Haider (U/A)
02/Oct/2014 2 Hrs 42 Mins


Critics Review


A masterpiece thriller. Haider is sheer brilliance from adaptation to execution!

Haider is certainly one of the greatest political thrillers you�ll ever witness. The way Vishal Bhardwaj adapted Kashmir into the plot is commendable. Until now, no other Bollywood movie explored deep into Kashmir but Haider picked up the less known issues of the place and fitted it with the storyline perfectly. The screenwriting, script and cinematography is top-notch. Kashmir has never looked so �bloody� beautiful!The career best �Haider� for Vishal Bhardwaj & Shahid Kapoor should not be missed out on any cost whatsoever. Go Watch it and I am sure you�ll take it home with you.(more)

Source: , MovieCrow


Vishal Bhardwaj's Haider is a rare Bollywood gem you must watch.

The movie tells the story of Haider (Shahid) who finds out that his peace-loving, life-saving doctor father (Narendra Jha) has been arrested by the Indian Army. He returns from Aligarh (where he was studying poetry, a passion he shares with his father) to realise that his mother (Tabu) and uncle (Kay Kay Menon) are behind a conspiracy that resulted in his father's disappearance. Vishal Bhardwaj's direction, dialogues and touching acting prowess that almost everyone in Haider shows. Skip it if an intense, disturbing film is not your cup of tea or if entertainment is what you seek at movie theatres.(more)

Source: Sweta Kaushal, Hindustan Times


Haider may be Vishal Bhardwaj's best film

The two stunning Shakespeare adaptations Bhardwaj made before this stayed close to the structure of the originals: Maqbool whimsically played fast-and-loose with characterisations but managed to wrap a crime-boss film neatly around the Scottish play; Omkara stayed so ingenuously loyal to Othello that it even translated lines of dialogue and had pacing similar to the play, but left out the monologues.Haider, while leaving in the crucial monologues, makes audacious changes to the film -- for example, the play's plot only kicks in when the ghost (or the man with the ghost IDs, more accurately) appears, around the midway mark -- and several key moments deviate dramatically from the original.The result is a knockout, a film that makes you smell corpses, that makes you shudder with melancholia, and a film that points accusing fingers. A film that doesn't flinch. Is Haider Vishal Bhardwaj's best film? That is the question. (The answer, naturally, lies behind the fact that we can even ask.)(more)

Source: Raja Sen., Rediff.com


Solid, well-acted movie that deserves your time.

There's a sweeping, operatic quality to Haider, director Vishal Bhardwaj's robust staging of Hamlet against the troubled landscape of Kashmir at the peak of militancy in the mid-nineties. The ongoing insurgency, which has pitted militants and separatists against security forces for decades, makes for a potent setting. But Bhardwaj - who successfully rooted Omkara in the badlands of Uttar Pradesh, and Maqbool in the Mumbai underworld - isn't one to use backdrop merely as decorative wallpaper. He presents a warts-and-all insider's view, often making scathing observations like the identity crisis faced by local Kashmiris, or the torture of separatists and terror suspects in army camps. This is easily the director's most political film.(more)

Source: Masand, IBN Live


Spectacular but fails at parts.

Vishal Bharadwaj�s third Shakespearean adaptation,` Haider� urf `Hamlet� is a spectacular looking film, each little detail of set and setting perfect. Where it falters is in telling the story it sets out to : the result is a gorgeous but choppy film that you cannot take your eyes off for fear of losing another exquisite piece of detailing; it is also one that fails to fully keep you with it. - The strongest part of the film is in the way it has depicted the dissension-hit state of Kashmir, overrun by militants and the military, skillfully skewering the still-strong Bollywoodized memory of the idyllic Dal lake full of flower-laden shikaras and yodeling stars. Instead of Shammi and Sharmila sliding on a Gulmarg hillside, we have Shahid and Shraddha, trying to find a way around the darkness and despair that has settled into the sinews of the `Paradise on earth� on �zameen ast�.The drama is pumped up by swelling orchestral background music, calling attention to itself. This is the first time I�ve felt this in a Vishal Bharadwaj film, he who knits the poetry and music so integrally and beautifully into his films. Shahid has a couple of break-out moments, but never really makes us ache for the lonely, deeply distressed young man. Kay Kay, who has a role to die for, plays it with familiar flourishes.(more)

Source: Shubhra Gupta, Indian Express


Haider is a fabulous film.

