I am not Indian nor of Indian descent, but I have travelled a bit in India and thereby created a penchant for Bollywood films. I have seen a few Bollywood films and yes – they are defiantly different from the big Hollywood productions but they have there own charm. The experience of watching a Bollywood film at an Indian cinema defiantly makes the film much more interesting because they are cheering for the good once and booing at the bad once. But this time I was going to watch Haider, a Bollywood film in an American cinema, where you do not talk meanwhile screening the film.
— Erica Atalia (@ericaatalia) November 7, 2014
Simon and I went to see Haider, which is directed by Vishal Bhardwaj’s. He has directed an adaption of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which was written for more than 400 years ago. The setting of the original play is Denmark, which is the country I come from. Hamlet is about the Prince of Denmark who is also known as Hamlet. The prince wants to avenge the murder of his father. His uncle is the murderer who has also married Hamlet’s mother. With Haider, Vishal Bharwaj completes his trilogy of Shakespeare. An ambitious trilogy of Bollywood films based on William Shakespeare plays. His 2003 Maqbool (based on Macbeth) premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, 2006’s Omkara (based on Othello) screened at Cannes.
The year is 1995, as Pakistan-India conflict worsens over the borderline north Indian state of Kashmir. Militants plot an uprising, armed Indian soldiers line the streets, a strict curfew is imposed, and every man is under suspicion. Haider is a story of a revenge. Haider played by Shahid Kapoor wants to kill his uncle Khurram for having his father Hilal killed – just like Hamlet.
To be honest, I had expected something different. I thought I was going to see a colorful Bollywood film, but it was not. At the moment I came out of the theater I was shocked. But after some time, I started to like it. It is not just a Bollywood film about Hamlet, there is more to it, such as the history of the Kashmir region. I think some of the film’s most effective moments were its visual storytelling skill. It is not like any other Bollywood film I have seen, but it still has the characteristics Bollywood cues such as up speeded fights and use of music videos, which often illustrates the love scenes. When I get some time, I have to see the other two films in the trilogy.
It was Simons first Bollywood movie, check out this clip to hear his thoughts about Haider.
— ajigo (@ajigo) November 7, 2014
You can also read Simons review about Haider and hear my first reaction to the film.
It is a really long movie, but if you have the time go watch Haider. It is an unusual experience, especially if it is your first Bollywood movie. But it is a great movie.
Check out the trailer below: