The phrase coming-of-age is shamelessly bandied about in Bollywood when actors describe their films. But only a few live up to that claim.
Noor, the tale of a Mumbai-based journalist in the throes of a quarter-life crisis, ticks that box.
Sonakshi Sinha, who plays the plucky lead, owns the title role with charming conviction. She’s endearing, real and relatable. You are instantly drawn into her tumultuous world where she wants to be taken seriously as a journalist. Her personal life (“good guys are an urban legend”) and her career aren’t going great guns (interviewing Sunny Leone isn’t Pulitzer material), but fortunes change when she stumbles upon a crackling story and a dishy war photographer (hello, Purab Kohli) walks into her life. Director Sunhil Sippy does an outstanding job of moving things along briskly in the first half.
It’s engaging and fun to watch Noor spar with her friends like Shaad, played wonderfully by comedian Kanan Gill, and to witness her enjoying the flush of new romance with Kohli. What elevates this film further are the dialogues. The characters in this film are flawed but fabulous. There’s no unnecessary melodrama in the first half. But the same couldn’t be said about the second half.
After the interval, the film unravels and the grasp that Sippy had earlier displayed on his subjects and his plot comes slightly unhinged. The community journalism burning in Noor and the dramatic twists that came with exposing an organ-stealing racket seemed forced.
The rise of Noor as an influencer and a social media sensation bordered on the unbelievable. While we all joke that facts shouldn’t come in the way of a good story for a journalist, it was disconcerting to see the clumsy and cheeky Noor turn into a renowned activist. While she keeps harping about the importance of research and background work in journalism, very little thought seems to have gone into painting an accurate picture of the media in this film.
But it shouldn’t be deal breaker, because this film is backed by good, earnest performances. Sinha, Kohli, Gill and Smita Tambe, who plays Noor’s troubled help, hits all the sweet spots. Noor may remind you of Bridget Jones, the hit Hollywood character played by Renee Zellweger, but that doesn’t make her any less real.
Watch this if you are in the mood for an enjoyable feel-good film.
Run Time: 130 minutes
Director: Sunhil Sippy
Rating: PG 15
Cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Purab Kohli, Smita Tambe and Kanan Gill
GN Rating: 3 out of 5.