Amidst the visually stunning frame and mount scale, Abhishek Kapoor’s ‘Fitoor’ lacks emotions that we would’ve wanted to be associated with. Based on Charles Dickens ‘Great Expectations’, Kapoor shifts the narration from England to present conflict led Kashmir and the resulting outcome is nothing more than a romance that’s sophisticated from the surface level but hollow from beneath.
Set in Srinagar, Noor Nizami falls head over heel in love with Firdaus, daughter of an aristocratic Begum Hazrat (Tabu). Both kids strike up a warm friendship in their younger days until she is sent to study abroad and Noor is repeatedly reminded to stay away from falling in love with Firdaus and made to feel that she will always remain out of his reach.
15 years later, grown up Noor (Aditya Roy Kapur), now a gifted artist, is sent to Delhi for an art exhibition and residency. While submitting himself into his first success of his work, he ends up meeting angelic red-haired Firdaus again (Katrina Kaif). This time Noor, determined to win Firdaus back, find his love put to test time and falls into the web of heart-break and betrayal.
To be very honest, Fitoor has many redeeming factors like Anay Goswami‘s breathtaking cinematography capturing Kashmir intrinsically with his lens and Amit Trivedi‘s music so easy on ears, making the film watchable, particularly the wonderful track ‘Pashmina’. Problem arises when director focuses mostly on the complex and, to be honest – soulless romance – over the potential Kashmir crisis, that fails to strike a chord in the first place itself and blame must be derived from the casting.
Aditya Roy Kapur and Katrina Kaif are gorgeous actors with irresistible screen presence, however for me, they are a complete miscast. While some of the blame should be directed towards the material they were saddled with, limiting their scope to go in depth, their performance as the unrequited lovers Noor and Firdaus, lacks the spark and we -as an audience- end up getting distracted by their rather cringe-worthy and superficial performances never raising the bar.
Adding more layer of hysteria and loneliness, Tabu shines as Begum Hazrat, bringing life to Miss Havisham – the cornerstone of the very classic novel. Jilted by her lover and disowned by her family in the past, Begum finds comfort in solidarity and repeatedly reminds her daughter that she isn’t born to be lured by love, fearing the same fate as her. Thankfully being such a wonderful actor, it’s not surprising to see the lady own the film despite burden with a weakly written character. Aditi Rao Hydari, who plays the younger Begum, looks lovely in every frame and she is such a fine actor, unfortunately her casting and her dubbed voice is far from convincing. Similarly Lara Dutta and Ajay Devgn are wasted in a thankless role that doesn’t offer anything new.
Fitoor could’ve been such a good film, had it been precise on a right casting with better and realistic screenplay. I did not hate the film, allow me to clear. Fitoor isn’t a bad film but it’s not even so good as I was expecting it. Watch it once for Tabu, who still captivates and holds your attention and lit up screen whenever she comes up.