Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Haider

A young man returns to Kashmir after his father's disappearance to confront his uncle - the man he suspects of playing a role in his father's fate.
This is a brilliant synthesis of Hamlet and a statement about police action and terrorism in Kashmir in 1995. There are even two song and dance numbers, albeit properly adapted to the grim tone, but they are brilliant as one would expect when the director has a deep music background as this one does. The gravediggers dance is genius.

The movie is not all grim. The Salman and Salman videostore owners who live, breath, sing, and dance all Salman Khan movies, all the time (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern) are a bit of comic genius. The Chutzpah jokes both entertain and make a point. All the acting is spot on, especially Tabu whose talent I appreciate anew every time I see her.

I'm not sure how the director did it but - wow.

Very violent, though, so be warned about that. I probably will rewatch it but will have to let it settle for a year or two first.

Having now seen all of this director's Shakespearean adaptations I can say that my favorite is Omkara, which is in line with general criticism, but Haider is definitely worth watching.

Rating — for advanced viewers. (You've got to be willing to let this one wash over you, enjoying the ride for what it is ... )

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