“Fitoor” is a success in terms of TRPs, pulling viewers in week after week. But is this a quality show? With a high budget and a great cast, the show falters in terms of content. Written by Zanjabeel Asim and directed by Siraj Ul Haq, it stars Faysal Qureshi, Hiba Bukhari, Wahaj Ali and Kiran Haq in lead roles. The show revolves around a married couple, each partner with their own past. How does their marriage fare when the past comes back to haunt them – rather, beg them to take them back?
Episode 17 focuses on how, with Mehmal’s (Kiran Haq) departure, Dilnasheen (Hiba Bukhari) is now comfortable to lay “claim” to her husband. However, Mehmal doesn’t waste a moment calling Haider (Faysal Qureshi) and telling him that she’s now rendered homeless because of his mother. Meanwhile, at home, Dilnasheen prepares for Haider’s return as a dutiful wife hoping to win over her husband while Haider sets up Mehmal in a hotel. During this time Mehmal does her best to convince Haider to take her back home, but Haider cannot go against his mother’s decision. This episode presents a particularly irritating, unrealistic narrative in regards to Mehmal’s character. This is a woman who has been trapped in an unhappy marriage for a decade and has essentially been given loads of money, but been left to not only fend for herself in terms of her daily living, but has also been raising her child as more-or-less a single mother. Therefore, the helplessness that Mehmal displays in this episode is downright ridiculous. Why is a woman who has been sleeping alone for years in a large mansion suddenly scared of sleeping alone in a protected, safe hotel room? The illogical writing here has no purpose but to make Mehmal appear so helpless, she cannot possibly stay alone – and hence, will ultimately either find her way back into Haider’s house or be completely dependent on him with Haider bouncing between Mehmal and Dilnasheen.
Of course, when talking about Mehmal, we have to talk about the loopy behavior of the adults in this show. Not one individual sits up and takes notice that a 5 year old is present in the room when they have very “adult” conversations and fights with her mother. This includes Mehmal, who openly pursues Haider in front of her daughter. This child actor is being used like a ragdoll and, again, a convenient way for Mehmal to emotionally blackmail Haider. She serves no other purpose, certainly not inspiring any motherly behavior from Mehmal.
Of course, now we must discuss Haider, a man who is describe by his mother as having no flaws – of course, other than Mehmal, but men have pasts, right? (Please note the sarcasm) Still, Dilnasheen has now opened her heart to Haider and has decided to do everything in her power to make him happy. Dilnasheen wants to go into her marriage with a clean heart and, after having a conversation with Haider, decides to confess and tell him about her own past. However, seeing his flustered reaction, she immediately withdraws the confession, saying she was only pulling his leg. Haider is relieved and it’s here that the remaining respect left for Haider completely dwindles. This is a man who not only has a past, but his past is still playing with his present – and yet, he can’t imagine, nor would be able to accept, his new wife having a past. It’s true that this hypocrisy is rampant in our society, but then let’s not portray Haider as a “good guy.” He’s simply not?
The problem with “Fitoor” is that it’s difficult for the audience to feel sympathy for the characters. While Dilnasheen has been ridiculous all-around, she was still forced into a marriage and is still trying to make it work, so Hiba Bukhari’s character receives some compassion (some……not much). But Kiran Haq and Faysal Qureshi’s Mehmal and Haider are an absolute train wreck. First of all, Mehmal married elsewhere out of greed, abandoning Haider. Only after seeing him moving on did she decide to leave her husband and come back to Haider. This isn’t love, it’s just more greed. And Haider is the gullible man who is falling into her trap, a man who was ditched by this woman and is now ruining his own marriage for her. To say “Fitoor” is a frustrating watch is an understatement – and yet, Wahaj Ali’s return is the only reason one continues to hold on. What role will Hamza play in this scenario? We will have to wait and watch…….with a lot of patience.