Home > Magazine > Bollywood Buzz > MOVIE REVIEW: Haider



By Gitanjali Chak Email By Gitanjali Chak
November 2014


Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Tabu, Kay Kay Menon
Producers: Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vishal Bhardwaj
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Music Director: Vishal Bhardwaj

Only a filmmaker who is supremely confident of his craft can take up a piece of literature as complex as Shakespeare’s Hamlet and adapt it for the Hindi screen. For this alone, Vishal Bhardwaj deserves a standing ovation. What is even more admirable is that he lends this tragic drama an operatic quality and also some dark humor.

Set in the turbulent Kashmir of the ’90s, the story revolves around Haider (Shahid Kapoor) who returns from university on receiving news of his doctor father’s disappearance. He is equally devastated to learn that his mother Ghazala (Tabu) is now in a relationship with his conniving and politically ambitious uncle, Khurram (Kay Kay Menon). Overwhelmed by grief and rage on finding out that his father has actually been murdered, Haider is on the brink of losing his mind.

Shahid Kapoor begins a little shakily but gradually he lets the tormented spirit of Haider totally consume him, resulting in some great histrionic moments. The doe-eyed Shraddha Kapoor playing Haider’s love interest, Arshiya pitches in an earnest performance. Can Kay Kay Menon (playing Claudius in the original) be anything but brilliant?

But it is Tabu to whom the film really belongs. Watch her in those scenes with Shahid that are brimming with Oedipal undertones, to understand what a powerhouse performer she is. Irrfan Khan as Roohdar (standing in for the ghost from the original play), despite minimal dialogue, leaves an impact as the shadowy stranger.

To see, or not to see? There should be no dilemma here!


1. Meherbaan (Bang Bang)
2. Samjhawaan (Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya)
3. Tere Ho ke Rahenge (Raja Natwarlal)
4. Aata Majhi Satakli (Singham Returns)
5. Jumme ki Raat (Kick)
6. Ziddi Dil (Mary Kom)
7. Bismil (Haider)
8. India Waale (Happy New Year)
9. Galliyan (Ek Villain)
10. Saawan Aaya Hai (Creature 3D)



1. Bang Bang
2. Haider
3. Kick
4. Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya
5. Singham Returns
6. Mary Kom
7. Finding Fanny
8. Raja Natwarlal
9. Mardaani
10. Creature 3D

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