Haider - Review

wogma rating: Buy the DVD already (?)
quick review:

As good an adaption as it could be, even if it loses pace every once in a while, the other elements keep it going.

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Wogma Review

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

Parental Guidance:

  • 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.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3.5
  • Story: 4.5
  • Lead Actors: 4.5
  • Character Artists: 3.5
  • Dialogues: 4
  • Screenplay: 3.5
  • Music Director: 4
  • Lyrics: 4

Haider - Movie Details

Haider - Trailer

If you cannot see a video above, click here to see it on YouTube

Comments (88)

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Anup:

Although budget of the movie has not been disclosed,,,,it has been said that the movie has been shoot in strict budget in just around 50 days...... Hopefully VB gets is first profitable movie along with cult following............

Fan:

The Indianisation of Shakespeare's Othello in the form of Omkara was the work of a genius. That is the only reason I am excited about Haider (hoping that the same genius reveals itself in Hamlet to Haider's transition).

Having said that, releasing the same weekend as blockbuster ticket Bang Bang is quite a dangerous gamble that can go against Haider commercially. Compared to Katrina, Shraddha is a budding actress and thus most of the college crowd would flock for BB. And also given the fact that ignoring the 10 minutes of appearance in Dhoom3 this is Katrina's release after 2 years.

Anup:

Fan - Definatly the movie is not going to be a blockbuster like for sure BANG BANG will be,,,,i just want it to be profitable considering the fact that,,, this time the opening weekend is going to be of Five Holidays......

Fan:

@Anup: if the transformation is as good as that of Othello to Omkara then I don't want the movie to fall dud. But taking on BB is a major risk, firstly theatre owners would tend to put up more shows of BB than Haider; and secondly BB will tend to be the first choice of the long weekenders. Only when BB tickets would be full they might opt for Haider.

Distributors of Haider should have chosen their weekend wisely. But let's wait - who knows - the overhyped Bang Bang might come a cropper and that would go in favour of Haider.

Anup:

Fan- i dont want Bang Bang to be a crap,,, o want it to be better then Knight and Day,,, but I just want that it doesn't affect Haidar so much that it will be flop..... Although I havnt heard so much hype of any VB's movie earlier then Haidar...... Lets hope for the best...... Fingures already crossed

Fan:

@Anup: Sorry to give a wrong impression. I did not mean to say that BB will flop. I just wanted to convey the message that Haider's footfall and collections are likely to be inverseley proportional to BB's success. If BB succeeds then Haider will suffer, and if BB fails then Haider will benefit thanks to the alternative available during a long weekend.

Rajat:

Just the first two lines from the "To be or not to be" soliloquy, ("Main rahoon ya main nahin") and the trailer already sends tingles up my spine.

Anuj:

Looking at VB's and Shahid's track record, I'd be surprised if this one even gets and Above Average verdict. Especially considering that some ignorant fool decided to release this on the same day as Bang Bang!

meetu:

@Fan I found the release date interesting too. On the other hand maybe there is not much of an overlap in the target audience and the ones who do fall in the overlap won't mind two movies over a long weekend :D

@Rajat Really? I thought it was too in the face. But maybe, that's the point :D

Fan:

Well, let's hope that both Bang Bang and Haider succeed. It would be a double treat for us cinegoers, wouldn'it it be.

Anup:

Fan - U have said something which looks too hard to happen,,,but from the core of my heart,,,,i wish for the SAME.....

Anup:

Got the newz that Bang Bang is released in 3000 screens may be almost double the screen Haidar have got....Now anyone comparing incomes of these two movies will be a fool.......
Rather we have to compare there earning to there respecting investments.....

