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Haider is the most anticipated movie of the year since a lot of efforts have gone into making this movie, from shooting in a risque location like Kashmir to Shahid going totally bald for his role. Haider has Shahid and Shraddha Kapoor pairing up for the very first time in this modern day adaptation of William Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Haider is an Indian drama film directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, and co-written by Basharat Peer and Bhardwaj. The film is an art in itself with director Vishal painting a picturesque story of Haider and his struggles.
The movie is set in 1995, Srinagar during the militancy rule, when Kashmir was suffering the most with armed insurgency growing in power. Ghazala (Tabu) is a worried and insecure mother who is tensed about the survival of the family and mostly her son, Haider (Shahid Kapoor) in this despair time. Much to the resentment of Ghazala, her husband Dr. Hilal Heer brings home a militant and shelters him to provide treatment for his wounds. Her worries come true when someone sneaks in and the doctor husband disappears leaving Ghazala a half widow.
Hilal's brother Khurram (Kay Kay Menon) is desperate for the attention on his beautiful sister-in-law. When the two get talking Ghazala can't help but giggle, this is when her son Haider enters the house and the whole situation gets stirred up. Haider is upset with his father's death but is more furious with his mother's decision of moving on in life. He seeks revenge from the people who were responsible for the death of his father and evidently his eyes roll up towards his mother, for he feels she and his chacha Khurram plotted his father's death.
Haider ends up a confused man, not knowing whether to trust his mother's blind love for him or the betrayal of her moving on. The sexual tension between the two characters also shows up when Ghazala remarks about his possessiveness over her and her body.
Tabu truly stand out in the movies with her soul bearing performance, she asks, 'Tu sarhad paar jaayega?' once in rage and once out of despair, showcasing the wide range of emotions she is going through out the movie. Irrfan Khan has a small role of a man with the soul, Roohdaar who is simply a delight and the person who gives some clarity to Shahid's character and is there by his side. Kay Kay Menon's vicious character too is brilliantly performed.
Coming to the lead actors of the film, Haider aka Shahid Kapoor as the confused child like man has given the best performance of his life. His avenging despair and the revengeful side shows that he has truly crossed leaps and bounds in acting. Shraddha Kapoor aka Arshee, Haider's love interest in the movie too has given a touching performance and shown the emotions of her broken heart trying to choose between her father and her love.
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Seasoned and talented actors like Aamir Bashir, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Lalit Parimoo too have performed brilliantly. Vishal's direction is often a complicated tale but the essence with which he captures the soul of the story is simply remarkable. While we just flip the pages on coming across the sad situations in Kashmir, Vishal manages to put across that very message so hard in our face that even our soul will cry out of despair.
'To be or not to be' or 'Hum hain ki hum nahin?' that is the question, brilliant script by Vishal and Peer, who make the actor's job a tad easy. Songs are in line with the movie's theme, while the background score is a little over powering, Rekha's voice manages to soothe our mind.
Pankaj Kumar's cinematography deserves a special mention for the way he has shown Kashmir is simply breathtaking and a visual treat for our eyes.
A truly touching story that en-captures the saga of Hamlet in the best way possible. The climax is one of the best in Bollywood and the movie should not be missed for it has a soul that will touch you deep.