2 October 2014 | hsm2310
Haider: Literature on screen. 'Bard'waj's best!
So, hours after I have finished watching the best movie to have come out this year( by a margin), I am finally in a condition to write anything about it. I am going to stick my neck out and say, Haider is the best work of Vishal Bhardwaj till date.
There is no doubt, that for a story driven by passion, revenge, love and power, where emotional dispute forms the core of it, no land other than Kashmir, which has been living under the clouds of dispute ever since, would have been a better choice as the setting for the adaptation.
The film is haunting and engrossing. It seamlessly adapts Hamlet and at the same time creates unforgettable characters of its own and makes us see a complex world through their eyes. I can't recall any other film which has completely been shot in the valley and surely none depicting it in all it's glory.
The film takes off with the event around which the actions of all the the players of the movie would revolve. One gets only the first hour to get to know the basic nature of the characters as platform for the mind blowing second half is being built. At the cusp of the interval when an ever assured Irrfan Khan makes an intriguing entry, you only get a hint of things to come.
The second half unleashes on you Shahid Kapur, who for the first time in his career shows glimpses of Pankaj Kapur. Those three minutes ( you would know which when you watch it ) where Shahid displays what all he is capable of, are those you would want to watch again and again. Kay Kay Menon is now a veteran and he doesn't disappoint.The only weak link to this extraordinary cast could have been Shraddha Kapoor, but she surprises everyone with a very composed yet captivating presence on screen. The heart of the film lies in the eyes of Tabu who makes the movie as deep as the depth of her eyes and as intensely beautiful as her voice. As we hear that Vishal Bhardwaj was not ready to make the film without Tabu, you will believe it once you have watched the film.
There is no way you can expect anything short of the best from the dialogues and music, when Gulzar Saab and VB themselves are at helm and they ensure that you do not fall off track even for a moment. A cinematographer can hardly mess it up when you are shooting in paradise. After a brushstroke in Rockstar and a miniature art-piece in Lootera, we get to seethe full painting of Kashmir in Haider. There are enough funny spots in this dark tale of complex emotions,thanks to the fact that Salman Khan had long hair during the period the movie is set.
The film has various undertones which were obviously part of the play as well. It would have required a director and screenwriter who is at the peak of his direction and writing skills to have made it happen. The dexterity with which Vishal Bhardwaj has been able to pull it off shows us why he is probably the best in the business in India. I feel, it requires at least another watching before one can completely absorb the enormity of the work that has been created.
Salute Vishal 'Bard'waj. Go get Haidered because rarely do you get a chance to read literature on screen.