Haider Movie Review – ‘To Like or Not to Like’

Shahid Haider“It is a great movie, it is an adaptation of hamlet….. like Shakespeare but the Indian version….. it is Vishal Bharadwaj….. you know how he made Omkara and Maqbool….. you should see it… don’t miss……”

this is what we call word of mouth…… it spreads well…. even people who have not read Hamlet flock into theaters….. not that one has to read it, not a pre-requisite for the movie….. but just how the word spreads…

Also Shakespeare is not easy reading, at least it never have been for me….. sometimes I have even felt shakespeare is over rated…… may be because I was never sophisticated enough to completely gulp it in an unabridged form…. but it feels good to be liking shakespeare….. one feels intelligent and well read…. But I have loved the play when I have seen it….. and a movie is a whole different ball game and shakespeare cannot help a Bollywood movie in anyway….

Haider1Also just because othello and macbeth worked, well Hamlet need not…. Anyway I don’t think anyone will bring King Lear because the King Lear story has been told in hindi movies and hindi soap opera countless times over a long time…..

So for me Haider did pose the question…… ‘to like or not to like’

And Honestly I did not feel the movie was great… there was no ‘wow’ feeling….. but there are a few things worth mentioning

Vishal has been successful in showing the beauty of Kashmir with a very disturbing tone from the very start to the end… it is like a beautiful flower burning slowly before you and people near it feeling the heat as the petals crumble….

Haider3It is not easy for an Indian to sit and watch the movie without looking deep into himself…. though people in the movie have a religion, no one can feel religion in the movie…. it is just about humans, freedom and the way our system works….

It is quite tough to make a movie on Kashmir without any religious reference in it… but Haider has succeeded in it…. there is no hindu or muslim or pandit in it…. there are only people who have varied concepts of freedom… some live within it, some live outside it, and some cannot seem to live with it…. there is also a group that thrive in either the lack of freedom for others or in the deliberated propaganda of a misconstrued freedom… Haider clearly defines and shows these various characters in the movie

There is a clear message that War is not a game of right and wrong, it a game of victors and victims, and both victors and victims emerge on both sides….. we see them and feel them in Haider

haider-IrrfanThe best part is when Irrfan comes in…. the thing with Irrfan is he is like Nasseeruddin Shah…. he gives any movie an extra star just with his presence however short it is….

As for Shahid, he is a nice actor with potential…. but still not in the range of his father…. you can see a very committed actor and his passion is shown in the way he acts…. and I appreciate Vishal’s attempts to break open him…. but he needs a few more movies to get out….

And Kay Kay as usual does well, though a step below Irrfan and Tabu as always stands out….

Not sure if it is good or bad but I felt that the characters act, break and rejoin…. always appearing to be Haider2different from their earlier scene….. not following a defined structure…. this gets confusing sometimes because as a viewer one could lose the control of assessing it fully….. May be it was intentional by Vishal himself… to have characters that float and never stay still or grounded….

The movie I am sure is a better choice than Bang Bang (if you are not going with Kids) and I don’t need to see Bang Bang to say that…..

So if you have a choice watch Haider….. but you can also catch it on Video later on…. it is worth the money without the wow factor you might have got in both Omkara and Maqbool…

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