Below expectation ( FITOOR )

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Feb 2016 16:11:08

By Farina Salim Quraishi

OF the many ‘Great Expectations’ one had from Fitoor, it manages to fulfill a few, and sorely disappoints with the rest.While the movie is an intense love story, it lacks depth; it has some charismatic moments, yetlacks charisma andtotoptoall,it has fantastic performances but has Katrina Kaif!

Based on Charles Dickens’ literary gem,Great Expectations,Fitoor has director Abhishek Kapoor portraying the story of Kashmir with more zeal than his protagonists’ poignant yet pointlessly doomed love story.

Like the book, Fitoor is told infirst-person narrative by Noor Nizami (a broad and bulky Aditya Roy Kapur), playing the orphaned Pip. The frosty and frigid Estella is essayed by Katrina Kaif as Firdaus, while Tabu plays the eccentric Miss Havisham as Begum Hazrat Jaan. ‘The Boy From Dal’, as Noor is known later, is an mpoverished aspiringartist.

Summoned by the Begum for some oddjobs at the haveli, Nooris intrigued and awed by its grandeur. Despite strict instructions about keeping his voice low and eyes even lower, Noor just can’t keep his eyes off Hazrat’s beautiful daughter, Firdaus.

Though Firdaus is heart-stoppingly beautiful, she is heart-breakingly haughty as well; still in no time, Noor is hooked for life. Aristocratic spinster Begum Hazrat,with scores to settle with the world, alternately encourages and discourages Noor’s love, with an agenda of her own.

After a tragedy in which Noor loses his beloved Appa, Firdaus is packed off to London, leaving him heartbroken. Determined to become ‘kaabil for Firdaus’, Noor channelises all his energies into his art with his slow-burning desire firing him on.

When a secret benefactor offers a fully-funded arts scholarship in Delhi to Noor, he grabs at the opportunity and quickly becomes a sensation in the art world. It is here that Noor gets to meet his Firdaus again, who is by now looking even more sensational. One look at her streaming red hair, all of Noor’s epressed feelings come bubbling to the surface, threatening to burn down his well-crafted paradise.

Even as Firdaus starts warming up to Noor, Begum’s cold advice about love and life check sherin her tracks.How then the impossible lovestory play sout forms much of the movie thereon. Abhishek Kapoor is quite adept at making literally adaptations, Kai Po Che!, being a good xam pleasany;and he makes good work of adapting the Dickens’ classic into a moving 21st century emotional saga.

Keeping the essence of the story more or less intact, the director stays true to the book’s premise and yet is faithfully Bollywood ish. Along with cowriter Supratik Sen, Kapoor has wovenastory which at first draws you in, makes you marvel and then leaves you cold. The movie is set in Kashmir, which is presented in all its glory.

Never before has anyone presented the vivid yet stark autumn-winter of the ‘Paradise On Earth’, the way Kapoor has. It’s almost one of the characters in Fitoor. Anay Goswamy’s skilled lens capture the surreal beauty of Kashmir fantastically making the film visually stunning. Also despite the story of the orphan boy making it big in love and life known well, Kapoor with deft tweaks manages keep the audience guessing.

But the film takes it own sweet time in building up the story with only Noor and Firdaus’ love established in the first half. A few meanderings, and several sweeping glimpses of Kashmir’s vistas later, the slower moving second half brings about the culmination of the love story, which will surprise but a few.

Moreover, despite pointedly saying in the film that arts and politics are hard to separate, Kapoor only just touches upon the Kashmir issue.

Abhishek Kapoor’s infatuation with two ‘K’sKatrina and Kashmir- seems to have clouded his judgment big time. Both of them get more than deserved footage in the film.

Though Kashmir, with its impossible beauty, somehow justifies it’s overwhelming presence, it is Katrina Kaif with her one-dimensional expressions and frequent ‘knor’ instead of Noor, who stands out as

Herpitifully low acting skills are in sharp contrastto the dazzling performance by Tabu. She isascene stealer,this woman. Improving her regaland restrained act as Mauja in Haider, Tabu plays the over dramatic and theatrical Hazrat with exquisite finesse.

One will love her, loathe her and eventually pity her as Hazrat descends into insanity. Rough and rugged Aditya looks the part of a barbad aashiq and is at his intense best.

Though his brooding demeanour and haunting eyes speak volumes, he struggles in the bits where he has to be anything other than the forlorn lover.

Speaking of struggle, it’s such a pain to see Katrina ‘emote’ (hardly), messing up the wide range of emotions her character is required to play. Also her chemistry with Aditya is too cold to charm.

The emotional turbulence of Firdaus has always been too talla call for Katrina,but Ms Kaif opting for the confused look throughout the movie is just not acceptable! All in all, in this season of love, if you are looking for an intense love drama, be sure to checkout Fitoor,but leave your watch behind.

The Hitavada Rating:
✯ ✯