Fitoor Hindi Movie Review

Feature Film | Romance
Poor Charles Dickens! I am sure he never meant for Great Expectations to be a Bollywood romance. He called it a 'very fine, new grotesque idea' when he thought it up. Fitoor is this very finely shot, very bizarre breathy romance film which is saved by moments of true madness displayed by the brilliant Tabu.
Feb 11, 2016 By Manisha Lakhe

Abhishek Kapoor who brought you Rock On! and Kai Po Che now brings you this lavishly shot Fitoor which desperately pretends to have literary aspirations but ends up being a ridiculous romance where heroine runs to hero in a really flouncy white dress and brown suede boots. And the journey is so tedious you want the rickety bridge where they meet to blow up by a bomb.

The setting is Kashmir. And the pretence begins with the first few sentences: 'Jannat shayad kafan oadh ke so rahee thee...' Before you roll your eyes upon hearing that you are pounced upon by a jihadi who scares the living daylights out of you. But you bring him food and offer him shelter. When one studied Dickens, one did not understand why the boy returns with food, and neither do we here. Especially when the brute lets you go...

Snow covered Kashmir has a benefactor in the shape of Tabu. The one star for this movie certainly goes to her. Her unpredictable twirl while mouthing, 'Gar Firdaus Bar-rue Zaminasto, Haminasto, Haminasto' while wearing that black Kaftan earns her the star more than all the shadows under the eyes parts she plays without any effort. And yes, the first time the curtain is raised and we see Tabu, your jaw just touches the floor. She's stunningly beautiful.

But the story is about the orphan Noor (Aditya Roy Kapoor) falling for Khala Tabu's daughter Firdaus (Katrina Kaif), and how he believes they are destined to be together. Noor turns out to be an artist, becomes famous because of an unknown patron and keeps bumping into Firdaus who insists on not loving him but making out with him and then rejecting him. Noor also tries the drunk in love act, and the audience is so bored by his ishq act that when the policeman says, 'isko andar kar do, aur itna maaro ki...' the audience could have clapped to see that scene. Alas nothing like that happens and Noor continues his artist in love act, and also mistakenly thinks the patron is Khala but isn't.

Don't ask any more. Dickens took weeks and weeks to finish the story which Bollywood tries to share in two hours and ten minutes. Plus they have the annoying wail of, 'Yeh fitooooooor mera!' reminding you again and again that this romance is doomed. As pathetic as Noor's attempt to show Firdaus how long he has loved her by wearing her scarf (he received from her as a present when they were children) around his neck after they make love. And they make such a drama over the pre-lovemaking ('Nahi! Mujhe jaana hoga!'), you facepalm several times and say, 'What century is this thing coming from?!'

Of course the film has been shot beautifully and the sets are lavish, whether it is Tabu's grand palace, or the artist's residency. Kashmir is shown to be perpetually snow covered (or covered in shades of the Fall), and the houses in London and Delhi are stunning. What doesn't add up though are the people who walk in and out of the movie. You wonder who are the young couple who are shown rudely to the door when they visit Tabu with a proposal of turning the palace into a hotel? Who are the random artists and people partying in Delhi? What is that feast where everyone is drinking at the lavishly set table? Why is Katrina sitting at the piano? Who are the many khalas who show up in Kashmir to eat at Katrina's engagement? Why is Tabu khala sitting out alone on a bench when she was organising the engagement ceremony? Why is she suddenly out of the weird wheelchair? How does a boy from Srinagar suddenly take to partying with chic women when he's supposed to have never seen such a lifestyle? How do these people travel so quickly from Srinagar to Delhi and to London and back between these cities? And why do the lovers speak in such breathy tones? If that wasn't bad enough, why do they all move in slow motion?

The movie annoys you on many levels. But the worst is the how the hero reveals the what he felt when he first saw the heroine. Mind you, he's Kashmiri, and has lost his sister in a bomb explosion. Yet he says, 'Tumhe dekhte hee laga mano mere sar par ek bum fat gaya ho!'

Manisha Lakhe