3 October 2014 | ayanpal1
A Hauntingly Adept Cinematic Masterpiece
HAIDER to me is an acronym that means the following:
H. Haunting. Be it in its background score, music, lyrics, playback (especially Rekha Bharadwaj, Sukhwinder Singh, and Arijit Singh), cinematography, or backdrop of Kashmir in 1995, Haider is Haunting, and how! The film will stay with you long after you have left the theater.
A. Astounding. Haider is an astoundingly adept adaptation of a classic written almost 415 years ago that can be enjoyed irrespective of your knowledge about the Shakespearean Tragedy - Hamlet. If you don't know Hamlet, great! You do? Even better!
I. Incredible. Haider is incredible - in terms of its performances. Be it that of Shahid Kapoor (Haider/Hamlet) who performs a complex role with the kind of award worthy chutzpah that should silence all his detractors once and for all. Or for that matter the the triumvirate of Tabu (Halala/Gertrude) - ethereal, dauntless, and supreme, Kay Kay Menon (Khurram/Claudius) - terrific, resolute, and subtle or Irfan Khan (Rooh/The Ghost of Hamlet's father) - rudimentary and underplayed. Not to be forgotten is Shraddha Kapoor (Aarshi/Ophelia) who pitches in a performance that is 'picture'esque perfect and so full of finesse. And of course the two Salman Khan's who are fans of the superstar and who will surely gain some fans of their own post this film. In fact, every single member of the cast pitches in a perfect performance here, irrespective of the role and duration.
D. Daring. Haider is daring in talking about issues that many wouldn't touch with a bargepole and for the way it has juxtaposed a Shakespearean tragedy with a human tragedy - Kashmir. The valley is a character here that finally finds a voice of its own. The interpretations of that voice are truly brilliant.
E. Effective. Sometimes experimentation and reinterpretations fail. Not here. With layer upon layer waiting for the audience to be interpreted (for example the touch of Oedipal complex between a mother and son, the growing of guilt of a well meaning lover, the song of the gravediggers, the examples of 'Chutzpah' and its comparison with AFSPA etc). Haider is effective on multiple levels and truly faultless in its execution.
R. Rooh (Spirit/Soul). This is a film with an indomitable spirit that filmmakers would die to include in their body of work, and which Vishal Bharadwaj effectively manages to in this lifetime. This film has that which many a masterpiece may sometimes lack - a soul. A terrific triumph encompassing its soulful music, soul stirring performances, and soul warming message.
In short - watch Haider - in a theater. For Vishal Bharadwaj, the Director/Composer/Writer. For Shahid, the rising prince. For Tabu the eternal Queen. For Gulzar, the lyricist. For the cinematography by Pankaj Kapoor and the editing by Aarif Sheikh. And finally for Kashmir, the unforgettable voice of humanity.