Haider is an adaptation of Hamlet and the final film of Vishal Bhardwaj's Shakespearean trilogy. It is the story of a Kashmiri student who's doctor father "disappears". It's a tragic drama which revolves around a troubled Haider wondering how he can avenge his father's disappearance or even supposed death.(more)

Source: Rohit Khilnani , India Today


Haider screams silently to be recognized as a wondrous work of art.

Mr Bhardwaj's third Shakespearean sojourn is his best yet. Haider is like a painting viewed from the road inside an art gallery. The vision is distant yet vivid, layered life-like and yet exquisitely poetic. By the time Rekha Bhardwaj comes on to sing an evocative song at the end about all the loss of the Kashmiris, I couldn't move from my seat. (more)

Source: Subash K Jha, NDTV Movies


Haider is an unforgettable film that never fumbles, never stumbles, and is so sure of itself that it cannot go wrong

From Shahid to Tabu to Kay Kay to the powerful cameo of Irrfan, everything in the film works. It�s a Guztaq film that audaciously breaks every rule in the book, everything that you could have expected from it and ends up being that edgy watch which you�ll savor, while you watch it from the edge of seats. Haider is Chutzpah and inkeeping with the same vein, I will rate this film the highest I have ever gone with a movie.(more)

Source: Mohar Basu, Koimoi


One of cinema's bravest takes on identity, frightening, yet fun

Haider is one of cinema's bravest takes on identity, frightening, yet fun - Irrfan delights as rockstar -like Roohdar, Haider's father's ghostly voice who is, in another clever twist, a spectral agent from Pakistan(more)

Source: Srijana Mitra Das , Times Of India


Devastatingly beautiful.

Haider seeks revenge from his uncle Khurram (Kay Kay Menon) who he thinks has killed his father to be with his mother Ghazala (Tabu). He is caught in a vortex of emotions � he feels a passionate love for his mother and a burning vengeance towards Khurram who his mother loves. He is also in a relationship with Arshiya (Shraddha Kapoor), which seems half-hearted for the most part.The pace slumps a little in the second half, but the slack is short-lived. By then the director�s craft has hypnotised you enough to overlook the slips. Considering Hamlet, with all its complexity, is certainly not an easy adaptation to venture into � that alone could well make this Vishal�s finest film yet.(more)

Source: Kusumita Das , Deccan Chronicle


Vishal Bhardwaj's eulogy to Shakespeare's 'Hamlet

Irrfan (Roohdar) appears before interval, and in all white�the darkness is again evoked but in a white symbolism. He is somebody who bares all before Haider and tells him what the truth is�his ulterior motives remain ambiguous. The crookedness in his eyes or a slight limp in his walk, all add up to the characterisation well taken from Shakespeare. (more)

Source: Ritika Handoo, Zee News


'Haider' is a mesmerising film that will stay with you, even if in bits and pieces

With Haider, Vishal Bharwaj completes his trilogy of Macbeth, Othello and now Hamlet. While most people would agree that Maqbool remains at the top slot, Haider comes in at second place. Vishal scores where he does best -- storytelling. He overpowers you with the locations, his actors, the language, dialogues and the background score. This is a subject that could have ruffled many feathers, but that doesn't stop him from showing what was wrong with Kashmir, or exploring the sexual undercurrent between the mother and the son. Vishal along with co-writer Basharat Peer weaves the Hamlet saga into the tension in Kashmir in mid 90s, making it hard for you to imagine it in any other setting. Haider is a well-acted, well-written and beautifully directed movie with a top supporting cast. But it is Shahid and Tabu that stun you with the ease with which they handle the complexities and layers of their characters. No matter what and how small the faults in the film, it deserves an audience. To experience a film that is so mesmerising that it will stay with you forever, even if it is in bits and pieces.(more)

Source: Sarita A Tanwar, DNA


Haider is devastatingly beautiful, just like Kashmir itself.

The pace slumps a little in the second half, but the slack is short-lived. By then the director�s craft has hypnotised you enough to overlook the slips. Considering Hamlet, with all its complexity, is certainly not an easy adaptation to venture into � that alone could well make this Vishal�s finest film yet. (more)

Source: Kusumita Das, Deccan Chronicle


The sensitive storyteller is back in his element.

Vishal Bharadwaj brings alive the ecstasy, pain and passion of Hamlet on screen, he also reminds us of the harsh truth in our own backyard, the man-made mayhem in the God-made jannat [heaven] that is Kashmir(more)

Source: Subha Shetty Sha, Mid Day



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. And if you can overlook certain blemishes, you'll be happy to be mesmerized! (more)

Source: Sonia Chopra, Sify.com