UTV Motion Pictures and Guy In The Sky Pictures’ Fitoor (UA) is a love story which begins in Kashmir and travels to Delhi and London.
Noor (master Mohammed Abrar Sheikh) is a very young boy who one day helps a jihadi, Muazzam (Ajay Devgan), by providing him food and shelter. Muazzam escapes when the police, in search of him, reach too close for comfort. Noor, who lives in Kashmir with his sister and brother-in-law, is not very well-off and so, he soon starts working for a rich heiress, Begum (Tabu). Begum has a little daughter, Firdaus (baby Tunisha Sharma), whom young Noor falls in love with as soon as he sees her. Begum realises this and tells him that he’d have to work hard and achieve a lot in life if he wanted to be close to Firdaus.
Soon, Firdaus also starts liking Noor. She invites him for her birthday party but Noor loses his sister in a bomb explosion the same day and hence can’t make it to the party. He goes to Firdaus the next day to share the sad news with her but is shocked to know that Begum has sent her away to another city for studies. Since he has loved Firdaus, Noor is unable to forget her over the years.
Noor (Aditya Roy Kapur), a young man now, is a fine painter. Begum encourages him to pursue his art and one day, he gets a chance to go to Delhi for further polishing his art. In Delhi, he learns some things about painting under Leena Becker (Lara Dutta), who holds an exhibition of his paintings. The exhibition is a grand success.
In Delhi, Noor meets Firdaus (Katrina Kaif) who has grown up to be a very beautiful girl. The old sparks between Noor and Firdaus are re-ignited. Sensing this, Begum, who is in Kashmir, tries to keep Firdaus away from Noor. However, Noor and Firdaus get physical one day.
Soon thereafter, Firdaus leaves for Kashmir to look after her ailing mother, leaving a letter for Noor. In the letter, she explains to Noor that as she is soon to get married to a rich and influential guy in Pakistan, she may not be able to meet him (Noor) again. Aghast, Noor reaches Kashmir and confronts Firdaus who plays hard to get. Begum is relieved that Firdaus has shunned Noor.
Then, one day, at an auction of paintings, where Noor’s painting is also up for sale, he meets Firdaus who has come with her beau, Bilal (Rahul Bhat), and her to-be father-in-law, Salman (Talat Aziz). He tries hard to convince Firdaus that she should leave Bilal and marry him as he loves her, but Firdaus tells him that she won’t marry him as she has no such feeling of love for him.
Noor is now convinced that he has lost Firdaus forever. Soon, Noor gets a chance to go to London to participate in an international art exhibition. Begum, too, reaches there and compliments him for his sculpture and painting. And then, Muazzam, the jihadi whom Noor had helped many years ago, re-enters his life and reveals a secret that shocks him. What is that secret?
Noor confronts Begum and asks her why she wouldn’t let Firdaus marry him? Incidentally, Begum has been pressurising Firdaus to get over Noor and marry Bilal.
Begum has a past which prompts many of her actions even today. What is that past and why is it so devastating for Begum? There is also a secret between Begum and Firdaus. What is it? Does Firdaus marry Bilal or does she listen to her heart and return to Noor?
The film is based on Charles Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations. The screenplay, adapted from the novel, is penned by Suprateek Sen and Abhishek Kapoor. The story is quite confusing due to the following reasons – there are too many characters in it; the suspense about Begum’s past is revealed quite late; the character of young Begum is played by an actress (Aditi Rao Hydari) who is different from the actress playing the present-day Begum (Tabu), something which takes a long time to register. The screenplay moves at a very slow pace, often testing the audience’s patience. Of course, the many twists and turns in the drama prevent the interest level of the audience from declining to an alarmingly low level but even they cannot make up for the boredom which creeps in at several points. Although it is a love story, the romance in the film is far from heart-warming or happy and, in fact, has a tinge of sadness and depression associated with it. There are simply no light moments in the film, making the drama appear even more depressing. Emotions just don’t touch the heart as the character of Noor never really makes such a place in the viewers’ hearts that they end up feeling miserable for Noor when Firdaus walks out on him. Firdaus’ character is quite sketchy so that the audience tends to believe her when she tells Noor that she doesn’t love him. The revelation of the suspense – Begum’s past – may shock the audiences but they aren’t still able to appreciate, even if they understand, why she did what she did in the love story of Firdaus and Noor. The audience gets confused at several places, not just because there are too many characters and flashbacks but also because some of the characters re-emerge in the film after long periods of absence. Suprateek Sen’s dialogues are excellent and several of them touch the heart – more than the story and the screenplay.
Aditya Roy Kapur does a very ordinary job as Noor. He has the same expression on his face almost throughout the film and fails to evoke sympathy for his character. He doesn’t quite match up to Katrina Kaif who plays Firdaus, whom Noor (Aditya Roy Kapur) loves. Katrina Kaif does fairly well. But her costumes are often quite an eye-sore. Tabu steals the show with a terrific performance, playing the frustrated Begum with élan. Ajay Devgan adds star value in a guest appearance as Muazzam, who re-appears, after years, as Mirza Baig. Rahul Bhat is adequate as Bilal, in a special appearance. Aditi Rao Hydari leaves a mark as young Begum. Master Mohammed Abrar Sheikh (as little Noor) and baby Tunisha Sharma (as little Firdaus) are both endearing and also confident. Lara Dutta leaves a mark as Leena Becker. Kunaal Khyaan looks handsome and makes his mark as Aarif. Akshay Oberoi is effective in a brief role as Mufti. Talat Aziz is alright as Salman. Rayees Mohi-ud-din performs ably as Junaid. Khalida Jaan Tourey (as Rukhsar), Ajaz Rah (as Kaleem), Ishwak Singh (as Zafar Peerbhoy), Dilnaz Irani (as Samira Peerbhoy), Namit Malhotra (as Jagirdar), Jason Shah (as Aarif’s friend), Kavita Seth (as Hazrat’s mother), Sameer Roy (as young Salman) and the others provide the desired support.
Abhishek Kapoor’s direction, like the script, would find favour with the class audience mainly. His narration doesn’t really make the confusing proceedings very easy for the masses to comprehend. Amit Trivedi’s music is hit. The ‘Pashmina’ song and the title track are supremely melodious numbers. Swanand Kirkire’s lyrics are rich. Bosco-Caesar’s choreography is in keeping with the film’s mood. Hitesh Sonik’s background music is effective. Anay Goswami does an absolutely fantastic job with his camera. If the locations are heavenly, the cinematography does full justice to them. Mayur Sharma’s art direction and Sukant Panigrahi, Shashank Tere and Nidhi Rungta’s production designing are appropriate. Deepa Bhatia’s editing is very good.
On the whole, Fitoor is very slow and confusing too. Rather than happiness, it sells depression. It may be liked by a section of the class audience but it will be rejected by the masses and will, therefore, prove to be a box-office disaster, entailing a huge loss to all concerned.