restless energy which is killing her

professional skills while destroying her

personal relationships.

Sonakshi Sinha kills it, even as her

character claims Mumbai is killing her.

Her monologue on the smog, smut,

corruption and heartbreak of Mumbai is

indeed a highlight. Sonakshi throws in her

weight with her character’s fight to float

above the metropolis’ rising sewage level

of moral turpitude.

The flow of conversational energy is the

key to the narrative’s efficacy. Ishita

Moitra’s dialogues add ample zest warmth

and humour to Saba Imtiaz’s skimpy novel

about the socio-political awakening ofA an

aimless reporter. In director Sunhil

Sippy’s hands, “Noor” is a lot more. It’s

about the media and sensationalism, the

city and the single girl.

It’s about ‘Noor’ and her friends and her

father (played by veteran M K Raina,

delightful) and her cat, and her

conscience. Sunhil Sippy packs it all in,

leaving enough breathing space for the

characters to acquire a life of their own.

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