The two and half minute long trailer of Abhishek Kapoor’s Fitoor is probably the most gorgeous piece of audio visual produced in the mainstream Bollywood domain for some time. The outdoors images against the lush backdrop of Kashmir, the meticulously designed and lit up interiors, the well thought out mise-en-scene in terms of composition, color palette and the movements and the lead pair of Aditya Roy Kapoor and Katrina Kaif looking like mythic deities, collectively contribute in making the trailer a spectacular experience.
One of the main buzz surrounding the film is the fact that it is an adaptation of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Other than Vishal Bharadwaj’s maverick attempts with the Shakespearean plays, the idea of adapting World Literature hasn’t been quite popular or successful in Bollywood. Earlier instances have been quite sporadic. Lootera (The Last Leaf by O Henry), Aisha (Emma by Jane Austen), Saawariya (White Nights by Fyodor Dostoevsky) and No Smoking (Quitters Inc. by Stephen King) would be among the precious few instances in the past decade or so.
The classic bildungsroman by Dickens unfolds in 19th century England amid imagery of abject hardship and poverty while the world of Fitoor as evident in the trailer looks far removed from all that. It seems to be focused on the romantic plot involving the lead pair and the theme of a social structure divided into class and economic status. Now that is one tried and tested area for Hindi films and the idea of adapting a Dickens novel and then trimming it down to a mere romantic plot would indeed be a counterproductive exercise. In fact, the trailer is quite unclear as to the direction the film is going to take with the source material. It certainly promises a sweeping tale of love and rejection, of wealth, opulence and poverty. But the Fitoor or obsession… and Charles Dickens??? We’ll have to wait and see!
Arup Ratan Samajdar