Shahid Kapoor’s Haider is one of the finest films of Indian cinema. Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, the movie was an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The director set the movie on the backdrop of the Kashmir conflict in 1995 and toned down the Oedipus complex, and it was a treat for the Indian fans. But the movie has an international reach. For instance, popular literary website, LitHub, has included it on the list of the best Hamlet adaptations on screen. Haider is on the 7th spot, ranked above Mel Gibson’s Hamlet (1990), Christopher Plummer’s Hamlet (1964) and also Charlie Hunnam’s Sons of Anarchy. The number 1 spot is by Innokenty Smoktunovsky starrer Russian Hamlet (1964). Ian McKellen to Return As Hamlet Onstage, 50 Years After Playing William Shakespeare’s Iconic Prince.
The author of the article wrote, “Kapoor is a much less conflicted Hamlet than we’re used to (I suppose the conflicts of the setting are quite enough to be getting on with), he’s radical and compelling enough that I really don’t miss the agonizing. (I couldn’t find a clip with English subtitled, but this version is on Netflix—do yourself a favor and check it out.)”
Recently, Onhike published a list of Vishal Bhardwaj movies ranked from worst to best and Haider was placed as best. From Makdee to Haider, Vishal Bhardwaj’s Movies Ranked From Worst To Best.
Haider had to face quite a few issues while it was filming as well as when it was released due to its commentary on Kashmir. Vishal explained his reasoning to set the movie amid the geopolitically tense landscape. “It was the political turmoil and the 25 years of tragedy of Kashmir that compelled me. Our way of looking at Kashmir has either been cosmetic – only for shooting songs – or rhetoric, where we show a man in a phiran, holding a Kalashnikov. Haider is the first film where we see Kashmir from the inside. I don’t think we have made a mainstream film about the issue,” he told The Indian Express.
Indian Censor Board levied 41 cuts on the movie before giving it a U/A certificate. The shooting of the film was paused twice, once because of protesting students of Kashmir and the second time because a local threw coal at the cast.
(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Aug 12, 2020 07:13 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).