Anuj:

@Anup : Earnings are always compared with respect to investment. That's the reason why Queen and Kahaani are blockbusters despite netting 60 cr while Ra.1 and Jai Ho are flops despite crossing 100 cr. The problem with VB films is that the investment on his is way too high compared to the section of the audience it caters to. Films catering to just 20-30% of the total movie watching audience cannot have investments at par with mass entertainers catering to 70-80% of the audiences. That's the precise reason why Omkara flopped despite being loved by its "target audience". It was an adult film with a very limited target audience but had an investment at par with Krrish and Fanaa riding on it. And hence despite it being praised by its limited target audience, it made huge losses and was termed a flop. More than the film-maker, its the fault of the distributors who are willing to shell out that amount of money despite well knowing that the prospects of the film are limited. On the other hand, films like Lunchbox and Paan Singh Tomar are typical examples of films with smart economics since they cater to a small audience and have proportionate investment riding on them. Hence they have rightly been box office successes.

siddharth:

@Meetu how come Anuj be shown as Anup, look at the last comment is it only me who is seeing this? also what i have heard and seen this is Shahid's best work and you are saying he is a sore thumb.
@Anuj on the last point i completely agree with you but i think Omkara had Ajay and Kareena which is why it was sold like that.
Regarding the point why Haider is released with Bang-2 i think in past too we have seen two films doing good business, in earlier days Dil,Ghayal Raja Hindustani with Ghatak and Gadar with Lagaan and all these were Hit.Also Shahid's Vivah & Jab We met did not open great but slowly they became hit so what i think is Bang-2 will start with bang but if Haider finds some appreciation it had two weeks to run which in my view is good for it because it would not open great but atleast has some chance to go distance.

Fan:

Well, well.

Most of the TV promos I see almost every evening are only focussing on sexual intercourse scene.

The film is off my list of films to watch. Sorry Vishal Bharadwaj, you just lost one potential viewer. If sex is used to sell the film then it says a lot about the producer / director's confidence in the movie working on its own merits.

Fan:

@Siddharth: the site is not a secure fortress, it works on trust. Anybody could use any name to make a posting. I could use your name, and you could use mine. And you don't have to be a techno wizard to do that.

But seeing Anuj accidentally posting as Anup reminds one of Robin William's Mrs. Doubtfire character who keeps on jumping between two dining tables in two different identities - but suddenly goofs up and reaches a table with the wrong identity. Anuj/Anup: what's going on ;-)

Anuj:

@Meeta : That is my comment posted under Anup's name. Kindly rectify the technical glitch.

Anup:

Anuj- But this time it has been stated that the budget is too tight.....And also HAIDAR looks raising its target audience as compared to omkara.....and as both bang bang and Haidar will got 3 straight week for them,,,as only next boggie will be Happy New Year i dont think Haidar will be flop as it would be the 2nd option for the non - target audience who will not have any other option after bang bang(ofcoarse if words of mouths are good fir Haidar).......And for Bang Bang i think it would be an 200cr ,, doesn't matter how the reviews will be....

Anuj:

"And for Bang Bang i think it would be an 200cr ,, doesn't matter how the reviews will be..." ~ Bang Bang with 70% word of mouth, 200+ for sure. With 50-60% word of mouth (like Krrish3 and Agneepath) it would stop at 170-180 as Haider would dent it to a small extent. With Singham Returns sort of wom, it would end up at about 160. Haider with 70% wom has a chance of kissing 100 cr. Anything below that, it would end up at 60-80. And if wom for Haider is unanimously negative (like Matru ki bijli) its bound to bomb at the box office.

Anup:

Anuj - 'Haider with 70%
wom has a chance of kissing 100 cr'...
Its good to here from u (although just anticipating) that a VB's movie can touch 100crores,,,,that would be a very happy moment for me,,,,,although u have said in your earlier comments - "Looking at VB's and Shahid's track record,
I'd be surprised if this one even gets and
Above Average verdict" .....
But i dont think that Bang Bang will earn lesser then 195-200 crores......3weeks is a really long period.....About words of mouth,,,bang bang will definitely be better then not so interesting Singham Returns which earned most of its income because it was a sequel of a very good and a blockbuster movie.......

Anuj:

All reviews for Haidar thus far have been at par with Omkara and Kaminey. Kaminey which is VB's most successful box office venture thus far netted 42 cr in 2009, adjusted for inflation which would be around 90 cr in today's market. Hence I don't see why Haidar cannot nett anywhere between 80-100 cr of the wom is really really good (which it would be at least among multiplex audiences, akin to Kaminey). An 80 cr lifetime would give it an Above Average/Semi Hit verdict. The talks of it being prodiced on a shoestring budget are false. The Kashmir backdrop along with a Shahid/Shraddha cast and VB as director itself ensures nothing short of a 50 cr film.

siddharth:

@Anuj i think Shahid is also one of producers of the film so i think he would get his cut in the selling of film not like he would get the fee for doing the film.Kaminey had two major things going for it first the song which was quite a hit on those days and also Shahid at that time had Jab We Met so which made the film sail through with Haider it is not a typical commercial film as well as no song like that though i have heard the music is good but i dont see it grossing 80-100 Crs.

