“FITOOR” is gorgeous and sensible, but overindulgent!
Based on Charles Dickens’s novel “Great Expectations”, Abhishek Kapoor’s FITOOR is visually dazzling and mostly immersive. However, with several slow passages in between, it falls a tad short on the entertainment quotient. Tabu’s superb act forms the highlight of this effective adaptation.
This story follows a young Kashmiri boy Noor (Aditya Roy Kapur), his muse Firdaus (Katrina Kaif) and a mercurial Begum (Tabu) the wealthiest woman in Kashmir, through love lost and realized over the course of two generations. Young Noor, an impressionable shikara boy living by the piers of Kashmir's Dal Lake, falls in love with the Begum's daughter, Firdaus. Noor begins to obsess over Firdaus, someone who belongs to a world completely different from his. Seasons change and Noor leaves his hometown to move to the city of Delhi to build his career as an artist. His quest to win Firdaus continues, but he hardly realizes he’s a part of an intense retributory plot.
Rendering a renowned English classic, director/ co-writer Abhishek Kapoor seems surefooted right from the word go. He is aided adeptly by his cinematographer Anay Goswami, in creating dazzlingly beautiful visuals. Each set is splendid and each frame depicts grandeur. There is art in every bit of FITOOR. And rightly so, as the protagonist in the film is a budding painter with exceptional talent.
The theme follows the novel’s gloomy feel, but mixes colours in it with its striking presentation. Alas, the effectively layered narrative of the novel is missing. The film seems surface level, and that’s perhaps because the lead pair isn’t equipped enough to play such complex characters skilfully. The plot lacks the passionate depth, despite the huge build up. Also, there are some draggy portions in the screenplay, which stem from the director’s overindulgence in his craft.
That said, these flaws do not take too much away from the overall brilliance of the product. There’s a lot to like here. The deliciously mysterious flavour of the story with hidden motives that unfold gradually, keeps the viewers consistently invested in the proceedings. The characters too are well written. There’s definitely soul in the film and is kept alive till the end. The terrific musical score by Amit Trivedi is another enhancing factor.
Of the performers, it’s Tabu who’s the showstopper. Now a veteran of adapted cinema in India, Tabu plays the role of the self-conflicted Begum with amazing skill. Her mercurial traits come across appropriately and never does she hit a wrong note. She delivers yet another gem after Haider, in this complexly layered representation. Katrina Kaif gives one of her better performances, although a more competent actor in her place would’ve elevated the whole effect. She looks gorgeous, but her limited prowess restricts the core seduction levels that form an integral part of such a subject. Same could be said about Aditya Roy Kapur, who doesn’t really go down too deep into the character, somehow curtailing the impact of his role. Nevertheless, they are adequate and perform way above expectations. All others are great in the small roles they’re offered.
In all, “FITOOR” falls short of the “Great Expectations” (pun intended) that we had from Abhishek Kapoor after ROCK ON and KAI PO CHE, but is still one of the better films in recent times. Definitely worth a watch this weekend!

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