First Look: Haider

Stills from Vishal Bhardwaj‘s take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet have been trickling out since Fall 2013 but with the halt in production, things had quieted down until today with the release of actor Shahid Kapur looking every bit the dejected, dancing on insanity, titular hero Haider.

This film will complete Bhardwaj’s Shakespearian tragedy trilogy with critically acclaimed adaptations, Macbeth(Maqbool, 2003) and Othello (Omkara, 2006) already under his belt. Omkara was phenomenal and  quite possibly the best performance of each and every actor involved. Its raw and inspired re-imagining was magnified by the film’s equally captivating cast, endearing me permanently to some of my favorites (Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali-Khan, Vivek Oberoi and Konkona Sen Sharma) while awakening me to the hidden talents of others (Kareena Kapoor-Khan, Bipasha Basu ). And I won’t pretend I don’t have the very same expectation for this film and its portrayers.

Haider is said to showcase the past and present of Kashmir, which has about a million questions swirling my brain, while trying to keep my excitement on a low simmer. Being a tragic story, it most likely takes place or leans to a brisker seasonal backdrop. For, these stills are wintry and solemn, personifying all I ever associate with Kashimir’s color palette— cool greys, greens and blues. And Kapur, who began filming last month, looks strong-minded, pensive, devout and secluded which is a perfect view for our tortured Hamlet.
Bhardwaj is known for “recycling” his actors, therefore, it’s no surprise, Haider will showcase some of his favorites, including Kapur, like Tabu and Irrfan Khan who both starred in the first installment Maqbool together. Other cast members include newbie actress Shraddha Kapoor and the always electrifying Kay Kay Menon.

Haider opens September 12, 2014.

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