First up, I read Great Expectations way back in 2010/11. When I was around eleven. I couldn’t go past the first couple of pages because it seemed boring. And so, I will not be judging whether the film is an accurate portrayal of what Mr Dickens wrote which, in any case, is a personal opinion. And subsequently, genres like Military History, Non-Fiction, Thrillers and Harry Potter took over. Not to forget amazing comics like Calvin & Hobbes and Commando! Hence, I have no clue about the book from which the film is adapted. And a shout-out to those people who are offended by Bollywood’s adaptations. Each person has his/her vision and can, and perhaps should, do things differently. Recently, MEA wailed about the facts in Airlift. Was the RMS Titanic fictitious? No. Was the story of the Kate Winslet-Leonardo DiCaprio starrer true? Maybe not. But does that make anyone say that Titanic is a shitty film? No. Point is, let people do things according to the way they want. And in any case, films come with a ‘Disclaimer’. That is not a frigging showpiece. Read it!
DIRECTION: I haven’t watched Abhishek Kapoor’s Kai Po Che but I do remember watching Rock On!! when it released back in 2008. It was a really good film. Kapoor directs loosely. There is a lot of fluff to the film but not much firmness.
SCREENPLAY: Could have been better. It is unable to bring the intensity of Haider in its depiction of Kashmir and the politics of the state are barely mentioned though they’re supposed to be a vital part in the movie. Sen nails the dialogue accurately, except for the one where the drunk Aditya, for no real reason, shouts Doodh maangogey toh kheer denge, Kashmir maangogey toh cheer denge! at a visibly confused Rahul Bhat. I was just as confused.
EDITING: The editing, handled by Deepa Bhatia, is quite smooth.
MUSIC: Hitesh Sonik delivers a fine bit of background music that set the film up well. Amit Trivedi adds calming music to Swanand Kirkire’s lyrics. Pashmina and Yeh Fitoor Mera are, for me, the best tracks of the album.
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Anay Goswamy strikes with amazing cinematography. He captures the Valley amazingly, with the Dal Lake, the gardens and the Chinar looking exceptional. The colour palette of the film is vast, though red is never absent from it. The colours and the varying saturation and tones add to the film. Kudos to the Art Director and the Production Designers as well.
PERFORMANCES: Tunisha Sharma and Mohammed Abrar are extremely good in their roles as the younger versions of Firdaus and Noor. They look the part of Katrina and Aditya. Lara Dutta and Aditi Rao Hydari are good in their brief roles. Rahul Bhat, while not as good as he was in Anurag Kashyap’s Ugly, is commanding as Bilal. Katrina Kaif is okay, and that’s saying something. I have seen her act in only three films: Namastey London, Raajneeti and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Her performance couldn’t surpass the ones in those two movies but it was better than her Phantom act. Tabu is amazing. Just superb. Better than the Tabu of Drishyam. She brings out the haunting and broken character of Begum Hazrat Jaan in supreme fashion. Aditya Roy Kapur is good as Noor Nizami. He presents the artist and the obsessive lover well though I did wonder why he stripped so much in the movie.
Fitoor is not a must-watch. It has a scrappy screenplay but Tabu, Amit Trivedi’s music and Anay Goswamy’s cinematography draw one’s attention a lot more and keep the viewer occupied.
My rating for Fitoor: 4/10
Next up is Ram Madhvani’s Neerja and hopefully, Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh.