As Sunhil Sippy’s Noor concludes, one tries to equate its intentions with Madhur Bhandarkar’s acclaimed (and arguably one-note) Page 3. The titular character in Noor intends to explore quality journalism, which for her is showcasing her ‘well-researched’ stories to the world. What she doesn’t inculcate is an actual passion for her chosen vocation. Page 3‘s Madhavi, albeit disturbed, was adept at meeting her job standards. Let’s say, she is someone any print publication would readily hire – no questions asked. And Noor? Let alone relating to her disposition for ‘meaningful’ stories, we barely feel she is capable of anything – all thanks to her shoddy work ethics and general lack of enthusiasm. How do we, the audience, invest in a rookie protagonist who attempts to salvage her unprofessionalism by trumpeting her so-called university rank?

If we keep her professional misadventures on backburner, Noor’s personal side is surprisingly less clumsy. Not the most sorted of individuals, her everyday worries are thankfully depicted minus overt dramatics. One should also owe it to the capable leading lady Sonakshi Sinha who seems completely at home playing this naive, ever-cribbing 28-year old. Her immediate bonds too, more or less, work. Especially the ones with the men in her life are reasonably well sketched with some impressive dialogues here and there. It is just that the writing doesn’t let her elevate beyond this organic self of hers. Because journalism isn’t that simplistic a profession…

One might ask why can’t Noor be considered a real, flawed worker with wrong ideas on her job profile. Well, in that case the punishment the film metes out to her ignorance is way too light. A holiday, some tears, a monologue and a viral video later, we get a miraculous (read half-baked) closure to an otherwise serious plot. This extreme frivolousness and lack of serious redemption from Noor’s end is disturbing in a film that is meant to be empathetic.

Going back to director Sunhil Sippy’s background, he gave us the audacious and quirky Snip! way back in 2000. Looking at his second directorial about 17 years down the line, one can’t digest how it is neither. A pretty looking, naive and ill-researched film – we wish Noor remained in its ditzy romantic comedy maze than eyeing larger pursuits. Better luck next time, Sonakshi Sinha.

Rating: ★★ 1/2
P.S.: The end credits scene is rather charming with Kanan Gill’s perennial awkwardness put to actual use!