Anup:

Anuj - may be u havnt heard the news that VB and SHAHID have not taken any amount for this movie,,,for cutting of its budget.....May be they both will take share in the profit,,,that a different story.....Or u will say this news is falls too!......

Anup:

and addition to that,,,,the whole movie has been shot in a tight schedule of 51-52days....

Anuj:

ROI is always estimated with accordance to the distribution price, not the cost of production. Even Mary Kom was shot on a minimal cost but was sold at hefty amounts to the territory distributors. Same goes for OMG! and a few more films. I obviously do not know the exact amount but I'm sure this one would be sold for nothing less than Matru Ki Bijli at least.

Anup:

My expectations are crushed badly by HAIDAR.....
Movie was long,,,,with lot of non interesting scenes.....Screenplay was distracting,,,,don't know why it was so streched.....I didn't know the drama Hemlet very well,,,,but its a movie and VB should have made it like a movie.....Like straight to the target......But this time its looks like VB was concentrating on the artistic work more in the field of Sanjay Leela Bansali and less on the basic story.......
Although acting cinematography , choreography of the bismil song and some very good comic relief are most welcomed but they are only good if the movie is good,,,,they cant compensate for a non satisfactory movie....
Lastly i will say ,, the movie is still better then 7 khoon maaf and Matru....

Murtaza Ali:

I couldn't have agreed more with your thoughts on Haider. The pacing is indeed slow at times but, as you have put it so eloquently, other elements does keep it going.

Here's the link to my review of Haider:

http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/2014/10/haider-2014-indian-filmmaker-vishal.html

TimELiebe:

@Fan - the producers could see it as "counter-programming", like when American art distributors release serious movies during the Christmas holiday to go up against all the fluff that gets released to draw in families. Of course, part of the reason for that is that it's right before the start of awards season (nominees for major movie awards tend to get voted on in January, usually) - it now close to when award-winning movies are selected in India, possibly?

I have to say, I'm intrigued - we liked OMKARA, MAQBOOL and EKLAVYA, THE ROYAL GUARD (better than Meetu did in the last case!). I've also always felt both Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor are one great part away from showing they've got what it takes to be great actors - and this sounds like it could be the movie to do it.

Anuj:

Dark,broody,lifelessness coupled with some ott urdu dialogues and poetry, add to that names like Irr(rrr)fan, Tabuuuu(boo-hoo) and Kay(e) Kay(e) Menon and of course Mr. Vishal Bharadwaj (nothing Vishal about his film earnings)...no wonder the critics and their multiplex gold class visiting cronies have been getting orgasmic about this "Average piece of artistic cinema" for the last 2 days! P.S: Sirf Pankaj Kapur aur [part of comment delete because it is a personal attack] Naseer "Saaaaab" ki kami reh gayi...perhaps these "arthouse legends" are still in the process of finding every 1 rupee coin spent on Finding Fanny ;P

Anuj:

@Anup : For all his boring and self obsessed films set in La-La land, SLB is still a more "purposeful" film-maker than this self indulgent [part of comment delete because it is a personal attack] called Vishal Bharadwaj! I won't be surprised if this VB guy soon goes the RGV way.

Anup:

Anuj - They both are my Fav directors along with Imtiaz Ali and on number one position of my list Anurag Kashyap.....
But both VB and SLB are making average(disappointing) movies now.......But yes to go to RGV way they should atleast direct 5-6 crap movies every year....

Anuj:

So now we have a film openly glorifying separatists and mocking the Indian Army. This one needs to be boycotted.

Divya:

...do post writing your review ...do you read other movie reviewers ? I am sure there must be few reviews that would take you go "wow ! Interesting" or "yes ! That's even what I thought but was not able to express " .....any ways ....best movie of 2014 for me....

Fan:

I cannot accept such one sided and negative portrayal of the Indian Army. They are there doing a job, which is not even theirs. They are doing a much better job than any of us could do there. And falsely portraying them in negative shades is highly irresponsible. Ashamed of Bharadwaj & co.

