Haider - Review
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The complexity of the situation in Pakistan deserves a lot of attention from pop culture and all types of art for it to reach us, people far-removed from the situation. To have it portrayed in mainstream cinema is a necessity. To have it so beautifully adapted into a Shakespearean tragedy is a luxury I couldn't have imagined possible. For if there is a land that is free yet imprisoned like Hamlet describes, Kashmir would be one of the top contenders. The rest of the departments are so dedicated to the topic and the play that they all fit like a jigsaw puzzle.
After being enamored by the adaptation to Kashmir, the next thing that stuck me was Shahid Kapoor's performance. He stands tall bang in the middle of power house performers like Kay Kay Menon and Tabu, a feat that I never would have thought him to be capable of. Two sequences are stuck in my memory and I see myself forgiving him many Phata Poster Nikla Heros and R...Rajkumaars for those two sequences, one of which is actually a dance performance.
Another scene that was completely taken over by an actor, unsurprisingly had Irrfan Khan. These sequences are lovely examples of all departments of film-making coming together in perfect synchronization - story writing, dialogue writing, scene (and dance) choreography, the setting and of course the performances.
If there is a way to incorporate song and dance in a perfectly serious film, it is the way in which Haider's trick play was done. The graveyard song would have worked even better if only it flowed into the film a little more smoothly. Unfortunately, the way it is in the film, it seems a little abrupt instead of hitting hard the way it had potential to.
Similarly, because the story is not all linear, the back and forth builds up well, but it also flattens a little before half-time. The pace is a little more uneven in the second half. But, these are minor quibbles very easily forgivable because of the dialogue, the performances and the beauty of Kashmir.
It must be difficult to resist the temptation of setting the contrast of the gorgeousness of Kashmir against what man has made out of it. Blood and gore against the purity of white snow. And this is when the film is set in fall and winter, not even Kashmir in its spring.
After having seen films week-after-week and knowing there are so many more to be seen out there, very few inspire you to watch it again. And even fewer because each department played its role very close to perfection. Vishal Bharadwaj's Haider is one of those rare ones. Yes, I will certainly watch this one again. Soon.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Lots. And some scenes where people are being tortured.
- Language: Clean. (One abuse silenced out)
- Nudity & Sexual content: One kiss and one making out scene.
- Concept: Shakespeare's "Hamlet" adapted to fit a story set in Kashmir
- General Look and Feel: Rusty even if in Kashmir.
Haider - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: UTV Motion Pictures, Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures Pvt Ltd
- Producer: Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Vishal Bharadwaj
- Director: Vishal Bharadwaj
- Lead Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor
- Supporting Cast: Tabu, Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Khan, Narendra Jha, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Lalit Parimoo, Aashish Vidyarthi, Aamir Bashir, Sumit Kaul, Rajat Bhagat
- Screenplay: Vishal Bharadwaj
- Dialogues: Vishal Bharadwaj
- Editor: Aarif Shaikh
- Background Score: Vishal Bharadwaj
- Action Choreography: Harpal Singh Pala, Ravi Kumar
- Choreography: Sudesh Adhana
- Music Director: Vishal Bharadwaj
- Lyrics: Gulzar
- Costume Designer: Dolly Ahluwalia
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 135 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
Haider - Trailer
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