wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)
As good an adaption as it could be, even if it loses pace every once in a while, the other elements keep it going.Read more
There are few films that you don't have a choice but to look forward to them. A Shakespeare adaptation by Vishal Bharadwaj is certainly one of those. Haider's trailer though hasn't inspired awe. It is slightly quirky, it has a distinct style, but it lacks the punch one would expect.
Having said that, it does create an intrigue. Mostly, because of Tabu and Kay Kay Menon, though the latter gets very little space in the trailer. Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor on the other hand seem to stick out like sore thumbs in a production like this. A little too overt, a little too mushy.
It is as good as it is bad that not much of the story has been talked about in the film. We just know that it is a revenge drama. Even for those of us who have read Hamlet, it is the adaptation which we look forward to. Fitting Hamlet in the Indian context is what I am looking forward to the most. And of course, I have my eye out on how the complexities of the character is brought about.
To start with, the music seems to have hit the right chord, not unusual for a Vishal Bharadwaj film.
Bollyspice - "4/5"
Bollywood Hungama - "1.5/5"
glamsham - "4.5/5"
indian express - "4/5"
Milliblog - "has one wondering why Vishal doesn’t become a full-time composer."
Music Aloud - "9/10"
- meeta, a part of the audience
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
Thumbs up, by Anjum Shabbir, Bolly Spice : ...Haider is a cinematic triumph for Vishal Bhardwaj and the crescendo of his three Shakespearean adaptations. It is an acting re-birth of Shahid Kapur following 2007’s Kaminey. It has a plethora of scintillating performances: Tabu as Gertrude/Ghazala, Kay Kay Menon as Claudius and special appearance by Irrfan Khan, as one of Hamlet’s integral characters. Haider is an experience which needs to be watched by audiences all over for it’s cinematography, directing, performances and as an accomplished adaptation of a literary classic. Encore team and cast of Haider, Encore!... full review
Thumbs up, Daily Bhaskar : ...If you are amongst those cinema fans, who wait for a good movie, and typical Bollywood masala is not your cup of tea, then Haider is the film for you. It is cinema on canvas.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sarita A Tanwar, DNA : ...No matter what and how small the faults in the film, it deserves an audience. To experience a film that is so mesmerising that it will stay with you forever, even if it is in bits and pieces.... full review
Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...Haider doesn’t have an ounce of the commercial thrills and spills that entertain the 100-crore masses. But it does have an undeniable dramatic punch. It is one of the best stories you’ll every watch on celluloid. Give this edgy film a chance to entertain you. Because it will do so with aplomb. It’s certainly better than the other chutzpah out there. ... full review
Thumbs up, by suprateek Chatterjee, FirstPost : ...However aside from a seeti inducing cameo by Irfaan Khan as rhe mysterious Roohdar It is Tbau's Gazala who steals much of the flim and lingers in one's memory long after the flim is over.... full review
Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...But this is a Shahid Kapur film all the way. What I liked best about his character was that he was not 'over-the-top-violent'. To portray that must have been a herculean task. Because, Haider had every reason to go Bang, Bang!... full review
Thumbs up, by Anupama Chopra,, Hindustan Times : ...Those are stories that perhaps other filmmakers will choose to tell. But I can guarantee that you will emerge from Haider shell-shocked. And when was the last time a Hindi film did that to you?... full review
Thumbs up, by Raajiv Masand, IBN Live : ...A few such hiccups aside, Haider is an elegant, thrilling film that casts a brave, unflinching eye on the Kashmir struggle. In deviating from the original ending of Hamlet, it also makes a necessary point about the cyclical nature of revenge and violence... full review
Thumbs up, by Mohar Basu, koimoi : ...Haider is an unforgettable film that never fumbles, never stumbles, and is so sure of itself that it cannot go wrong. From Shahid to Tabu to Kay Kay to the powerful cameo of Irrfan, everything in the film works. It’s a Guztaq film that audaciously breaks every rule in the book, everything that you could have expected from it and ends up being that edgy watch which you’ll savor, while you watch it from the edge of seats. Haider is Chutzpah and inkeeping with the same vein, I will rate this film the highest I have ever gone with a movie. This is an easy 4.5/5. I would have gone higher but I believe in leaving the little window open for better always.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sanjukta Sharma, Live Mint : ...The casting ideas work impressively well. Kay Kay Menon stands out as a superbly calculating man, the villain in Haider’s mind, and Tabu makes a heart-rending Ghazala. Shraddha Kapoor delivers an earnestly fervent performance and Irrfan Khan is pitch perfect as a quietly menacing presence, the only personification close to a ghostly apparition. Salman Khan is here too, in a deliciously manufactured ode to the Hindi film hero through Salman and Salman, Haider’s friends and a pair of all-round crooks, an interesting replication of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from the original play... full review
