Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj and his love for arty cinema has been quite evident in his previous ventures, Onkara, Maqbool and Kaminey as well, but it is only he who can actually transfigure an arty piece into a visual representation, so worthwhile.
The story is set in 1995 in Srinagar, when Kashmir was suffering from the most powerful armed revolution. Dr. Hilal Meer is a doctor by profession and to his wife Ghazala’s (Tabu) bitterness brings home a militant for treatment. When the news of the same is revealed, the doctor gets ‘disappeared’, leaving Ghazala ‘half-widow’. Ghazala now starts staying with Hilal’s brother Khurram (Kay Kay), who is in love with his Bhabhijaan. Ghazala’s son Haider (Shahid) arrives home after his father’s death, only to see his mother and Chacha getting close. Haider now goes on a road of revenge and find out where his father his. Will Haider be able to solve this dilemma?
Speaking of performances, it is only Vishal who can take out the best out of Shahid Kapoor. The actor is brilliant from scene go and the way he transforms his character from a simple boy into a crazy revenge seeking man. There is no two-way about the fact that Tabu is a brilliant actor, but Haider can be called her best performance till date. She outshines in every scene. Kay Kay Menon gets into the skin of his character and gives a remarkable performance. Irrfan, may be seen in just a cameo, just he sure leaves his mark behind. However, it only Shraddha who seems to be a misfit in this fabulous casting. The actress is monotonous and sure has to work on her emotional expressions.
Vishal’s latest venture, ‘Haider’ is a brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare’s novel, ‘Hamlet’, where the talented director has induced his version of emotions in the form of angst, rage, sadness and revenge onto the plot. For the ones, who have not read Shakespeare’s Hamlet, you probably wouldn’t need to after watching this amazing piece of art. The way in which Vishal portrays Kashmir and its non-glamorous and non-scenic parts and induces it into the story is praise-worthy. There wouldn’t have been a better place than Kashmir to actually say this remarkable story.
The songs are very-well fitted in the screenplay and ‘Bismil’ is brilliant in every sense of the world. From it picturization, to chorography and lyrics and music, the song touches every cord. Dialogues written by Vishal Bhradwaj are flawless, especially the way in which Haider expresses the dilemma of Kashmir by saying ‘Hum Hain Ya Hum Nahi’ and ‘To Free Or Not To Free.’ Also the parts where Haider explains the meaning of chutzpah is too amusing.
A few glitches of the movie include its drawn-out run-time and the fact that not many people will be able to connect with film because of its niche genre. However, for all the people who love cinema as an art, this one is surely not a miss.
To see or not to see? Well, now that is not quite a choice here. Go see and give salivate your visual buds.