“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.”
There must be something wrong with me…. A critically acclaimed movie, which is actually liked by everyone, and I don’t seem to like it. There must be something wrong with me. 😮
‘Haider’, directed by one of the most talented and one of my favorite among the few directors – Vishal Bhardwaj, is an Indian Bollywood movie, based on Hamlet of legend William Shakespeare. This movie stars Shahid Kapoor in the lead role as Haider. Tabu stars as mother of Haider and Shraddha Kapoor as his love interest. Irrfan Khan and Kay Kay Menon are also in the supporting but pivotal role.
Haider is a story of a Kashmiri boy, who came back to Kashmir from Aligarh, where he was studying; when he hear of his father’s disappearance. Shockingly, he sights his mother, Tabu, in a jovial mood, laughing and singing in company of his Chacha/uncle, Kay Kay Menon. Disturbing, right? 👿
He is searching for his father, who disappeared after he was held captive by the Indian armed personnel for assisting terrorists and hiding them in his home. While searching for his father, he embarks on a cruel and shocking discovery of torture and inhumane treatment of Kashmiris by the Indian Army and police. He soon finds out that it was his uncle who was responsible for disappearance and later murder/encounter of his father. Most shocking, his mother could also be a part of it. 😥
Who tells him all this? Enters a Ghost – Rooh – Irrfan Khan, who was a cellmate to his father in his captivity. Loved this take on Hamlet.
Whom to trust? Your own mother? Your father’s brother? A terrorist called Rooh, who claims to be your father’s friend? Your own friends Salman & Salman(hilarious stuff they do)? Or, your girlfriend, Shraddha Kapoor, who loves you but is a Indian Police/Army officer’s daughter?
This story is complex, intriguing, disturbing and immoral. Yes, this is the reason, why I did not liked this masterpiece of a movie. It is immoral of me to like this.
It’s a fantastic movie, almost a masterpiece from Vishal Bhardwaj. It is critically acclaimed. Almost every critic has praised it to the point of giving it a 5 out of 5 stars. I will not give it 5 but will give a 4 if I can just neglect the whole Kashmir angle. It is indeed a good movie.
My problem starts the moment, a doctor who is hiding terrorists in his compound, irrespective of his wife’s discontent, is shown as a Hero, as a savior. You are made to feel sorry for that creature who is harboring terrorists. 😡 You know why, because you are watching the movie from his son’s angle. But, tell me, in real world, whom would you call a hero –
- a Mother who has sent his son away to study, so that he will not get involved in terrorists activities, this after she notices him hanging out with some of this genre?
- Or, a Father who didn’t think twice of his wife and his son’s future, before inviting terrorists to his home?
My problem with this film does not end here.
Mother, Tabu, is shown as if she was some kind of immoral, who was behind his husband’s murder, and as soon as he disappear, she started romancing and married his husband’s brother. Later, it was shown though, that she was innocent in her husband’s death but – it was not clear, why she still stayed with Uncle even after finding out that he was responsible for her husband’s death? Story also did not clearly depict, her problems with first marriage and why she drifted so quickly towards Uncle who was flirtatious in nature all along?
Showing Indian Army in bad light. This is the crucial issue with this film. I don’t have any issue if you show, how they are torturing innocent Kashmiris and doing encounters in the name of action of Jehadi movement. But, are you also showing, what those terrorists are doing? You are showing that terrorists are attacking only to defend themselves, and Army is killing them even when they are unarmed and in prayers. You are showing that Army is conspiring with local lawyer/politician to propagate false agenda, while terrorists like Rooh are messiah, who are actually telling the truth and helping a lost young kid by giving him shelter in Pakistani camps. You are showing that Army is holding illegally all the disappeared Kashmiris, while terrorists are the ones who are giving their dead bodies respect by building their graves. You are telling me, that a common Kashmiri is fed up of frequent search routines done by the Indian Army, but you are not showing what could happen, if there is no search? What would happen, if there is no Army? What could happen to Kashmiris, if there is no Indian Army?
You are showing slogans for Azaad Kashmir. You are asking “Ham hain ki ham nahin?”. But, where is other side of this story? You are showing story of Haider, but where is Hari and harmeet’s story? Why are you filmmakers always show story from a particular religions (Muslims) perspective? If you are not bothered in showing the other view point, atleast try to balance out the negativity. You could not have made this film, on Kashmir, and in Kashmir, if it wouldn’t be with the help of Indian Army and government. Respect that.
Coming back to filmsy aspect of film. It’s a beautiful film with breathtaking backgrounds and cinematography. Songs by Gulzar – Muahh. Loved specialy the graveyard song – “aao na, so jao na”. Shahid Kapoor has done well. By far, this one is his best performance. But, it was an all in all a Tabu Film.
Tabu is just Tabu. She is incomparable. Her eyes, deep and calm, like ocean. Depth and mystery. You don’t know, whether to hate her, love her or sympathies with her.
Watch this film, just for the pure genius of Vishal Bhardwaj, because he has done the unthinkable by adapting Shakespeare’s Hamlet so beautiful in this story. I wish if he could be content enough to keep Kashmir out of it. Greedy fellow knew that Kashmir is the angle giving it all the masala and viewers too. 😛