Anuj :

@Fan : What do u expect from double faced "cinematic legends" like VB and Gulzar? Barring hypocrisy and carelessness in the name of "good cinema" that is. At least Bang Bang & co. do not have inhibitions about the fact that they're just popcorn films!

Gokul:

Just saw this.Had goosebumps during the bismil sequence.Shahid was phenomenal.You know how great a guy has acted when a movie has Irrfan Khan and you are still more impressed by an other guy's performance

kapil:

Anuj wrotte, "So now we have a film openly glorifying separatists and mocking the Indian Army. This one needs to be boycotted".
You people know only 5% or something about Kashmir and it's people. I have a friend who studied at NIT Srinagar, and he has told me many things about the situation there. And I have many other friends who are preparing for UPSC. They have read numerous books on history and contemporary India. They also tell me the same thing. Reality is so much different from what we want it to be. I would way, hats off to Vishal Bhardwaj for having guts to show this reality. Shows that he really did research about Kashmir before deciding on it to be the backdrop for this movie. True film maker.

kapil:

@Anuj, you had guts to take a dig at Gulzar Sahab? Really? I admire your confidence. But in this case, it is nothing but ignorance and arrogance. He is Gulzar. After thousands of Javed Akhtars die, one Gulzar is born.

Fan:

@Anuj: that's the bane of Indians. Whole bunch of retards would go gaga (or organismic as you put it) just to have pretentious liberal credentials. No Hollywood or European film would ever portray such blatant lies about their army who are serving in climatically and physcologically hostile envt and doing a good job. Politicians can be blamed but sorry not the army.

kapil:

@Fan, your shall not be ashamed rather be proud of having such a brilliant and truthful director in our film industry. Only a handful of directors would have such courage and guts to show reality as it is. In reality, people of Kashimir don't really want to be part of India, there I said it. AFSPA has been misused in Kashmir and North East since its very inception. I am not saying that it has only been misused, but it has been, many a times. With power comes responsibility, which everyone cannot value. That is the sole reason why dictatorship is not the best form of government. Democracy isn't that great.

kapil:

@Fan, US Army in Hollywood movies are always out to save the world. Their directors can't put their time or effort to portray reality, because it is bound to be a flop. And please stop having Hollywood movies as your benchmark. They are just expensive version of Bollywood crap. Or may I should say, Bollywood is just a cheap version of Hollywood. By Bollywood, I meant classless movies like Bang Bang..worst copy of worse movie.

kapil:

@Fan, you label people like me as retards having pretentious liberal credentials. Just go to Srinagar and other such areas and spend some quality time observing the ground situation there. Talk to local people there, spend some time with them. After that post what you think.

kapil:

Don't frame your opinion sitting in your drawing room watching 'Border'.

Fan:

@Kapil : your sudden emotional outburst smells of some personal experience in that region. In that case it makes your opinion influenced heavily by your experience and by that token a one sided feedback. I am not making any commentary on kashmir. I am just stating that showing army in negative light is incorrect. And if commentary must be made then that must be on politicians and not army.

And as regards responsible film making I would hace accepted such aberrations if the film would have been balanced and shown some incidents against Hindu pandits in 1990s. Like militants making all bus passengrrs descend; segregating the Hindus; and then killing them. But holy shit the librrals pseudo secularists couldn't tolerate such reality.

so Kapil, my condolences for whatever you personally might have been through in those regions. But don't blame the army for that.

ehinome okojie:

Haider had a jump of 5% in its collections while Bang Bang had a drop of 21% from thursday to friday, Enough said about the accepted and rejected movie.
Last major clash was between Jab Tak Hai Jaan (Haider relative)and Son of Sardaar (Bang Bang relative)for the first time in Bollywood history a multiplex film beat a single screen film.

ehinome okojie:

Haider - 12.32cr in 2 days.

ehinome okojie:

Shahid Kapoor for best actor at Filmfare.

kapil:

