Fitoor: The Most Beautiful and Under Rated film of the Past Decade (My Take)
In this post, I will be analyzing Fitoor as a movie (also recommending those who haven’t watched to watch it on Netflix)
1. **Fitoor is based on Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, and is set in Kashmir. Here lies the film’s first problem- literally no filmmaker- Hollywood/Indian/anywhere else can get the crux on adapting Dickens well, they always find it tough due to the paucity of several issues bypassing together in his writings. Great Expectations on the other hand is an even harder book to adapt- Alfonso Cuaron, known as one of the best directors of this century has himself failed in an attempt to get the adaptation right.**
2. The issue in adapting Dickens is the fact Dickens often leaves you with unanswered plot points and answers…
3. So Fitoor was always facing a daunting task, add to that the slow narrative pace of the Dickens novel directly correlates to lack of any happening (Compare it to Jane Austen where every 100 pages there is a high point thrown up)
4. **The movie though starts off brilliantly.. the cinematography is so beautiful that for a moment you just want to watch the movie cause it is beautiful, again cause this is a Dickens adaptation it has to be set in turmoil but yet be unaware of it. Kashmir is in Political haywire but the film isn’t interested in it. Rather we have an unfathomed heiress in an old abandoned mansion, a young boy smitten by her daughter, and a daughter raised to be cold and unloving. The movie develops the chemistry of young children well… the class difference is well explained (his shoes are torn, this is what brings the interest of both Hazrat and Firdaus).**
5. Hazrat from onset is a fascinating character- she has seen both love, loss and longing. When she murmurs dialogues there is pain, when she lays sight on Noor she knows she has seen this exact person before. Same willpower, and those eyes that don’t lie.
6. The movie loses track partially because it gets confused ones Noor grows up, it decides to skip 100 pages of the book and directly set him to the big city albeit a secret scholar who wants to be his benefactor. The movie quickly decides to jump the class issues all together as Noor easily adapts into the societies of Delhi (and even they seem accepting of him), only do odd dialogues get thrown to show that he is from a poor background (mainly by Hazrat herself).
7. **The movie instead focuses only on Noor’s obsession for Firdaus driven by her charm and wit- again Movie decides to skip 40-50 pages of the book and we never know why Firdaus would find the guy likeable in first place. We are confused (atleast those who didn’t read the book)- is he playing him or genuinely liking him?**
8. **My favorite scene from the movie comes on either side of the Interval (Indian filmmakers and their mastery of 20 minutes either side of the interval). We see Noor showing his work to Firdaus who is shocked to learn that it is all of her… the other side of the interval showing the past and reasons behind what made Hazrat the way she is**
9. Then the film completely forgets the material and goes haywire- some great music and dialogues aside nothing really happens.
10. It is only in the climax does the movie finally runs (one of the most exciting climaxes in a Bollywood movie without any suspense)…
11. Aditya Roy Kapoor and Tabu are brilliantly cast- (Aditya in some emotional scenes is a revelation…). It is Tabu who carries the film with fascinating dialogue delivery.
12. **It is Katrina Kaif who is absolutely miscast in this movie- she is the beauty of Estella but hardly the complexity. Sometimes I wonder if any Katrina Kaif film should only have her murmuring dialogues in English- the Hindi diction is a huge issue, what if she speaks pure English- then she would do better as she actually understands the emotional depth of her words plus wouldn’t have to try so hard in spelling a language she is not native of**