HAIDER: get seduced- experience the journey of uncomfortable emotions and relationship

By | October 4, 2014

I am proud Indian and people living in Kashmir are as Indian as I am. I want to believe so. The stories of atrocities and militancy that my generation learnt through pages of filtered news were more than rumours. The new generation gets a fraction of it in this movie HAIDER by VISHAL BHARDWAJ. I am proud of my country where HAIDER on such a sensitive subject like KASHMIR gets released on 2nd October for public viewing after only 41 cuts or censor suggestions.

I see the movie for what it does to me as an audience. I am no good with this Shakespeare adaptation or not. Hence I do not travel that path.

HaiderIn Haider, SHAHID is in the most powerful avatars of his film career. Once again he steps into territory more familiar to his parents, that usually gets you branded as a great actor but rarely leads towards the fame of being a Superstar. Maybe this would help changing this equation. Shahid smoothly portrays the frustration, bewildered looks, confusion, emotionally torn in different directions as and when demanded by the character.Kay Kay, Tabu and Irfan walk through role with dignified ease. They leave a mark and you tend to sympathise as well as hate them at different moments. They are able to project  the conflict, love, hate or inner turmoil without help of any dialogues. And credit goes to the team which has acknowledged the power of silence in film making.

KAYKAY MENON stands out as a politically ambitious, cunning opportunist. Tabu more

Pic indianexpress.com

Pic indianexpress.com

than Shahid holds the core of the film. Her passion, abject loneliness, strong resolve along with  transformations from a dedicated wife, a woman in unstated relationship, concerned mother, a half-widow, a bride in love and a woman betrayed is delivered with supreme command. It’s the face that speaks..

Vishal teleports you to the arena and is able to seamlessly exploit the power of visual delight  and silence in  Kashmir / Srinagar. He uses Music and songs to their advantage. Even after experiencing Haider, you would not believe that it has more than 40 minutes of songs. Every songs been used to enhance the narrative to communicate a surge in emotions and storyline. The only time Vishal falters and gives way to commercialisation of movies is the song ‘Khul Kabi’ which is smooth to the ears but jarring to the narration.

You are treated to small incidences and daft movements scattered through the movie. The director recalls them later with a smart use of expressions getting the aha moments going. For example,  Haider and his fathers love poetry , the subject of Shahid’s study at Aligarh, the unnamed graves .

‘Chutzpah’ is a word irritatingly used by Haider to push for his confusion and situation. ‘Chutzpah’; purposefully pronounced wrongly as ‘Chootspaa’ in the movie, it becomes lyrically a potent weapon rhyming with AFSPA: Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Under AFSPA, armed forces had immunity from prosecution while operating against  militants. And that’s it.

pic cinemavibeindia.com

pic cinemavibeindia.com

If you are looking for a Bang for your bucks and if for you films are not just a no brainier with stunts that defy logic  then step out and without hesitation go for HAIDER. The movie is one of the best that hit Indian screens in a long time. 

The language uses less of  urdu and Kashmir dialect. This ensures that you follow the story with ease. The dialogue delivery at times misses the right nuances. But that is acceptable. The story at places looks a bit disjointed but that’s a kind of difficult to catch or convince.

As usual I share traces of the story for the movies I recommend you to watch. This is one such movie with a simple straight story layered under tsunami of emotions and subplots.

Film is set in 19995.. HAIDER (Shahid) was sent to Aligarh for his studies. It was the only solution his parents could think of to avoid him getting trapped with Militant forces. Haider returns to finds his home in ruins. It is burnt out. His father ( Narendra Jha) who is a doctor and has given shelter to Latif ( a terrorist head) is now untraceable. Only what we know is that he was picked in the early morning by army and taken to some unknown destination.

He is disturbed when he sees his mother GHAZALA (Tabu)  and his chacha (KayKay Menon)  planning to get married. Tabu is not a widow, she is HAIDER 2half widow; her husband is missing not proclaimed dead. Hence they must wait. Haider believes  that his mother and chacha has been the force behind the conspiracy to get his father neutralised.

His girl friend ARISHA ( Shraddha Kappor) is daughter of the local police head. The family is rightfully against this alliance. Somewhere in the story he meets ROOHDAR ( Irfan Khan) who carries  a message for him. A powerful message left by his father. Will Haider do what is being asked? Go watch and get seduced by the vignettes of complex emotions.  

HAIDER CAST  – Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Khan DIRECTOR : Vishal Bharadwaj SCREEN PLAY : Vishal Bhardwaj and Basharat Peer.  VOICES: Shradha Kapoor, Suresh Wadkar, Rekha bhardwaj, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sukhwinder singh, Arijit Singh, Vishal Dadlani and more voices like Bashir Bhawani, Bashir Lone, Mayukd Sarkar, Saurabh Joshi have been used for  full 40 minutes of songs or background songs that adds to the film.