@Fan, thank you for taking my comments constructively. I really appreciate that. Actually there's nothing in black and white in this world. There are so many shades of grey. I am a patriot, I know that. I highly respect our army men. I always get a sense of respect and pride whenever I see them personally. But at the same time, I always like to question everything. I hate blind faith (andh vishwas). Army men are also human like you and me. They can also go astray, just like you or I could. As for VB showing only one shade of grey, this movie is not about Indian Army or Kashmir. It is about Haider (Hamlet). He is not supposed to make a moralistically correct movie and show both the sides of the coin. Movies are not about good vs bad. They are not made to show what is right or wrong.It is an adaptation of a dark Shakespeare play. And most of all, morality is always subjective, which takes shape as per our society and upbringing. No one can really frame any rules regarding that. We are animals by nature, it is the society which tries to tame us and we try to play by the rules.

kapil:

@ehinome okojie: Shahid for best actor at Filmfair awards!! Please be realistic. Best actor at Filmfair awards means the most popular actor of the most popular movie. By this standard, Hrithik is a better contender for Bang Bang. But, I am pretty sure, he will also lose out to SRK for his superstar charisma in the upcoming blockbuster Happy New Year.

kapil:

It will be an insult to Shahid if he wins Best Actor at Filmfair awards. It comes from TOI group, younger cousin of chor Reliance in this country.

ehinome okojie:

If Filmfare were solely about popularity, Akshay and Salman would have had more best lead actors award than Shahrukh and Hrithik.
In fact this award is scripted to favour certain groups of actors but it does not guarantee that popular actors will win it.
Actors like Naseerudeen, Anupam and Farhan have won best actor while above 2 names are yet to win it, Shahid won best actor (popular) in 2009 for his role as Charlie/Guddu in Kaminey @ Starscreen (the only true popular award, yet Hrithik is unable to win this), Shahid more popular than Farhan Akhtar.

Anuj:

"Haider had a jump of 5% in its collections while Bang Bang had a drop of 21% from thursday to friday, Enough said about the accepted and rejected movie.
Last major clash was between Jab Tak Hai Jaan (Haider relative)and Son of Sardaar (Bang Bang relative)for the first time in Bollywood history" ~ enough said about your [part of comment deleted because it had a personal attack], equating JTHJ with Haider. BTW, Haider dropped 20% on Saturday. Bang Bang was bound to drop on day 2 after a major holiday, as has been the trend with every major commercial venture in the last 5 years. I still can't stop laughing [part of comment deleted because it had a personal attack], equating JTHJ with Haider...riflmao!!

Anuj:

@Ehinome : JTHJ did NOT beat SOS. JTHJ made 120 cr with a 2700 screen count, mainly from multiplexes with ticket prices around 150 /- on an average while SOS made 100 cr with a 1700 screen count mainly from B & C centers with ticket prices of 75/- average. Its only obvious that plex films collect more than single screen films courtesy high ticket prices. Even Love Aaj Kal made more than Wanted, despite Wanted having 30% higher theatrical footfall. Of course [part of comment deleted because it had a personal attack]!

Anuj:

Filmfare awards are about who pays out the jury and bribes the judges and as confessed by Srk himself, he's a master of such gimmicks! But again, expecting Srk fans to be logical is asking for a bit too much. These are the same fans who claim that 'Che'nnai Express is a better films and bigger hit than 3 Idiots despite it releasing in double number of screens and having a 70% higher ticket price than 3 Idiots, 4 years after its release.

Anuj:

@Meeta : You had warned me against personal attacks and making illogical and needless comments on a earlier forum and since then I'v refrained from doing so. Wonder what u have to say about this Ehinome guy (what a repulsive profile name!)

Anuj:

On the topic of HAIDER, its carrying a positive word of mouth among audiences of premium multiplexes and will be a reasonably profitable venture for its investors. Lifetime collections might just hit the 50 cr mark. SEMI HIT

Divya:

Meetu ma'am ! Meetu Ma'am ! Ye Ehinome mujhe chidha raha hai. Ise punishment do. Boo how hoo.

Anuj:

[comment deleted because it had a personal attack]

ehinome okojie:

Divya a good reply to Mr. [part of comment deleted because it had a personal attack].

ehinome okojie:

Haider will earn 39cr in week 1, 22cr in
week 2, 12cr in week 3 and 4cr in remaining weeks so minimum trade figure will be 77cr and will emerge a clean hit.

