Sunday, October 26, 2014

Haider: A Two-face-ed Coin

Hello Reader,

Hello.. Hello.. Hello..

I watched the movie Haider and as I walked out of the theatre, I thought, "Oh! what a piece of art". I totally loved the strong, competent acting, beautiful cinematography and the music. The portrayal of Shakespeare's Hamlet, which I ardently awaited after Vishal Bharadwaj's previous two adaptations of Shakespeare's works: Othello (Omkara) and Macbeth (Maqbool), which were both beautifully crafted and I enjoyed them both as a lover of art. 

And then came Haider, which I equally loved. It stayed on my mind for a day or two and I accepted it as a good heartfelt story which I would like to have in my movie collection someday. But, a few articles and tweets, with #boycotthaider hash-tags, had me take a look-back and rekindled my interest in the subject which the movie dealt with. Yes, it was not just a Shakespearean adaptation, it was written on the backdrop of a very intense Kashmir issue. Had it been just a drama, may be shot in the Kashmir valley with a few romantic duet songs around the maple trees and snowfall and Shikara, things would have been cooler. But no, it captured the cold heartedness of humans, I would neither say the Indian Army, nor the separatists.

I recently read a post by an ex-Indian Army-man, who has expertly commented on the movie and has quoted all the little references and scenes where the movie depicts the Anti-Indian analogy. Being an army man he has seen the reality, been a part of it and he has penned down his version of the story, has shown the other side of the movie Haider. His post really moved me and only a war hero could point out those details, only a true Indian could. It also made me rethink about my own positive review for the movie. In this post, he has specified the scenes and the oblique approach of the co-writer of the movie Basharat Peer towards the separatists, who is known for his articles on Kashmir conflict. I have shared a link to the article below. 

After reading this article, I also thought how many people would have actually noticed those references, those depictions? For many, it would have been just another movie, which they would forget the very next day, once their own first-world-problems strikes them in their everyday routine. How many of them would have known that the ruins, where Shahid danced like a demon, in the 'Bismil' song, was once a Hindu Temple? Even if Basharat Peer was trying to convey the message loud and clear through those depictions, how many would have understood what he was trying to yell, in his silent voice? We have a majority of ignorant audience who would not understand until and unless a story is fed to them with the complete background of who is who. I did overhear people say "What a boring movie!" as the credits rolled and a couple youngsters recently discussing "Haider mein heroine kaun hai? Wahi aashiqui 2 waali?" . They definitely did not care a penny about the art or the depictions. Majority demands unsubtle entertainment. Only people to hate the movie would be a few Army men, who literally give up everything for their motherland, a few pseudo-nationalists and Bollywood freaks who just love the part where Sunny Deol kills all Pakistanis with a bazooka. 

But then, I thought that even if the movie did show the cruelty of Indian Army on the separatists, is it not something they have done?
Before you accuse me of anything, let me put it in this way: We have seen movies on Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad, where they go against the British, we accepted that, we have seen movies like Border and LOC Kargil which gave us a glimpse of the war our brave soldiers fought and won, we accepted that too.  Then why can't we accept this? The Indian Army (AFSPA) punished them because they were involved in illegal acts. It is a just story told from the other side. A personal story. Story of a young boy, Haider, who lost his father, in a war which was far away from his usual life. He became a part of it because the majority of people were a part of it. I think the movie doesn't blame anybody. 

If there are a hundred people and you separate them into two teams and give each team a coloured flag, representing their own teams and incept in their minds that anyone found with the opponent colour flag should be killed, they will kill. They will go on killing. And in future, they would not even ask for a reason. Only killing, is what they will remember. They will not bother to know the history, at least not all of them. Under any skin, under any flag, under any colour, human remains a human. 

And I think, the movie ended on a positive message that "Intekam se sirf Intekam paida hota hai", that is all the audience should take home with them. And moreover, as Indians, we all know how much efforts are put up by our Army, every day, round the year so that peace is maintained all over the country and in the catastrophic situations which unfortunately occur. And a three hour movie, be it any strong, written with whatever intention, can never change our minds, our love and respect for Indian Army. 

To agree or not to agree - totally your choice. 


Link to the Article:
A Soldier Reviews 'Haider' movie

1 comment:

  1. Nice analysis!

    Here's the link to my review: