There are only few veterans in the industry who can create and recreate the literary sagas on the big screen. Amongst them Vishal Bhardwaj has proved his prowess. Not only is he a great auteur but a proficient musician too. What he does with Hamlet is refurnish a work of genius to create a magnum opus.
Speaking of the story it is high on revenge drama. It is Hamlet and many are well versed with it. Haider is more about emotions and their portrayal. It is a humanitarian story with a layering of an untold saga. It is that and it is much more. It is emotionally captivating and as much unruly. It shows brutal realities of our paradise city. However, it is the family politics that’s colloquial. Haider happens to revolve around AFSPA-Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act which allows the military to arrest any citizen on grounds of being a militant. It is only a suspect that leads to the arrest and subsequent disappearance of the alleged militant. This act has seen many protests which have died down. Being in a critical situation as it is, we often support and sympathise with the military forces of Kashmir.
However, we forget to empathize with those who have lost their loved ones to this act. They have no cue or clue of the whereabouts of their loved ones arrested under the act. And the rage of these few helpless citizens only gives rise to more militants and breeds terrorists within the state. While we, the citizens of this nation were turning blind eye to this fact, Vishal Bhardwaj was awed by Basharat Peer’s masterpiece Curfewed Nights which influenced him to pen and rework on Hamlet. He adeptly brings Hamlet to India just like he brought Macbeth and Othello.
Backed by Bhardwaj’s artistry, the film not only boasts off stellar starcast but each becomes a valuable asset to the film. The performance by every actor is ethereal yet earthy but this time around it is Shahid Kapoor who takes the cake. He dons the skin of a fanatic so well that he seems to be the perfect cutout for the caricature of Haider.
The film embraces many soul shattering sequences which leave us stunned. Amusing are the songs and the location of the film. The song Bismil which depicts and plays around with the shades of red and black astonishes the viewers. It is lively, passionate and dynamic backed with wonderful choreography. Every character simply cuddles the Kashmiri folk and folklore with special attention given to the Kashimiri diction. What is mind numbing and the show stopper is the climax of the film. What we meet at the climax of the film leaves us speechless.
On the whole, the film is emotionally appealing, visually appeasing yet anaesthetizing with the blow of brutal reality.