Anup:

Anuj - 3days collection are 20crores ,, and life time collection just 50crores that too in case that next two weeks no big movie is coming to stop it,,,,i thing u are really predicting less

Its definatly gonna cross 50crores,,,,easily

Kapil:

Watched the movie just now. WOW!! This is cinema at its best. Shahid ne sabki le li. Bismil song gave me shivers.

Anuj:

@Anup : Max 60-65...at best! [part of comment deleted because it had a personal attack] love stories like DDLJ and KKHH would be like expecting Somdev Dev-varman to win the Wimbledon. Nor do I expect anything better from[part of comment deleted because it had a personal attack] to be equating a JTHJ with a Haider and taking figures and numbers from questionable sources [part of comment deleted because it had a personal attack]!

kapil:

@Meetu, above comment must be deleted. Anuj needs to learn the basics of posting on public forums. He just goes on with his filthy language, which cannot be tolerated.

meetu:

@Siddharth Looks like Anuj misspelt his name. About Shahid, yes he's done an awesome job. I was referring to the way he looked in the trailer.

@Anuj Rectified the typo. Wouldn't call it a technical glitch, because the mistake is not from the site's side. ;)
Also, I haven't seen @ehinome making any personal attacks, while you continue to do so. I warn you for using personal attacks again. Please refrain, else I'll have to ban you from posting comments here.

@Fan The sexual content is not too much actually. And brilliant one about Mrs. Doubtfire

@Anup that is so sad that you didn't like the film.

@Murtuza thanks!

@TimELiebe I have a strong feeling you will like it too.

@Divya :D

@Kapil have deleted parts of comments that are personal attacks on other people, whether they are actors, directors or commentors on wogma.

kapil:

@Meetu, thank you for your response. Can't understand why some people cannot talk without abusing anyone. Personal attacks divert the topic and irritate everyone, not just the recipient of such attack. Rather, we shall be praising/debating about this wonderful movie.
I was just discussing about this movie with my friend who spent four years in NIT Srinagar from 2008 to 2012. He was telling me that all his Kashimiri friends just loved this movie. They have already watched it three to four times. It is testament to the credibility/research of Vishal Bhardwaj. It is his sheer brilliance that he could adapt Hamlet to the backdrop of Kashmir so seamlessly.
I could appreciate Pan Singh Tomar more compared to other people, because I come from the same Chambal region. I could really understand the effort put in by the director in ensuring the tiniest of details/local dialect/just everything. That is why, I am going to watch Haider again with my NIT friend to get a better understanding of this masterpiece.
If you could also find a Kashimiri friend to watch this movie with, I am sure you will also appreciate this movie even more :)

kapil:

This is in stark contrast to Rohit Shetty's Chennai Express, which was hated by Tamilians for portraying a stereotypical image of them.
I am living in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu)for the last three years. So, you can trust me :)

Suman Chakraborty:

Direction: 4
Story: 4.5
Lead Actors: 4.5
Character Artists: 3.5

Dialogues: 4
Screenplay: 3.5
Music Director: 2.5
Lyrics: 3

Ehinome Okojie:

The positive word of mouth for this film is more or less for internet users, among the paying public it is just good, 24cr in 4 days and VB/Shahid heading for their highest grosser.

ehinome okojie:

Movies like Haider bring prestige to Hindi cinema.

meetu:

@Kapil I have bookmarked a few links of post written by people who are from Kashmir and have seen Haider. Will post the links here if interesting.

@Ehinome @Anuj How on earth do you measure "word of mouth". It seems like a very weird statistic to me.

Anuj:

@Meetu:Quite simple to estimate actually. Just follow the box office numbers and the % drop of films on a daily or weekly basis.

kapil:

@Meetu, yes, please post some links. It will be interesting to read. After seeing your post, I also searched a bit about the feelings of Kashmiris with regards to this movie. Looks like they have a mixed feeling. Most of them have praised it for being the first mainstream movie to try to bring the real picture of Kashmir to the rest of India. Even our news channels don't show such things. And almost everyone seem to be surprised at the openness of censor board in passing the movie without damaging it.
But at the same time, general feeling is that VB was always trying to find a balancing act to protect his movie against any kind of backlash. That he was not bold enough.
But, overall, this is a groundbreaking film, which will encourage many people to read and seek more knowledge about the heaven on earth. And not just be confined to what we get fed from our media. These things are never taught in school textbooks. If not for some bold and courageous people like Vishal Bhardwaj, a large part of our population would continue to live in a dream and be oblivious to the reality.

