Movie Review: Haider (2014)

Box Office: Avg.

haider-moiveHAIDER starts off circa 1995 in Srinagar, where military rule reigned supreme. The film is about Haider (Shahid Kapoor), who is the son of Dr. Hilal Meer (Narendra Jha) and Ghazala (Tabu). One day, when Dr. Meer brings home a militant for treatment; this ‘information’ gets leaked to the military forces, which leads to a crackdown of the army, who in turn, land up blowing their house in front of Tabu and others. Post this; Dr. Meer goes missing, which leaves his wife Ghazala as ‘half-widow’. Taking advantage of the situation, his brother Khurram (Kay Kay Menon) ends up marrying Ghazala, whom he always addresses as ‘bhabhi jaan’ but is madly in love with. This is something that Haider doesn’t approve of, because he still believes that his father is alive somewhere. That’s when he confronts his mother openly disapproving of her relationship with Khurram. Amidst all this, the only person who stands by him through the thick and thin is his love Arshia Lone (Shraddha Kapoor), who is a journalist by profession. The search for his father leaves Haider with no time for anything else. That’s when one day, a certain Roohdaar (Irrfan Khan) appears out of nowhere and trails Arshia only to pass Haider a message from his father. When Haider meets Roohdaar, the latter explains everything in detail to him, right from Khurram’s evil plans to trap his father to Khurram’s affair with his mother. But, when Haider confronts his uncle Khurram, the uncle has a totally different story to tell about Roohdaar, which only confuses Haider further. A very helpless Haider is now torn apart in all the directions, because of his father’s grief, his anger for his uncle and his unsaid and unspoken longing for his mother.

Does Haider succeed in finding his father and does he succeed in conquering the love of his life, does he finally get to hear the whole truth from his mother, forms the rest of the story.


Good Reviews  |  Average Reviews  |  Bad Reviews
Positive Reviews
5.0 “Haider is one of the most powerful political films we’ve ever made, a bonafide masterpiece that throbs with intensity and purpose”
Rediff: Raja Sen
4.5 “Haider is rare film that will go down in cinematic history as a bold move that detaches Kashmir from the its usual depictions and dares to lay it bare. “
4.5 “Rejoice. The sensitive storyteller is back in his element. Vishal Bharadwaj brings alive the ecstasy, pain and passion of Hamlet on screen.”
4.0 “To see or not to see is no dilemma here. Don’t miss Haider – he’s got chutzpah like none other.”
4.0 “Watching Vishal Bharadwaj’s HAIDER is like watching a classical concert on stage with ‘live’ musicians. “
4.0 “Haider is devastatingly beautiful, just like Kashmir itself.”
4.0 “Missing it will not be the best decision of your life.”
4.0 “Shahid Kapoor’s career best performance”
3.5 “With Haider, Vishal shows yet again that if he puts it all together in right quantity.”
3.5 “Bhardwaj and co-writer Basharat Peer (who authored the book Curfewed Night based on the Kashmir conflict) give us a film that leaves you in its spell long after.”
3.5 “‘Haider’ is a mesmerising film that will stay with you, even if in bits and pieces”
DNA India
3.5 “Haider is a fabulous film.”
indiatoday: Rohit Khilnani
3.5 “Haider is deeply stirring”
3.5 “‘Haider’ is powerful revenge drama with superlative performances”
3.0 “It’s a masterpiece by Vishal Bhardwaj.”
3.0 “A truly touching story that en-captures the saga of Hamlet in the best way possible. “
3.0 “Idea to twine Hamlet with the late 1990’s troublesome Kashmir and having something for the niche audience and die hard Bhardwaj fans.”
Average Reviews
2.5 “Haider has a lot of things going for it, but it doesn’t live up to what it could have been.”
Blog Reuters
2.5 “Haider is neither about Hamlet nor about Kashmir.”
indiatoday: Koel Purie
Negative Reviews
2.0 “HAIDER is targeted more at niche multiplex audience and not for the masses, which may work against the film.”
Bollywood Hungama
2.0 “Shahid Kapoor has a couple of break-out moments”

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