Thursday, October 16, 2014

HAIDER: A Perfect Indian Adaptation of Hamlet


Monkey Rating: 8/10
1 point cut for pace, which could have been a bit choppier. Though the stretched pace is very 'hamletesque' in fact. As an adaptation, that's one thing that could have been let go of.
1 point cut for cinematography and dialogues - which i felt were good, but could have been much better and definitive.

genre: drama

waddabout: A flawless adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

i say: Hamlet is one of shakespeare's most performed plays till date and is the second most 'remade into film' story. BUT still, Vishal Bharadwaj's rendition is worth a watch and is an absolute treat as a movie. Haider, as an adaptation is not just a retelling, but is a true 'adaptation' - keeping the soul of hamlet's conflict alive and placing it in a modern day situation and kindling it with prevalent conflicts and issues. This, is what a great adaptationist does. And Vishal has a mastery over this by now - Haider being his third adaptation of a shakespearean classic and by far his best. 

The music is amazing - very modern day and gripping and very well placed - mixing languages and genres within it while maintain the Shakespearean balladesque touch at the end with the three grave diggers. 

The cinematography is good and scenic and gives no room for complains BUT it could have been much better. There are points in the film where the camera is just moving and not adding anything to the scene. I understand that its shot to give it the au-naturel look, but what i expect out of great cinematorgraphy is layering and storytelling with the scenes, which in this case, was missing. 

AND YES - HAIDER is better than the Hollywoodian HAMLET by Kenneth Branagh. So finally, Vishal has outdone hollywood in a way. 

The performances are phenomenal - Shahid could do better though. He has evolved a lot as an actor, but still has a long way to go. Tabu and Kay Kay Menon are the performers to look out for. FABULOUS PERFORMANCES by them both. 

The dialogues are linear and at times forced to show the kashmiri manner of speech, but ofcourse, it is bound to fall short when you directly compare it to shakespearean dialogues. But there should have been an attempt to keep up with that level. which i guess is missing. 

Vishal Bhardwaj was brave to touch a topic and issue that not most people are comfortable touching - yes, the kashmir issue. But he handles it well and honestly, without polarising and taking sides, he shows the common man's pains in the conflict-torn region and does it efficiently. 

All in all, HAIDER is a phenoimenal movie and one of the best to come out of bollywood in a long long time. And Vishal Bhardwaj definitely deserves a standing ovation for this one. 

If i meet Vishal, i'm definitely asking him for a signed DVD of this movie. Definietly a collectors item.

- Pushkaraj S Shirke


  1. To be honest you know nothing about movie making and your review sounds like a lob sided critic. Saying "could have been better" doesn't justify your take on the cons of the film which guessing from your review, you could not find any one to name specifically

    1. anonymous comments are not worth my while replying to.

    2. You don't have a reply. You can't reply. The only comments you can reply to are those sweeter ones coming from fake followers of yours that may be expect a favor from you or something.Check mate.


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