PB:

Brilliant movie, Excellent acting, Great music, Strong adaptation & a Explosive climax! I agree wholeheartedly with @Kapil about the state of the people of Kashmir & the helplessness of the army, put in a situation, not in their control. BTW, by 1995, all the KP's had left Kashmir. But what has this got to do with the movie, it is just an adaptation of Hamlet with a background of complex political environment. Also, analyzing trade figures, comparing box office performance are best left to trade magazines not to a film discussion forum.

meetu:

@Anuj huh? What does this even mean, " the % drop of films on a daily or weekly basis."
Also how can a look at box office give you % of Word of Mouth?!

@Kapil Here you go - an article written by an army officer who served in Kashmir from 1994 to 1997. I found the second last and third last paragraphs very interesting. The mistakes he points out in the film are technical and not conceptual. http://wap.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/one-haider-is-not-enough-114100500087_1.html

@PB :D

kapil:

@Meetu, thank you for the link. It was an interesting read. Vishal Bhardwaj really did commit some silly errors. Those guns were INSAS assault rifles!! While watching the movie, I had safely assumed that those were pre INSAS rifles, which gave Shahid and company an edge in the climax.
But had Vishal Bhardwaj depicted the devastation caused by rocket launchers and grenades as it happens in reality, there would have been one more charge on him for showing inferior quality of fire arms with the Indian Army ;-)

Anuj:

@Meeta:If 100 people watch a film and 80 of them like it then wouldn't they recommend the film to their friends,relatives and acquintances? That in turn would lead to the film trending well at the box office. For example, A QUEEN was liked by 80% of the people who watched it (mainly from the multiplex audiences) and hence trended very well. A KICK was liked by just 50-60% of the people who watched it (single screens and multiplexes alike) and hence despite its huge numbers, trended just average at the box office (much like most blockbusters in the last 3-4 years). Now KICK made almost 4 times the amount of money that QUEEN did at the box office. That doesn't mean KICK was LIKED by more people. It just means KICK was WATCHED by a lot more people (since it was a mass entertainer starring mega star Salman Khan while QUEEN was an urban film with no star value catering to a very limited audience). The one and only way to judge word of mouth is box office trending, nothing else.

meetu:

@Kapil ha ha ha ha...good one!

@Anuj I understand the meaning of "word of mouth" and the role it plays in BO numbers generally. I don't understand where you get the number "80%" (for Queen) and "50-60%" (for Kick) from? Say for Kick, a good percent of people who went in second and third week could have gone because they were anyway going to watch it. How do you segregate these numbers?

Say someone is doing an analysis of twitter trending (which is a small % of movie goers) and you come up with a number of people who watched the film and liked it. (I know how difficult this is because the language used cannot be parsed by a computer program definitively. And we here sift through only about 500-700 tweets or till we reach a 100 tweets with actual verdicts whichever comes first.) Even after you come up with this number, how do you know what percent of these recommended it and what percent of people who went after a week or so went because of WoM.

Generally, films work or don't based on WoM, but specific numbers?

Basically my point is, numbers are tricky, many a time they can be used to make one's point either way.

Anuj:

@Meeta: obviously these numbers are an approximation based on the fact that in today's box office dynamics most films do 50-60% of their business in the first 3-4 days. Now say for example Singham-1 in 2011 did 50 cr in the first 7 days of release and ended u with a lifetime collection of 100 cr. It implies that so positive is the word of mouth that 80% of the people who watched Singham in the first week gave it a thumbs up and recommended it and hence it showed solid performance in week 2 and 3 as well. A double of first week collections is usually considered to be a trending score of 100%, something which only ZNMD,Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Singham have managed in the last 3 years. Of course other factors like time of release,screen count,competition from other films also have to be accounted for. Kick made 155-160 in the first week and ended up at 220-225 which brings us to a score of approx 50%. Krrish 3,Agneepath,Don 2,Ek Tha Tiger etc too had similar scores. Kahaani did 24 cr in the first week and ended up at 60 cr which easily implies that over 95% of the people who watched it gave it a thumbs up. But that's only with respect to the multiplex and urban audiences since films like Kahaani and Queen do 90% of their business from multiplexes alone, in contrast to big budget ventures. And that's the precise reason why I say Dedh Ishqiya and Gangs of Wasseypur were not liked by more than 50-60% of the audiences.

