“Fitoor” is a show that has regularly been pulling in ratings, but hasn’t always lived up to expectations content-wise. While the show started off with a bang, it slowed down after episode 8 or so and continued to move at a lagging pace until episode 25 or so. However, since then, the show has been gaining momentum each week, currently in its most exciting phase as the “fitoor” (madness) truly begins. “Fitoor” stars Faysal Qureshi, Hiba Bukhari, Wahaj Ali, Kiran Haq, Ismat Zaidi and Saba Hameed, is written by Zanjabeel Asim and directed by Siraj Ul Haq.
In episode 34, Dilnasheen (Hiba Bukhari) has emotionally disconnected from not only Haider (Faysal Qureshi), but also her in-laws. She no longer gets along with her mother-in-law, sister-in-law or her husband due to the oppressive and insulting behavior they have heaped upon her for weeks. Haider struggles to make things right, but continues to do everything wrong. Dilnasheen meets Hamza (Wahaj Alil) and is spotted by Haider, which only makes things worse for their already suffering relationship. On the other end, Hamza encourages Dilnasheen to leave Haider and marry him – but can Dilnasheen trust Hamza? She isn’t sure and she finds herself torn. She knows Hamza loves her, but he has let her down before – and this time, the stakes are much higher for her.
Dilnasheen has finally snapped, recognizing that she’s damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. Sure, Dilnasheen loved Hamza and wanted to marry him, but she never crossed her limits. Does it matter if she didn’t have an affair? No, she still has to hear Haider’s taunts over Hamza, her “bad” character and insults towards her family. So Dilnasheen has now become rebellious, brazen in her actions – but still wracked with guilt as she meets Hamza. Dilnasheen is a young, naïve girl still and doesn’t really understand what she’s doing. All she knows is that she isn’t getting the kind of respect and love she thought she would be getting from Haider, a man from a “good family.” She has a conscience, she knows that meeting Hamza is “wrong,” but she also knows that she will never be seen as “good.” And Haider’s behavior always manages to push her further towards Hamza, unable to take the abuse from Haider, his family and her own family. Hiba Bukhari isn’t an actress known for her strong roles or incredible acting talent, but in the past few episodes of “Fitoor,” she has really managed to make an impression. With some powerful scenes and strong dialogues, Hiba is one of the stand-out performers in this episode.
Haider is an insecure man and his behavior only gets worse in each episode. The rift between Haider and Dilnasheen has gotten so wide, it’s difficult to come back – but Haider manages to widen the rift each time he opens his mouth. Haider calls Dilnasheen his “property,” he insults her character, he degrades her family and has not only slapped Dilnasheen once, but raises his hand again in this episode to slap her again; however, this time, Dilnasheen is not willing to take it. Haider is a man who will always wallow and wade in his own misery and he’s a nightmare of a husband. While the show may move on to try to whitewash his behavior and make the audience feel for him by painting him out as sad and jilted, the truth is that there isn’t ever a “happily ever after” with a man like this. Men like this are emotionally abusive. Faysal Qureshi is doing a good job in the role, but the role is very much unlikable.
On the other end, Wahaj Ali is absolutely knocking it out of the park with his performance. Hamza is a character who is deeply intense and obsessive. This isn’t a balanced man. He is in love with Dilnasheen and has forgotten how to live his life in his love for her. His world continues to revolve around her even after her marriage – and now he doesn’t want to let her go again. There’s a wonderful scene with his sister at the end of the episode where he acknowledges that Dilnasheen may never end up back in his life, but the happy moments he’s currently living through are like a respirator for him, he being a dying heart patient. The way Wahaj Ali performs this scene leaves the viewer with goosebumps. Wahaj is always a wonderful actor and gives his 100%, but he is really taking his performance to the next level as Hamza – and to be quite honest, he is the heart and soul of “Fitoor.” The show died in his absence and has come back to life with his reappearance. However, will the show write Hamza into the corner and paint him out to be the bad guy?
“Fitoor” has reached the point where the audience may know and recognize exactly where the story will eventually be headed, with Dilnasheen and Haider reuniting (though….why?) and Hamza marrying someone else; and yet, the show is now at that “crescendo point” where the episodes are action-packed and the story is allowing its lead actors – Wahaj Ali and Hiba Bukhari in particular – to truly perform. Will I, as a viewer, be thoroughly disappointed at the predictable, forced, undesirable ending with Haider and Dilnasheen back together? Yes, absolutely, but the journey there at present is thoroughly enjoyable.