One has to salute Vishal Bharadwaj for his audacity to adapt Shakespeare’s toughest and lengthiest writing till date. Shot almost in and around Kashmir, Haider looks stunning when you look at it from a distance, but once you get into the film it turns into something that is very dark; sometimes depressing, and mostly astounding. The amount of work Vishal Bharadwaj and his team has put into this magnificent movie shows with each and every moving frame.┬á
Adapted from Shakerspeare’s longest play Hamlet, Haider is the story of a poet- a student, whose father, a doctor; suddenly disappears. What follows is a tragic tale where a troubled protagonist tries to sway through a lot of problems in order to avenge his beloved father.┬á
I’ll throw it out right there, Haider, in my opinion is Vishal Bhardwaj’s most perfect film, if not the best. It’s a really clever take on Hamlet with ounces full of emotions, dark and brooding political satire which takes out all the energy that Shahid Kapoor was left with in his drowning career. Pretty much like Bharadwaj’s Kaminey, this breathes life to his career, yet again.
Mr. Bharadwaj has portrayed a bold picture of Kashmir. The usually beautiful Kashmir has been show in the barest of bare way. The story digs deep into family turmoil, the politics that hampered and disoriented the Kashmiri Pandits and made their wives half-widows. There are a lot of strangling and harsh images in the film, mostly blood soaked but these scenes only uplift the overall aura of the film. The issues and the scenic beauty, including the seemingly unimportant love angle doesn’t over-stuff the film and syncs-in quite perfectly.┬á
There is one specific scene in the movie which people have already seen in the trailer, where Haider takes on the mike and speaks about what’s wrong with the Indian system, people laugh at the way he speaks but the supposedly darker next scene induces goosebumps. The same happened to me when in this adapted play Bharadwaj introduces a play of his own. The song Bismal is so strong that one can’t take his eyes off Shahid’s angry self. The music which also plays an important part in the later half of the movie is gorgeous. We see a few gravediggers crying for freedom, the slightly humorous song speaks volume when you think of the overall theme that the movie carries.
Even though it’s sold as a Shahid Kapoor movie I would say that Tabu’s character is the soul of the movie. She plays a character that undergoes constant change in sensibility. Also, the audience would be in ┬ácomplete awe as to like her or hate her. She breathes life into the role she has played. Irrfan Khan plays a really small role but he completely nails it.┬á
Final Verdict: Haider is a film which will leave you thinking, thinking that there are still a lot of people in the country who make sensible and well rounded cinema. Cinema that is actually perfect in every sense of the word. If a person asks me wheather he should see this film, I would take the Salman fans way in the film and shout ‘Dunnn kya?’