Abhishek Kapoor’s adaptation of the ‘Great Expectations’ is intense but superficial.
The thing about Charles Dickens’ almost-tragic-love-story is that it needs a lot of patience. This saga of love and betrayal, of passion and vindication, of loss and redemption convolutedly weaves into a narrative at a languid pace. Unless you infuse new energy into this classic tale, there’s very little that’s fascinating about this story.
Kapoor sets his story in Kashmir and undoubtedly the canvas is pristine and exquisite. Each frame, whether it’s the pallid cover of snow or the crimson veil of the Chinar, looks fascinating. Much like Begum Hazrat’s (Tabu) life in the old mansion, the scenes in Kashmir look like they are caught in a time warp. The resentful heiress languishing and nursing her broken heart, hopes that having her adopted daughter Firdaus (Katrina Kaif) smother Noor’s (Aditya Roy Kapoor) emotions would bring her some solace.
Aditya Roy Kapoor as the hopeless infatuated lover is intense. It does help that every time you see him pining, you also get a glimpse of his sculpted body and his rippling muscles. Kapoor pours his heart into this film with all sincerity but seeing him do this part feels like a déja vu of sorts.
Katrina Kaif is completely inept at playing this layered role. I had thought appearing cold and distant would come naturally to her but she constantly looks confused. Lips trembling her eyes are incapable of emoting the interplay of desire and apathy. This is not a character that comes across conflicted about playing games with a boy who is devoted to her. It’s a pity that she has no grip on this role.
It’s Tabu who plays her part with flourish. Filled with bitterness, manipulative and most detached, after being duped by her lover she is a class act.
‘Great Expectations’ is not an easy film to translate onscreen and it would take seasoned actors to bring out the complexity of the lead characters. Also, setting it in Kashmir is just an aesthetic call; it adds nothing to the plot unlike in Vishal Bharadwaj’s ‘Haider’ (2014). There was a reason why the story had to be shot in Kashmir. ‘Fitoor’ could have well been set against the backdrop of some other picturesque location.
Alas, Abhishek Kapoor’s ‘Fitoor’ looks better than it feels.
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