Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Writer: William Shakespeare (based on the play “Hamlet” by), Basharat Peer (screenplay), Vishal Bhardwaj (screenplay), Vishal Bhardwaj (dialogue)
Stars: Tabu, Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon
Runtime: 160 min
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance
Synopsis: Set in the year 1995 in the valley of Kashmir, the movie is Vishal Bharadwaj’s own adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. A humanitarian and peace-loving doctor who does his profession with honesty is doing his duty in saving the life of a militant. For this act of harboring a terrorist the army and the police department arrest him and lodge him in their control with no traces left of his identity. The doctor’s son tries his best to find out his father, but is shocked to find the reality of the incidents that happened to this effect, about his mother and his paternal uncle. What happens thereon makes Haider’s melancholia.
In 1995, during the insurgency in Kashmir, Hilaal Meer (Narendra Jha), a doctor, agrees to perform an appendectomy on the leader of a pro-separatist militant group. To avoid detection, he performs the surgery at his house, much to the chagrin of his wife Ghazala (Tabu), who questions his allegiance. The following day, during a military raid, Hilaal is accused of harbouring terrorists. A shootout ensues at his home, during which the leader of the separatist group is killed and Hilaal is taken away for questioning. The doctor’s house is bombed subsequently to kill any other militant hiding inside. Several days later, Hilaal and Ghazala’s son, Haider (Shahid Kapoor), returns from his Aligarh Muslim University to seek answers about his father’s disappearance. Upon arrival, he is shocked to find his mother singing and laughing along with her brother-in-law, Khurram (Kay Kay Menon). Unable to understand his mother’s behaviour, he begins searching for his father in various police stations and detention camps with the help of his childhood sweetheart Arshi (Shraddha Kapoor), a journalist.
Saddened by the growing closeness between Ghazala and Khurram, and unable to find any leads, Haider begins to lose hope. However, Arshi encounters a stranger, Roohdar, who asks her to inform Haider that he will be able to provide information about Hilaal. Haider contacts Roohdar (Irrfan), who turns out to be part of a separatist group. Roohdar then narrates the story of how he met Hilaal in one of the detention centers, where they both were tortured. Hilaal attributes his imprisonment to his brother, Khurram. Roohdaar then tells the story of how Haider’s father was brutally murdered by Khurram’s made up terrorist group and how he survived after being shot and thrown into the river, which stopped his bleeding and allowed him to escape. Roohdaar then tells Haider that he simply wanted to pass on his father’s message to him: revenge for Khurram’s betrayal.
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