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!
Fitoor is an enjoyable film. Atleast I enjoyed it. The cast performed very well (including Katrina Kaif) and it was beautifully shot.
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 well. There is a lot of style over substance at times but the actors make up for it.
SCREENPLAY: Could have been better. A lot of things were dropped hurriedly towards the climax. At a time when none of the Khans are releasing films shorter than a hundred-and-fifty minutes, Kapoor and Supratik Sen shouldn’t have had a problem increasing the length by about ten odd minutes. It would definitely have made the film better. 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. The line, however cool, has no real significance in the film.
EDITING: The editing, handled by Deepa Bhatia, is smooth but should have been a little rustic in some sequences.
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, delivers a powerful performance 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 and surprisingly, as good as the Tabu of Haider. She brings out the haunting and broken character of Begum Hazrat Jaan in supreme fashion. Ajay Devgn is in a special appearance and inspite of the fact that he doesn’t sound even remotely Kashmiri, he’s impressive in his more suave avatar later in the film. Aditya Roy Kapur is extremely good as Noor Nizami. He presents the artist and the obsessive lover very well.
Fitoor is not a must-watch but it is enjoyable. It has a scrappy screenplay but the performances and 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.