Noor: all fizz and no spark

Lost plot: The film should have remained about Noor and her relationships alone special arrangement  

I haven’t read Saba Imtiaz’s Karachi, You’re Killing Me! but Sunhil Sippy’s Noor based on the book is riddled with an uneasy tone and tenor. And, after a start that promises some sparkle Noor cascades disappointingly downhill all the way till the end. I wonder, how much has got lost in the book’s adaptation into the screenplay that it has become.

Things kick off fairly pleasantly, even if entirely predictably, in a Bridget Jones and Sex In The City fashion. The look is slick, the attitude Hollywoodian. Long but sharp and smart voiceovers set up Noor Roy Chaudhary’s (Sonakshi Sinha) life—her designer decaying home, the dysfunctional geyser, her nonchalant father (M.K.Raina), amiable maid, individualistic cat, the dear friends Saad (Kanan Gill) and Zara (Shibani Dandekar) and an once idealistic but now capitulated boss. Till things remain in the personal zone you play along as a viewer. The hangovers, the lack of men, the weight issues, the banter with friends—you buy into them even if you have seen them ever so often before. Sinha brings in a freshness and coasts along comfortably as the city girl next door, keeping things easy and effortless. As Noor she elicits an indulgent smile as she tells the newly acquired boyfriend Ayan (Purab Kohli) that he is hot. And one would have certainly wanted to see more of her relationship with the quirky dad and that haughty cat.

  • Director: Sunhil Sippy
  • Starring: Sonakshi Sinha, Kanan Gill, Purab Kohli, M.K.Raina
  • Run time: 120 minutes

Patronising as it may sound the film should have remained about Noor and her relationships alone. It’s when Noor’s professional side comes to fore that things start to crumble. There is the journalist’s angst about not being made to do good work but no visible effort on her part of going the extra mile for it, that is, other than writing to CNN for a job. Things get totally messy and garbled in handling the fulcrum of the film—an organ harvesting racket. Forget being realistic about the scam or about the practice of journalism (Not expected in a mainstream film) but Noor handles it clumsily at the level of story telling. Events unspool arbitrarily; the narrative gets incoherent, and in the midst of all the chaos our protagonist gets needlessly sent off to London. Eventually, matters are resolved with an ease that makes you wonder why the same doesn’t apply in the real life.

There is plenty of wisdom offered on the practice and ethics of journalism which requires a separate write-up altogether. What I still can’t get over is Noor’s compromised editor telling her, that she should have taken the victim to the doctor instead of recording his testimony. He blames her for the victim’s death instead of questioning the law and order machinery. And to top it off, is the painstakingly put together monologue—Mumbai You’re Killing Me—so indiscriminately thrust in the film, that it stirs absolutely nothing within.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 7:40:22 AM |

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