Some shows have great star casts, high production values and pull in incredible ratings week after week – but fail to deliver in terms on content, putting out repetitive episodes week after week. “Fitoor” is one such show. While it’s a huge success, one could skip four episodes at a time and still feel as though they’ve just blinked. And yet, finally, after 30 episodes, “Fitoor” manages to give its first, truly power-packed episode where our lead, Dilnasheen, has finally grown tired of hearing the taunts and accusations. “Fitoor” stars Faysal Qureshi, Hiba Bukhari, Wahaj Ali, Kiran Haq, Ismat Zaidi and Saba Hameed in lead roles, has been written by Zanjabeel Asim and directed by Siraj Ul Haq.
There are many points to discuss in episode 30, the first being how Bushra (Ismat Zaidi) has suddenly molded into the perfect “saas.” A once-supportive woman, she has now joined the dark side, not only suspecting Dilnasheen (Hiba Bukhari) as well of having an affair, but also adding oil to the fire when it’s simply not needed. Yes, while Dilnasheen has lied about her past with Hamza (Wahaj Ali), she certainly has never given anyone cause to mistrust her. When has she ever snuck out to meet anyone? When has she been deceitful? When has she done anything other than tried to please her in-laws, Haider and her own family? Where would Hamza fit into the picture? The entire situation is ludicrous – and even more ludicrous is how Bushra and Haider both have no shame, verbally thrashing Dilnasheen in front of Mehmal (Kiran Haq), a woman they know she does not like.
Second, let’s discuss Hamza himself. Hamza is a character who somehow viewers, myself included, find highly endearing, not only because Wahaj Ali is a brilliant actor who portrays Hamza’s emotions with an electric intensity and is very good-looking, but also because Hamza has an unfaltering love for Dilnasheen that he simply cannot let go of. That kind of loyalty is something that makes girls swoon. However, let’s just discuss this here and now – Hamza is a very problematic man and if Dilnasheen were ever to leave Haider and go to Hamza, what kind of life would that be exactly? This man is a drug-user and is seen snorting cocaine in every other scene! He is unstable, his “broken heart” having led him down a very dark path, one where he has lost sense of right and wrong and does not think twice before sending bouquets of flowers to his ex-girlfriend’s home where she lives with her husband, mother-in-law and troublemaking cousin-in-law. This is not a normal man. Adding to the trouble is the simple fact that he cannot take “no” for an answer. Even when he asks Dilnasheen to meet him or have a conversation with him, her answer is a firm “no.” This behavior has put Hamza out of the realm of being a suitable match for Dilnasheen. That being said, there’s a sort of power that Hamza’s declaration of love has instilled into Dilnasheen. She has felt unwanted, unloved and neglected not only by her husband, but also by her own family. She has been made to feel as though she is worthless and everything she does is wrong. And yet, here’s a man who, despite her making it clear that she wants to make her marriage work, is hopelessly in love with her and considers her desirable, lovable – and he respects her. This is enough to give Dilansheen that “push” to become vocal – and so she does.
There’s an interesting moment between Dilnasheen and Aneesa (Saba Hameed) when, upon her arrival, Dilnasheen is accosted by her mother as she grills her about her whereabouts. Dilnasheen, downtrodden after her mother-in-law, Mehmal and Haider’s behavior, only wanted to see her mother to receive some support, but she never seems to get it from her. She tells her mother that and the two share a (very) rare, warm moment when Aneesa insinuates that she also had a rough marriage where she was forced to walk on eggshells due to society’s expectations. Dilnasheen has a great dialogue here where she says “Koi ghar ke andar jhaank ke dekhay, kitna sar jhuka ke chalna parhta hai maashray mein sar utha ke chalnay ke liye.” Both Saba Hameed and Hiba Bukhari perform very well here.
And last, but not least, the confrontation scene between Haider (Faysal Qureshi) and Dilnasheen. Upon Haider’s arrival back home, which Dilnasheen was very excited for, he finds the house covered in flowers. He assumes DIlnasheen decorated, but is shocked when his mother asks why he didn’t send a card with the flowers. Haider flies into a rage, greeting his excited wife with yet another accusation – but DIlnasheen is done. Hiba Bukhari is not particularly known for her acting skills and DIlnasheen has been a meek sort of character, a puppet – but here, Hiba Bukhari stands out as she lashes out not only at Haider, but also at Bushra and Mehmal, for their hypocrisy, their silence, their consistent character assassination – and all based on a mere suspicion. She does not hesitate to point out Mehmal and Haider’s past love life being waved under her nose every hour of the day and the blatant male chauvinism, patriarchy and hypocrisy Haider is demonstrating in his attitude towards Dilnasheen’s “crime.” These are the words viewers have been waiting for DIlnasheen to say twenty episodes ago and while it has arrived much too late, it’s still a refreshing moment, one that gives peace to the anger the audience has been feeling towards Dilnasheen’s silence and the abuse she has been suffering needlessly.
Overall, “Fitoor” has come up to an exciting point with this episode and with DIlnasheen finally ready to fight back against the accusations and insults hurled her way. Still, one can only hope that “Fitoor” chooses to set itself apart and do something different with the ending, something to make this show worthwhile and put forth a real statement. Neither Haider nor Hamza deserve Dilnasheen and a woman does not need a man to be a complete being. What a strong message it would send if Dilnasheen would leave Haider (as he completely deserves!), complete her education and get on her own two feet. One wouldn’t even mind Dilnasheen ending up with Hamza in the future if he cleans up his act – but the bottom line is that DIlnasheen should build herself up, retrieve her faith in herself and leave all these toxic individuals behind. Will “Fitoor” be a show to take that plunge? Looking at what it has given us so far, it doesn’t seem so. But we can still hope…..