‘Haider is relevant today’

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There was a general hum of excitement in the conference hall at The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai, as the press eagerly awaited the arrival of the stars of Haider, Vishal Bharadwaj’s third venture into the Shakespearean era. Enter Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor, with warm smiles and proceeded to answer everyone’s questions with great enthusiasm.

 ‘Haider is a movie that is very relevant today, considering the fact that it was shot in Kashmir. It’s an honest movie, made from the heart and revolves around a lot of themes. It’s based more prominently on revenge and also explores intense family dynamics’, said Shahid, as he explained the theme on which Haider was shot. This is the third movie of its kind to be adapted by Vishal Bharadwaj from one of Shakeapeare’s infamous work, Hamlet, with his previous two critically acclaimed movies Omkara (based on Othello) and Maqbool (based on Macbeth).

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When asked about the challenges faced by the actors while shooting the movie, both physical and from the psychological point of view, said Shahid, ‘To begin with, it was really, really cold! I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes and for a lot of shots I wasn’t sure if I was emoting as I am required to because of the extreme weather. I also had to wear contact lenses because as a Kashmiri, I was supposed to have lighter coloured eyes and that was something I had to endure while giving the expressions for the camera. Even when it came to dance sequences , I had to make sure that the audience saw Haider dancing and not Shahid dancing. This has definitely been the most challenging role of my career. All through the duration of shooting the film, my family expressed concern because I was, apparently not myself and I’d become another person altogether. But this was the journey for me to find Haider. To be Haider. And I hope I’ve done justice to him.’

One could see the genuine Arshia shine through Shraddha Kapoor as she proceeded to explain her role in the movie. ‘For me, this is probably the most important film so far in my career. Even today, it’s a very unreal feeling to be cast by Vishal Bharadwaj. He is such an amazing director and he has made so many actors’ careers through his films. While in the play, Ophelia is Hamlet’s lover and Horatio his friend, Vshal ji has incorporated both these characters into my role to make Arshia, Haider’s love interest and his best friend. I play the role of a Kashmiri journalist who is so passionate about her job that she isn’t willing to even spare her family, if they are in the wrong. My character is nothing like what I’ve done in any of my films before. It’s been great.’

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To wrap up the conference, Shahid was requested to reprise the iconic moment in the trailer, where he is addressing the audience using the noose around his neck as a microphone. And he stepped up to the occasion being the sporting individual that he is, with his audience cheering him on as he did it.

Will Vishal Bharadwaj create another masterpiece and will Haider make a mark in the hearts of the audience? If you’re wondering whether ‘to see or not to see’ , Haider releases all over UAE on the 2nd of October. We recommend that you do !

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