'Haider' stands magnificently in between as the king of the Shakespearean trilogy of Vishal Bharadwaj. 'Maqbool' is undeniably the wisest of them all, sitting atop as the igh priest of VB filmography. 'Maqbool' wasn't all suitable, a film existing to provide it's lip service to Saif Ali Khan, flair in writing and execution, but not much else. But this one lies in the world in between: it's way better than 'Omkara', even when it doesn't match the opulence of 'Maqbool'.
This is the best mounted film by Vishal, in his whole career. The astounding cinematography, entertaining undertones, grim period and aesthetic of performances is what makes this a winsome. Shahid Kapoor is masterful and unflinching, transcending Irrfan's vulnerability and Saif's artfulness. He is faultless, graceful and effective. He's just like Tabu, the beautiful, sultry mother and her believable, uncomfortable equation with her son that goes from absurd to unpredictable. Kay Kay Menon and Irrfan Khan deliver wholeheartedly the short bits with awesome grip.
'Haider' is politically correct and absolute. But the film has a radically unsmooth start, it's first act is not entirely convincing to the viewer in spite of the visual mountings of the Shikara and ailing people. The change-of-climax of the original 'Hamlet' is not too workable. As it is, it is an entertaining, carefree thing to watch, brimming with texture and handsomely written. And that's an achievement
I Guess I Need To Watch It Again To Understand It Better But I Really Liked It While Watching It 1st Time, Vishal Is A Genius Filmmaker, Shahid Finally Show's His Exceptional Acting Skills, Screenplay Is Gripping. Tabu & Kay Kay Were Too Good In Their Roles.But All In All It's Vishal's Vision & Shahid's Dominance Which Makes It A Brilliant Movie.
'Haider' may turn the tide for Shahid Kapoor, much like 'Omkara' had for Saif Ali Khan. He has long deserved to play a role like this one and he genuinely exceeds our expectations. I don't remember when was the last time I was mesmerized by a song and dance number in Hindi cinema, as I was by 'Bismil'. How refreshing to see a male star do that, in folk costume and tribal make-up. For once, the choreography is so powerful that I wasn't even paying attention to the lyrics.
Situating Hamlet in the Kashmir situation is a pretty clever idea and Vishal Bhardwaj manages to stay faithful to the original play to a very large extent. The dark ominous undertones are present from the first frame to the last, so it doesn't make for a light-hearted family outing at all. The editing is patchy and abrupt at times, but it can all be excused for the powerhouse acting by Tabu, Kay Kay Menon and Irrfan. Shraddha Kapoor is also perfectly cast. The mother-son chemistry between Tabu and Shahid is so strong and arresting - not at all like the superficial 'ma-beta' stereotypes that we are used to.