Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Noor 2017 Movie Review


I am sure you know this bit about the movie - Noor Roy Chaudhary is a regular ambitious Mumbai girl who works at one of the many run-of-the-mill channels, is looking for one break, the one story that will make her a great journalist. But before talking about the movie, let's talk about the premise in which the movie was made.

For the longest time the journalist was the archetype for the underdog, the ideological being who stands up all against the brutal and corrupt force of politics when no one else cares. The public bought this image as it corresponded with the off-reel image of the journalists. But with changing times the image of the journalists has gone through a change too.

If you are connected with any kind of social media you must be aware that the Indian journalism is going through a serious case of public rebuttal. As the public became aware of the concepts like "paid news" and the idea of the fifth estate being a slave to politicians the Indian populace has lost respect for the field and they express it through the many ways.

There were days when the journalist would dread a blank page a dry day but now the journalist have to dread an endless scroll and what could only be called a dry minute what with there being endless competition and a consumer constantly hungry for news. And hardly anyone is expecting hard-hitting journalism here because all have made up our mind about which political party we like or don't and which TV channel support whom. The challenge then is this, never in the history of journalism has there been so much interest in what is called a "human interest" story, you know the kind of stories, where a small town average kid gets call from an international university, or an animal saves someone, or such trivia. How do you quench this thirst? But this part of the problem never gets to the public. And it is problem created by circumstance, integrity does not even factor in any of these.

noor movie sonakshi

So coming back to the movie, it begins with a good promise but somewhere shifts it focus from telling a story to some sort of Facebook timeline for Noor. Noor is a regular girl and is granted the amount of narcissism that comes with living in this age where "you" can be constantly channeled out to the world. Everyone else can excused from the belief that all this was created for them to share their awesome life, but if you are at the position of objectivity as a journalist knowing the source of it all, at least for the sake of the job you should be aware of its pitfalls.

When you are making a movie about journalism all these factors should have been accounted somewhere. Sure the growth of the character makes the movie interesting but the character is a medium for the storyteller to explore all the aspects of the issues at hand.

Noor can be seen taking advantage of her maid Malati's situation because she sees an opportunity of a breaking story in it and despite the warnings from her old school boss (who understands the value of trps and asks her to interview Sunny Leone at some point). Sure she can perhaps be excused about the situation as a newbie but where the movie fails is even when things start to fall apart Noor's focus remains on her own guilt and to silence which she temporarily runs away to London. But even when she returns there is no change in her perspective. She does not give a damn about the person who died and the mourning relative, Malati, who was left behind.

hashtag iamnoor

Even when she uses all of her media and social media prowess to fight for the Malati's issue she uses this tag "iamnoor" for an organ theft issue to "wake up the common man". Instead of making a case against hashtags and viral videos, the movie becomes a precautionary note (a precautionary note also against wearing all white when knocking on a poor person's door,) to the media that follows such line of thinking.

Noor's interview for Malati's case also turns towards Noor and her life. The line between being self obsessed for a passion and being self centered to get away with what accounts for a murder are not thin, blurred, they are different lines altogether. The movie does at no point make you feel any empathy for the character, not when she regrets her decision, not when she is making a verbose monologue about Mumbai, not even when she "succeeds". All in all Noor was a good opportunity lost.

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