Rachit Gupta:

Really interesting comments above about quantifying word of mouth - So essentially, we are now assuming that week 1 onwards the collections are due to word of mouth. Its possibly a fair assumption but ignores repeat viewings and people like me who are yet to watch it and would have watched it irrespective of wom...

However, I dont like discussions on how much a movie made... I like discussions on how much a movie entertained. Before people jump on me, for some people thinking about topical issues is also entertainment; depressing movies can be entertaining and fun & dance is also entertainment. How much money a Kick made versus how much money a Haider will make only points out that higher number of people prefer tom foolery as their mode of entertainment than thinking! Nothing wrong in it - really! Pushed to make a choice, I probably belong to second group more than the first - K3G remains an all-time favorite; as does Main Hoon Na!!!

kapil:

K3G and Main Hoon Na as thinking movies!! Certainly, KJ would have had to think before shelling out money to hire that Castle and helicopter for that grand Indian family. Those things don't come cheap.
Currently, there's no superstar in bollywood whose movies would want us to think, not even Amir. That is left to a few directors. Haider is one such movie. Watched it 6 days back and still thinking. And it isn't over, I am also going to read 'Curfewed nights', a book on the Kashmir of 90's, written by Basharat Peer who is co-writer of Haider.
Next such movie could be Bombay Velvet.
Anyone having idea about Shantaram's adaption? When's it going to release?

Rachit Gupta:

Clearly that was a mistake Kapil! Where should I send I send an apology letter????

Anuj:

QUEEN - Released in 850 screens; day 1 collection of 2 cr; week 1 18 cr; lifetime 60 cr; wom = 350%; ROI 100%+; only Hindi film since GADAR to have a higher second week collection then its first week collection, unbelievable, unheard of, outstanding trending in the multiplex era...the mother of all MULTIPLEX BLOCKBUSTERS even surpassing other multiplex cults like ZNMD and Kahaani which too had trending of over 100%. And people still harp about Haider being a multiplex hit with a trending score of 60% and an ROI of barely 20. Good joke! -

Anuj:

For box office analysis of latest movies, stay tuned to the following blog :

http://bollywoodboxofficedata.blogspot.in/

meetu:

@Rachit I don't care about collections and hits and superhits. Just that simplicication of statistics and the resultant deductions has always irked me.

@Kapil No idea!

ehinome okojie:

Shahid wins best actor, Kay Kay Menon best supporting actor, Tabu best supporting actress, where are those cynocs harping about corruption and popularity. Got my prediction for Shahid right this is what i want actors to do instead of fooling themselves as perfectionists, MNIK, Kochaidaiyaan and Bhopal have entered Oscars reminder list still waiting for highest grossers to enter that list. Now catching so much fun.

TimELiebe:

We finally saw it - and yes to everything you said, Meetu! A bit slow starting out, but ultimately a great blending of Hamlet with what I gather actually went on in the Kashmir (and has far too many resonances to we as the US's behavior in the Persian Gulf and at home!). So it works as both Shakespearean tragedy and history lesson - maybe a bit one-sided, but it's hard to feel "objective" about torture and capricious clampdowns on individual rights.

I don't think there was a single clinker of a performance in the entire movie: Shahid Kapoor was stunningly good in a big showy role, but toned it down where needed so he wasn't all ham; Shradda Kapoor got few chances to swing for the fences, but inhabited her role completely - and gave Arshia a degree of strength and independence that made her so much easier to take than the traditional drooping Ophelia; given Tabu could elevate even a boring retrograde sitcom like Toh Baat Pakki, it shouldn't be a surprise her Ghazala was wonderful - but it's even better than I thought it would be from her; I'm not sure I'd give Kay Kay Menon an award for Khurram, but he nailed smarmy and oily; and I want to see a movie starring Irffan Khan's Roohdaar and this movie's - innovative take on the Gravediggers. I even liked the ways the movie changed up the story of Hamlet without diluting its tragedy.

Yes, if there's somebody who reads you who hasn't seen this yet - they really should. Definitely Permanent Collection material.

meetu:

@TimELiebe I am glad you liked it :D

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