The movie (dis)claims to be a mix of fact and fiction. They didn't tell me the ratio, but it must have been 10:90. Otherwise, what else can define the liberty taken in portraying the characters not the way they are in real life, specially when you have direct references available and that itself could make for great cinema.
Story is of a murder, of jessica, by a rich and powerful lad because she refused to serve him a drink. Its also about the legal fight fought-lost-reopened-and-won by the deceased's sister with help of media.
I found the movie oversimplified and caricaturesque. Not a bad movie, considering the performances and music (specially the music including background score by amit trivedi, which infuses soul in the scenes, delhi has been painted with music). But it fell short of what it could easily have been, had it avoided the card board characters (like that of murderer's mother who had just three lines in the movie (kuchh bhi ho jaaye, mere monu ko kuchh nahin hona chahiye)). Sabrina is a very strong woman in real life. She has wrongly been shown timid and at the mercy of media in the movie. NDTV didn't do all that (as has been shown in the movie). It was Tehelka, not NDTV. And the positive portrayal for Barkha Dutt immediately after radiagate smells fishy. Its good cinema, but not great cinema. There were moments when it touched (the honest police officer investigating the case telling Sabrina that he had taken Rs. 70 Lakhs just for not raising his hand on the accused and the expression of sabrina (vidya) after hearing this; or the one when the accused's parents visit sabrina's home and put a wreath on jessica's photo and jessica's parents, instead of asking them to get lost, ask for tea.) But these moments were far and few between.
All said and done, bringing this contemporary story to life, in a format which appeals commercially, is remarkable. I feel the liberties that the director Rajkumar Gupta took are because he wanted the film to a commercial hit. I don't doubt his (or ronnie screwala's (the producer's) intent). But the execution could have been better. Better than this, atleast.
But that doesn't mean that this movie is bad cinema (likes of housefull or laaga chunri mein daag). It is notches above the crap that indian cinema has seen (except for the small budget wonders like do dooni chaar and phas gaye re obama). And one must go and see it, just to pass on the message that this kind of cinema is supported not less than Housefull or Khatta Meetha.