Fitoor can be remembered for it’s gorgeous photography, it’s superb colours, it’s good music and it’s overall class. Never before has Kashmir been filmed so brilliantly. The whiteness of the snow in winter, the ochre colours of the leaves in bright sunlight, the beauty of the Chinar trees of the region, the scenes of the lovers romancing in the hollow of broken tree stumps , the mansion in the middle of nowhere—all has been filmed brilliantly. The superb paintings in the movie, the style and clothes of the jet set crowd of the capital city Delhi, the visuals of London—all look so good. The music is almost memorable with good songs. The women look nice and the men look dapper.
But should the movie be remembered at all? The first half does hold your interest with a strong build up to the story and at the intermission the bar of expectations has been raised high. However post the intermission the movie and it’s story meander hopelessly in the second half. The director does not deliver coherent explanations to the happenings and overcomplicates the story with needless confusion.
A young boy living in Kashmir dares to fall in love with a young girl who is above his class , and continues his love even when she is sent far away from him. Years later his talent for painting is discovered by the capital city Delhi, where he meets his childhood love again. Both have grown up, but what has spectacularly grown is his love for her; in fact it has grown into an obsession (fitoor). And even though she (played by Katrina Kaif) is now engaged to another man, she is westernised enough to look after him and flirt with him and reciprocates his advances to have a one night stand with him. But is he (played by Aditya Roy Kapoor) going to be satisfied with just that? No , because he has an obsession for her called fitoor.
But standing in the way is the heroine’s formidable mother (played by Tabu) who has a past of a broken heart and a broken relationship which failed horribly, and wants to wreak revenge by destroying the love of the next generation too. I was reminded of the pointlessness of ragging in college, where one batch which cannot punish their seniors who ragged them wants to wreak revenge by ragging their juniors. What’s the point?
So does Katrina realise the depth of the love/obsession that Aditya has for her and reciprocate? You will have to watch the movie till the end to know that and watching it till the end is not worth it—for as the movie moves further it becomes less and less interesting.
The Kashmir militancy and the Pakistan factor makes some fleeting appearances in the movie, and Aditya is driven by his jealousy for Katrina’s Pakistani fiancée to taunt him with the Indian nationalists’ favourite jingo—”Doodh mangogey to kheeer dengey, Kashmir mangogay to cheeer dengey !!” ( ”If you ask for milk, we will give a very sweet concoction of it; but if you ask for Kashmir, we will tear you apart !!”) I know this jingo does not rhyme in English, but it does rhyme in Hindi. So at least the film has the credit of having a Kashmiri character who declares loyalty to India, which is a pleasant surprise in the days of films like ‘Haider’ where open separatism is preached. Also Kashmir’s Islamic ethos and culture has been shown well in the film.
But does this above fact save the film? No , it does not. And acting by the various actors is not particularly fantastic either. Aditya Roy Kapoor is not even fair skinned enough to look like a Kashmiri—who are all famous for their rosy white complexion. Katrina’s anglicized Hindi (she grew up in Britain) seems to get worse in this film. Aditi Rao Hyderi looks lovely as the young Tabu, but her role is too small. Ajay Devgan’s role is totally wasted.
One and a half stars.