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Haider Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Tuesday, September 30, 2014 • Hindi ]
Haider Review
Walt Disney Pictures, Utv Motion Pictures, Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures Pvt Ltd
Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Kay Kay Menon
Vishal Bhardwaj
Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vishal Bhardwaj

Movie Analysis

Starting with neatly told crime boss tale to a haunting effect in Maqbool (Macbeth), mixing desi liquor with Shakespeare wine in ‘Omkara’ (Othello) to a knock out effect, Vishal Bhardwaj’s third and final dip into the Shakespeare valley ‘Haider’ (Hamlet) is technically brilliantly crafted and exceptionally acted but cinematically it’s shockingly and surprisingly a hit and a miss adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece.

Vishal Bhardwaj and Basharat Peer idea to twine Hamlet with the late 1990’s troublesome Kashmir in their final adieu to Shakespeare trilogy in ‘Haider’ script was brave and ambitious on paper.

Vishal Bhardwaj’s enthusiasm to inject realism and go political in his adaptation sadly finds the movie flirting between Kashmir insurgency and Hamlet in this meandering script that fails to reach its proper end as per the standards set by Bhardwaj in his earlier adaptations.

Starting perfectly with Pankaj Kumar’s breathtaking postcard lensing capturing the audience for the first 20 minutes giving you hope of a great final bow to Shakespeare by Bhardwaj as ‘Haider’ (Shahid Kapoor) house gets blown by the security forces as his father Dr. Hilal Meer (Narendra Jha) is found guilty of sheltering militants. Dr. Meer goes missing and Haider spots his 'half-widowed' mother, Ghazala (Tabu) singing to a smiling Khurram ( K K Menon) - his uncle, the ‘chutzpah’ of Kashmir and Hadier simile is established. Over sensitive Haider - Kashmir, having witness a devastating incident of violence goes unbalanced and escapes from reality and starts seeing ghosts to fight this lonely battle to choose between her mothers’ undying love for him or the suspected betrayal with only his love Arshia Lone (Shraddha Kapoor) to support him. But unfortunately the opportunity gets wasted in gorgeous locations and beautiful costumes.

As Haider’s mad search for his missing father is on with those unwanted caricatures of Salman Khan we see a  Roohdaar (Irrfan Khan) emerging to tell Haider about Khurram's wicked plans to Haider while Khurram has another story to tell about Roohdaar.

Will Haider find his father.. Whether Khurram will be exposed.. will Haider love his mother the way he did as a child.. finds the crux of the story.

Vishal Bhardwaj’s story telling is poetic without any doubt but the pace is so leisurely that the interest gets evaporated for the majority audience. The second half gets unnecessarily extended unwilling to end.

It’s a dream for any actor to recite ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ soliloquy from Hamlet perfectly and Shahid Kapoor as ‘Haider’ makes his dream come true in his role. His portrayal of the complexity, madness is exceptional. Flawless. His best till date.

Shraddha Kapoor is remarkable we needed more of her.. Narendra Jha as Shahid's father is brilliant. Kay Kay Menon is extraordinary.

Tabu is stand out right from the first frame. Irrfan Khan is brilliant as ever.

Veterans Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Aashish Vidyarthi are competent. Shot in real locations the essence of Kashmir and its beauty is seen in every frame. Dolly Ahluwalia’s costume deserves special mention.

Tushar Parte- Simaab Sen music is a letdown its smooth but there’s no take away apart from ‘Bismil’ which looks very energetic and colorful.

Business Analysis

Made under a modest 22 crore budget plus 16 for print and publicity, UTV recovery of 38 crores from 1000 screens from its target audience in this festive holiday release should not be a tragedy even after the mass favourite  ‘Bang Bang’ coming on the same day.

Vishal Bhardwaj’s best work on Shakespeare ‘Omkara’ (2006) probably had the most mass friendly appeal but still it failed to give the expected results at the box office. Today the niche audience has shown a great evolution and this particular section at the multiplex in metros have always favored Bhardwaj. UTV, Shahid and Bahrdwaj previous best ‘Kaminey’ was overwhelmingly appreciated in metros but its performance at mass centers was disappointing.

‘Haider’ is in a strange bracket it’s not at all mass friendly and its not rare piece of cinema like ‘Kaminey’ either.  Falling in between  ‘Haider’ is still is not a bad film, it’s a disappointment by the standards set by Bhardwaj in his earlier adaptations. ‘Haider’ narration, style and technique will initially attract the high end niche audience for whom any form of sensationalisms with or without conviction is artistic intelligence.

The performance of Shahid, Tabu, Shraddha and K.K. Menon will be the talk of the town helping in attracting some extra legs plus some extra enthusiastic overrated critic ratings will also steer some extra returns.  All this will manage ‘Haider’ to recover its modest 38 crore cost in this ‘As Vishal Bhardwaj likes it’ adaptation of Hamlet.. from Monday how much will its ‘target’ audience will continue to ‘like’ it - that is the question.

Rating ***

Superlative performance

Technical brilliance (the movie looks gorgeous throughout)

Idea to twine Hamlet with the late 1990’s troublesome Kashmir and having something for the niche audience and die hard Bhardwaj fans.

Rating: 0 / 5.0


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