Wednesday, October 08, 2014

“ज़हर खूबसूरत” - Unbearable to possess. Impossible to give up

First things first. These are my thoughts on the movie, Haider. Secondly, I will watch Haider again! J Not only did I like the movie. I believe, I have more to understand and contemplate on the story. Thirdly, if you have seen the movie and have actually written a review/commented on reviews in social media, let me warn you – “This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.”

My write up could in some way turn into a review of some of the reviews/comments I came across before I saw the movie. Having seen the movie almost a week after its release, I was privileged to hear, read and overhear so called reviews from many people. Fortunately, such reviews didn’t affect my intelligence, my pre or post thoughts about the movie. In fact, 15 minutes into the movie, I realized not many of those reviews were on the movie. They were quick, mostly agitated and somewhat reactive statements to their knowledge/according to them, what happened in Kashmir in 1995. The opening screen of the movie clearly states, my warning to people who have seen this movie. That, it is a work of fiction and all characters, names, situations…. blah blah blah are fictional. So, relating the movie to reality, to me didn’t come naturally. Most of the reviews I had read took most of the movie to heart. Nothing was how it “actually had happened”, according to them. Of course, it didn’t! That is what it means by fiction. Isn’t it? May be, I am limited, perhaps challenged in my thought prowess and logic. As for me, in 1995-96, I was in the best phase of my life and didn’t bother a rat’s arse what was happening beyond my boarding school boundary wall. After 1995-96, I have been like the boy, Haider, in the movie mostly. Emotionally unstable, vulnerable, indecisive and independently foolish. J. Back to movie, if and when someone will ask me how was the movie, I will repeat the dialogue used by Haider for her mother, “ज़हर खूबसूरत”. Unbearable to possess. Impossible to give up.

A good man, a good husband and a good father with humane values, decides to help a man from a not so favourable background. In a moment of weakness, the otherwise good wife and mother, gives away a secret to her charming but opportunistic paramour. The lover takes advantage of the situation and smartly ensures the husband is packed off to the dungeons. Due to prevailing uncertainties, the son had been sent out of town for safety and a better future. On his return, his only aim becomes to find his missing father, who the boy believes, is still alive. Once he gets to know he is no more, he wants revenge. He is at his vulnerable best (or worst J) and is manipulated by all vested parties. This to me, was the plot. All the other facets were just incidental. If one looks at the storyline of the movie, this could be happening in any family in any village, town, city or country. Come to think of it, most of the idiotic daily soaps thrive on deceit, promiscuity, revenge and manipulation for self-interest. These days, I hear they do use expletives and explosives too in daily soaps. Saale Chu ****…errr… I will surely come this, later. 

How poisonously yet beautifully portrayed by the makers. Vishal’s fictional storyline but realistic visuals just made it a mind blowing experience. There were hints and tempting overlaps to supposedly what would or could have happened in Kashmir during that time. I think Vishal and the makers could have saved themselves a lot of curses, if they would have not mentioned just this year, 1995. But then, brilliant move, if it was intentional. Oh, and how can I forget Chutzpah. By the way, in its original form, the 'c' is silent in the Yiddish word - the pronunciation will be 'hutz-pah' or 'hootz-pah'. But am sure, this was intentional. And it’s a hit! Just like the hit phrase, Chu***** Sulphate from Ishqiya. Another brilliant thought. There were some other fantastic yet subtle symbolic references in this fictional story that grazed my mind. When asked by the wife, on whose side he was, he says, “life”. Being a doctor only helped. Or that the character who becomes the only factor who shapes the son’s thought to the final direction, is named “soul”. As I am thinking, the way the characters dressed exemplified their existence. “Soul” was always shown dressed in white. The not so good guys were mostly, if not always, dressed in grey or black. But the character who says, “jab tak hum inteqaam se azaad naho hote, koi azaadi humae azaad nahi kar sakti….” is wearing a very neutral color in the two scenes he appears.  Well, the central character, Haider, was mostly in “dark” colours. The best part of the movie, for me, was the beginning of the end, the climax. The song starts ( and sets the climax. Brilliant thought.

The story and characters, all have their own strong perspectives. In their fragile mental status too, they hold on to their belief of what is "right". Pretty much how many of the reviewers have strongly shared their views on the movie, the makers of the movie, the way it portrayed what apparently happened with Haider. Realistic imaginations of fictional characters, I presume. Nothing else, specifically comes to my mind, which drew my attention for an extra thought. Except, perhaps insertion of Salman Bhai caricatures. I may write some more on them and on other facets of the movie, after my second watch! Yes, I loved the movie. Before I end this write up, I would like to share an adaptation by an artist of an original form ( and his perspective on it. I love the original. I love this adaptation too. I do not expect or anticipate everyone who reads this piece to agree, disagree or debate with me. However, if at all anyone would like to, s/he is welcome. My response to them though, is optional J.


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