Noor movie cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Kanan Gill, Purab Kohli, M K Raina, Shibani Dandekar, Manish Chaudhary
Noor movie director: Sunhil Sippy
Noor star rating: 2 stars
Noor the film is as mixed up as its female protagonist of the same name: it gets some things right and the others horribly wrong. First, the good stuff. What a delight to see a woman fronting a film, even if Noor’s (Sonakshi Sinha) character is somewhat of a young Bridget Jones template: she peers at a bag of chips as if were an enemy (right, she’s got weight issues); she hangs out with a guy (Kanan Gill) she’s known for ever, back-slapping him (of course, the realization that he’s something more will dawn at an appropriately late stage); she has no compunction about making moves on an attractive available male (Purab Kohli) even as she voices anxieties about the state of her love life, or the lack thereof; and so on.
There has been a sudden flurry of female characters in Bollywood, who are pleasingly fleshed out, and who are allowed to have thoughts in their head. But because it’s so difficult to get such films out there, it still feels like a victory to have a Noor as a full-fledged, owning-the-screen character, muddling along in the best chick-flick based on chick-lit tradition (Noor is adapted from the mostly sparkly ‘Karachi You’re Killing Me’), looking for The One.
The big problem with Noor is not when she is facing up to the good-looking men in her life, which includes her dad, played with wry humour by M K Raina. It is when she is being a professional: as a journalist, which she purports to be, Noor is a disaster.
It isn’t really Sonakshi Sinha’s fault that Noor Roy Choudhary comes off as a complete klutz as a crusading journo. She is simply practising the movie’ s notion of journalism, which is as fuzzy and unrealistic as it can get: not only does she get into improbable slanging matches with her editor, the latter is equally a figment of someone’s misguided imagination of what bosses in the newsroom can be like. And don’t even get me started on the lectures he delivers on the ethics of journalism: they would make a real journalist gnash their teeth. Did anyone fact-check these lines?
And while we are on the subject, can we please stay away from lines such these which are clunky transliterations from the original-in-English: ‘tujhe apna chehra dekhna chahiye tha’ (you should have seen your face). And here’s another: ‘agar isme se ek cheez achchi nikli hai’ (if there’s one good thing that’s come out of this..). These are characters who anyway speak in a natural mix of English-and-Hindi, why not just have them say these lines in English?
The actors all do their job, though. Especially Sonakshi who brings a vulnerability to her looking-for-herself persona. There’s a delicious passage between her and the one-who-might-be-the-one, where the back-and-forth dialogue is pitch-perfect and beautifully timed, both the girl and guy clearly revelling in the zone: questing, probing, and waking up, to the possibilities of love.
If only the whole film was like that.