Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Haider2014..semi Bollywood

This brave new made by India Hamlet is the third in Vishal Bhardwaj's trilogy of films based on the plays. The constraints due to  audience expectation as well as Vishal's own artistic powers show through. As a cinema craftsman he catches the snow blanketed valley as well as the nuances of speech and accent and depths of Kashmiri culture. As a dramatist he manages to transmute the great play in which the particulars are reshaped but nearly all the contours are clearly preserved in splendid refraction. The political backdrop is incidental in this essentially human revenge drama. The fratricide and maternal infidelity is captured with great power. But Haider is no introspective and complex Hamlet: he is boy who explodes into manhood in the quest for revenge. To paraphrase a reviewer " may be deficient in the Hamlet department but it gives good Gertrude." Tabu is indeed in complete command of her role. What remains most in my mind is the intoxicating snow enveloped landscape and what I can only call the soul of this place I once visited in the depth of winter.

The climactic "pile of corpses" sequence is wonderful; it takes place in a Muslim snow clad graveyard sprawling with some dozens of bodies, and with many a twist of plot we see Ghazala aka Gertrude self immolating, not for political reasons but as an act of penitence.

Chutzpah: the pleading for mercy by a person who has killed his parents on the grounds that he is an orphan.

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