Shakespeare’s play set in Kashmir

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Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be’ as Haider’s ‘Mein rahoon ki main nahin’.

Set in the sensitive region of Kashmir in 1995, which was torn apart during the Kashmir intifada, or insurgency, which is still ongoing.Haider is the third movie in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Shakespearean trilogy, comprising the tragedies, Maqbool (Macbeth) and Omkara (Othello). Bhardwaj has done a great deal to gain originality in his adaptations, especially in Haider, not only having produced and directed this film, but also having co-scripted it and composed the entire musical score. The music, camera work, editing, dialogues, and scene staging have a distinctive quality to them.

The movie does not have all of Shakespeare’s ideas, but the plot is much more appealing with the consequences of revenge, madness, betrayals, corruption, and politics. portraying such a complex picture of Kashmir, not just as this “beautiful scenery” seen from afar, but also as the harsh political reality of this fractured state.The casting is as exceptional as the story, with all the great actors and their incredible acting skills. Irfaan Khan’s subtle and expressive performance as ghostly Roohdaar; Tabu’s pure and raw energy in playing the part of Haider’s mother, Ghazala. But the actor who stood out the most to me was Kay Kay Menon, playing Haider’s uncle. He brought a sly charm to his acting through his eyes and feathery voice. Even though the movie had an amazing star cast Shahid Kapoor caught the limelight by playing the main role of Haider remarkably. There is no doubt in saying that it is one of the best performances given by him. I cannot end the review without mentioning his monologue in the movie, where Haider turns the ‘to be or not to be’ soliloquy of Shakespeare into a confessional and motivational speech in front of a crowd, where he questions his existence as he has longed to be heard: “Hello, Mike, testing 1, 2, and 3.” Hello. Awaaz aarahi hai aap logon ko? “Can you hear me?” He urges the crowd to reflect on Kashmir’s political crisis: “Hum hein ki hum nahin?/Do we exist or do we not?” “Chutzpah is our problem.”

If you haven’t watched Haider, you are missing something tragically beautiful. The movie leaves behind a sense of contemplation for its viewers: “Is Roohdaar the brave, beloved witness? Is Khurram the master of falsehood? Who tells a conceited tale? Who bears the cross of truth? To believe or not to believe That is the question. “The answer hides in yet another question.”

Ending the review with the movie’s adhering dialogue, which also represents the story’s main idea,

“The gun only knows how to avenge Commander Saab; revenge does not set you free, true freedom lies beyond revenge.” “Remember, revenge only begets revenge.”



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