HAIDER (2014)

BollySitter Recommended Age:   17+

BollySitter Family GO Factor:       3.0/5.0

The Review Monk TRM Score:   7.2/10.0

Directed by:    Vishal Bhardwaj

Starring:          Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Kay Kay Menon, Shraddha Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Narendra Jha

Based On :        William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet

Written By:   Vishal Bhardwaj, Basharat Peer

Language:       Hindi

Music by:        Vishal Bhardwaj

Produced by:   Vishal Bhardwaj, Siddharth Roy Kapur

Lyrics by:        Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Gulzar

Running time: 162 Minutes

Genre(s):        Political , Social Drama

BollySitter says

An intense socio political drama suitable for viewing of kids in 17+ age group. Set in Kashmir of 1995 when Militant Insurgency was at its peak and many innocent Kashmiri men were detained by Army under AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) and some disappeared, never to return again.

It is a complex story of human conflicts and a quest of a son (Haider) who has set out to find his disappeared father.


Haider is the third and final movie in the Shakespearean trilogy by Vishal Bhardwaj that began with Maqbool followed by Omkara. Based on tragic socio political drama Hamlet, Haider is an intensely dark tale of complex human relationships, human conflicts and betrayal.

It is story of a Young Kashmiri man who discovers deceits in the family and wants to avenge his father’s death from his uncle who betrayed his own brother to woo Haider’s mother and his own brother’s wife.

The movie also showcases an intense love and hate relationship between Haider and his mother Ghazala, who in her innocence, becomes the reason for destruction of her family.

There is also a passionate love affair between childhood sweethearts, Haider and Arshia. In order to protect Haider, Arshia inadvertently becomes his nemesis and betrays his trust.


Blood, gore and extreme violence is prevalent all throughout the movie. Extreme physical torture inflicted upon people holed up at secret army camps is explicitly shown. Men with guns and hand grenades, houses blown off with hand held missiles, dead bodies followed by a shootout is shown in more than one  sequence. A human skull in the hands of protagonist is shown in one song.

Intense & Frightening scenes

A human bomb being blown off, leading to bloodshed is shown .Two men are chased and brutally murdered with boulders in one sequence.


There are a few lip to lip kiss scenes. An elaborate sequence in a song showcases lead pair making love. Semi nudity is shown during the love making sequence.

There is one sequence showcasing out of marriage cohabitation and intimacy between a man and a woman but no nudity or love making is shown.

The film gives out subtle hints of Oedipus Complex in few sequences of the movie. Intense chemistry is suggested between mother and son but no explicit intimate physical gestures are shown.


Since the movie is based in Kashmir, the language is mainly Hindi with Urdu and Kashmiri words used sparingly. The dialogues are taut and intense, some with dark connotation to the complex plot of the movie.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

No drinking, drugs or smoking is showcased in the film.


The theme of the movie is deceit and betrayal within the family. The attitude of the lead protagonist undergoes a complete metamorphosis from being an innocent poet in love with his childhood sweetheart who is also his muse, with an extreme fondness for his father and intense love for his mother to a disillusioned psychotic man with a mission to leave no stone unturned to avenge his father’s death.

There are shades of psychological degeneration in the lead protagonist’s behavior in the latter part of the movie. Haider’s mother is shown torn between her desire to live a comfortable life to intense love for her son.

Discussion points

Families can discuss the importance of mutual trust and faith within the family members. Parents can also tell children about the Kashmir conflict with Pakistan and the internal conflict with mass exodus of Kashmiri Pundits from the valley. They can also explain the genesis of AFSPA and its effect on lives of people in Kashmir and North East States.

Bechdel Test 1/3

There are two primary female characters in the film but they have no conversations or scenes together in the movie except for one monologue wherein Haider’s mother tries to convince a passive Arshiya in mourning, of innocence of Haider.

For the quality of the film, check out the reviews @ http://thereviewmonk.com/movie/Haider/


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