Geo Entertainment’s drama ‘Fitoor’ was a big hit due to its high-budget production and talented star cast. But other than that, it also gathered huge criticism for its portrayal of toxic relationships, glorifying men who have questionable characteristics and ridiculing women just because they have a past relationship before marriage. ‘Fitoor’ also trivialised important issues like parenting and sensationalised extra-marital affairs and infidelity.
Directed by Sirajul Haq of ‘Raaz-e-Ulfat’ and ‘Noor-e-Zindagi’ and written by Zanjabeel Asim Shah of ‘Balaa‘ and ‘Bashar Momin‘. The last episode of the drama aired recently and many people are still not satisfied by the misogynistic narrative that it provides.
The Problematic Story
‘Fitoor’ revolves around Dilnasheen played by Hiba Bukhari, a young school-going girl, who has an emotional affection for her friend’s brother Hamza, played by Wahaj Ali. He is rich, good-looking, and has the guts to stand by his love for Dilnasheen. Dilnasheen’s relationship gets exposed to her conservative brother and mother who treat her badly and gets her forcefully married to Haider, who is in his early 40s or late 30s.
Haider, played by Faysal Quraishi, is a successful business tycoon, who is still in love with his childhood love Mehmal, who dumped him years back due to his poor financial condition and got married to a rich man. Due to his mother’s wish, he marries Dilnasheen, who is way younger than him, and brings the broken Mehmal, who is dealing with her marital issues, to stay at his home.
Mehmal tries to rekindle her “bachpan ka pyaar” and while giving all his attention to Mehmal, Haider warns Dilnasheen that he will not tolerate it if he gets to know that his wife also has a past affair. Well, we know how hypocritical it is.
When poor Hamza returns to the picture, Haider does exactly what a typical man from a Pakistani drama would do. He questions Dilnasheen’s character, tortures her and even slaps her.
While portraying such a noxious narrative, the makers tried their best to demonise Dilnasheen and Hamza for having an “extra-marital affair” and glorified Haider to a level that people started sympathising with him. And after mocking two sane individuals till they actually turned into negative characters, ‘Fitoor’ came to a problematic end.
An unnecessary stretch of 45 episodes concluded while maintaining its consistency. Dilnasheen is shown guilty and deeply embarrassed of having an extra-marital affair and showing disloyalty towards her husband and brother. In the current era, when society is aware of certain problematic behaviour, the female lead of a show who has not been a vamp is shown begging in front of her husband to keep her in his house otherwise she will die, such an unpleasant sight for the Pakistani television viewers who demand a powerful plotline over high-budget production.
Another big low for ‘Fitoor’ is trivialising bad parenting and not concluding it in an impactful manner. From Dilnasheen’s mother beating her up for not showing loyalty to her characterless husband, to Hamza’s mother taking over all his business and not supporting her son to seek therapy or rehabilitation for his mental and physical health. This made them self-destructive and the only thing their mothers actually cared for is their respective marriages. Isn’t that nuisance at extremes for a viewer?
Finally, a drama that provided an odd and paradoxical story has concluded and we hope that the makers work more thoughtfully on their stories and narratives before bringing them to television.