Thumbs up, by Shubha Shetty Saha, MiD DAY : ...Pankaj Kumar’s cinematography offers a breathtaking visual treat of Srinagar and the rest of Kashmir that fills up the screen and your senses. As you watch the beauty of the valley wide-eyed, you can almost smell the Gulmohar in the air and touch the icy waters of Jhelum.The second half dips a bit before it picks up again with an unforgettable climax. Please watch this film. It has chutzpah (Haider’s favourite word for obvious reasons) and a lot of soul too. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Joginder Tuteja, Movie Talkies : ...All of this, coupled with the fact that the film is visually stunning, has a new story to tell, carries ample drama moments with some good intrigue element to add make sure that Haider makes for a good watch. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Divya Solgama, MoviezADDA : ...Dum? Well, if you love good, intelligent, meaningful cinema, then 'Haider' is your film of the year. The movie might not be on the lines of Vishal Bhardwaj's 'Maqbool' or 'Omkara', but is definitely in his top three best films and one of the finest adaptation of 'Hamlet' from our country. The masala film lovers might find this movie a bit slow and arty due to which most of them would prefer to avoid it, but for rest, it is a treat to cherish. Instead of terming 'Haider' as a plain adaptation of Shakespeare's drama, I would re-term it as a picturesque, poetic and a philosophical adaptation of Shakespeare's drama made by people who love cinema, for the people who love cinema.... full review
Thumbs up, by Piyush Chopra, Now Running.com : ...Like I said before, Haider is likely to be met by divisive reactions. It isn't everyone's cup of tea. The body count is extremely high (there are more corpses above ground than there are buried below it) and the film is dark and edgy to the point of excluding people. It is, after all, a Shakespearean tragedy. If this doesn't interest you, you might want to look elsewhere for a "Bang" for your buck. On the other hand, if this is your kind of cinema, you won't find a better way to spend 3 hours of your life.... full review
Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...The result is a knockout, a film that makes you smell corpses, that makes you shudder with melancholia, and a film that points accusing fingers. A film that doesn't flinch. Is Haider Vishal Bhardwaj's best film? ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Bhardwaj and co-writer Basharat Peer (who authored the book Curfewed Night based on the Kashmir conflict) give us a film that leaves you in its spell long after. And if you can overlook certain blemishes, you'll be happy to be mesmerized!... full review
Thumbs up, by Ritika Handoo, ZEENEWS.COM : ...After watching 'Haider', all that can be said is that — It is a perfect example of how many have suffered in the Valley and are just left with the question— 'To be or not to be'!... full review
Thumbs down, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, HAIDER is targeted more at niche multiplex audience and not for the masses, which may work against the film. Add to that, the lesser number of screens available for the film and its release alongside the gigantic competitor film BANG BANG may just see the film struggling at the Box-Office.... full review
Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.
Not Interested in Watching, by Fan
Want to Watch, by Rachit Gupta : Want to Watch!
Want to Watch, by Rajat
Want to Watch, by siddharth : Looking forward to watch
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Divya
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Gokul : Best movie of the year!!!!!!!
Yay! Thumbs Up, by kapil : Best movie of 2014
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Laltoo
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Murtaza Ali : A powerful socio-political commentary on Kashmir of the 1990s
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Suman
Yay! Thumbs Up, by TimELiebe : Shakespearean+Kashmiri Conflict;great perfs by Shahid Kapoor,Shradda Kapoor,Tabu,Irffan Khan,etc.
So-So, by Anup : Expectations Crushed
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.