Bang Bang…. Just half a bang for your money..

MUMBAI: Don’t try to relate the title with what is going in the film. It’s a film about a man on a mission and being a Hindi film there has to be a pretty woman accompanying him so that they can fit in some song and dance routine.

Hrithik Roshan’s assignment is to steal the Kohinoor diamond from under the nose of the British authorities. The word spreads and Danny Denzongpa and Pawan Arora, who were planning to steal it too, find out about his mission. They think since now it is with Hrithik, it would be easier for them to lay their hands on the diamond.

But the job is not as easy as Danny thought it would be. After all, Hrithik is an ex-army man and proficient in Kung Fu as well as gunfighting. Besides, he is an ace swimmer and knows every stunt in the book and then some more. As usual, Danny’s goons chase him in dozens on roads as well as in the sea. Hrithik finishes them all.

Katrina Kaif, Hrithik’s companion, has no alternative but to stay with Hrithik because the villains have seen her with him and may use her as a bait to lure him.

Hrithik was serving in Kargil when his brother, Jimmy Shergill, was killed by Danny. He leaves the army to join the Indian secret service. He knows Danny’s informers are in the service. The story of Kohinoor is concocted with the help of British secret service, MI6. That way Danny would come to find Hrithik rather than the other way around.

But, Danny, who makes an appearance in the beginning, vanishes until much later leaving the task of finishing Hrithik to his goons. Pawan Arora is also involved and plants a device to see where Katrina meets Hrithik. That turns out to be exactly what Hrithik wanted. When the cops arrive with Pawan and his goons, Hrithik, though shot, escapes after leaving the diamond on the spot. Katrina is kidnapped and Danny is livid because the Kohinoor he got from her is a fake.

Hrithik traces Katrina to Danny’s den. He has come equipped with enough material to blow up Danny’s palace.  Danny escapes to felicitate a final chase, first on road and later in water when Danny is escaping in a sea plane. Hrithik fells the sea plane with harpoon shots. The plane is on fire. Hrithik enters to save the handcuffed Karina and leaves Danny to die the same way he killed Shergill.

There is nothing about the film one has not watched in recent past. In fact, it can be called a bad version of Ek Tha Tiger. There is not much happening in the first half. Second half is aboutchases and gun fights. The script is weak. Direction is passable. Cinematography is good. Couple of songs have appeal. Hrithik and Katrina make an attractive pair. It is nice to see Danny and Pawan after some time. 

Producer: Fox Star Studios.

Direction: Siddharth Anand.

Cast: Hrithink Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Danny Denzongpa, Pawan Arora, Jaaved Jaffrey, Jimmy Shergil, Dipti Naval, Kanwaljit Singh.

Haider …. RIP Shakespeare!

Vishal Bhardwaj is a man who sources his films from Shakespeare. For him, it works well because there is no copyright and no price to pay and he can pretend to be intellectual. Sadly, his intellectualism costs crores to unqualified corporate houses, that want to be in the film business. In Haider, Bhardwaj adapts Shakespeare’s Hamlet. To say that he does no justice to the original and road rolls it would be an understatement.

It is hard to call when the last film that was based on a regional problem worked at the box office. Haider is about a family’s Kashmir problem—and yet it has nothing to do with Kashmir. It is in fact about a family feud, sex, disloyalty and incest. It is a film with little by way of script. Haider takes all sorts of liberties, twists the script to its convenience and, in the process, and makes a joke of its writer, director and actors.

Terrorism is the rule of the land in Kashmir and the young Haider, Shahid Kapur, is already embroiled in it when his mother, Tabu, discovers a pistol in his school bag, a way to show that Shahid has been initiated into terrorism. That too without a cause or a reason—those follow only much later when his father, whom he adores, is killed for being an accomplice of terrorists.

That moment comes when Shahid returns from studies in Aligarh. He finds his family devastated: his father has been killed and he realises that his mother has been sleeping with his Chahcha who actually got his father killed.

But instead of taking out his anger on his mother or uncle, he conveniently becomes a terrorist. In this cock and bull story, if you are angry with your mother, you take it out on your motherland, dig? Because Shahid’s mother, Tabu, sleeps around with his uncle, Kay Kay Menon, he becomes a terrorist only to kill them. No matter that terrorism means killing your own countrymen.

Sadly, nowhere does the film match Indian sensibilities. The script is such a chalta-hai kind it changes tone with every scene. It takes the viewer to be a total moron. The Indian army has been shown in bad light throughout. The Kashmiris are shown in bad light with no sense of their priorities.

With this kind of a story, the actors have little to work with. Shahid is totally at loss with whatever he is doing. Most of the time, he is made to act like a lunatic. Shraddha Kapoor appears at the whim and fancy of the director. Tabu’s character is ill-defined. That you don’t know if she is in love or is a nymphomaniac; she even kisses her son on the lips. As for Tabu and Menon’s relationship, it is still not okay with the Indian audience especially since he keeps referring to her as ‘Bhbhijaan’.

As for the script, Haider is poor; its adaptation of Hamlet is pathetic. There is no direction worth its name. The musical score is poor. Editing does not exist. The background score is monotonous. Dialogue, for a Shakespeare drama, is a let-down.

Haider is a big let-down commercially.

Producers: Vishal Bhardwaj, UTV Motion Pictures.

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj.

Cast: Tabu, Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Khan, Narednra Jha, Aamir Bashir. 

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