As I started writing this article, it turned out to be a long article, so I am splitting it in the series of 3 posts so as to make it easier to read them. The first part will cover the background, the second will talk about the film itself and the third epilogue will try to discuss some of the issues surrounding this film.
Haider: The Background
We have witnessed innumerable, shameless and insensitive adaptations of Godfather and we have also had misfortune of witnessing pathetic Mohabbatein based on Dead Poet’s Society; so when it comes to adaptations from the west, one is understandably sceptical of the result. However, Vishal Bharadwaj(VB) is one rare filmmaker who has adapted two other Shakespeare dramas wonderfully in the the Indian context with His Maqbool (Macbeth) and Omkara (Othello) and his mastery over his craft is evident in both the films. Though, I believe Omkara is much better of the two in terms of overall effect. Besides, he is one amazing director who can extract best performances even from someone like Saif as Langda Tyagi in Omkara and has discovered some unknown talents like Deepak Dobriyal. Along with Anurag Kashyap (AK), he is one director who is unique in his approach about film-making and I am curious to watch his work. So when Vishal Bharadwaj (VB) decided to complete his Shakespeare trilogy with Haider, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s legendary Hamlet, I was both curious and sceptical. Sceptical because some of his films like Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola have been big disappointments to put it mildly. Yet, he is a respectable auteur in film-making with an enviable array of skills such as writing, directing, producing and composing. Haider was already not to be missed on my list.
As one would expect with the film’s Kashmir background, it created lot of controversy within 2-3 days after its release on 2nd October 2014. The hashtags #HaiderTrueCinema and #BoycottHaider have been trending on twitter for last few days with hundreds of tweets on either side each day. Haider has been criticized a lot since it apparently portrays army negatively in Kashmir. I’d like to add my own opinions about these issues in Haider, but I’d like to take it at the end of this article. It’s fascinating to watch how VB has captured Haider’s narration and all those beautiful nuances.
BTW, this movie is rated at 8.9/10 on IMDB as on today.
The next part covers the actual movie, its plot and all those scenes that appeal. >> Haider 2: The Movie