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Decoding success of 'Haider'

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Decoding success of 'Haider'

Post by -*Fenil*- on 2014-10-20, 10:46

Shahid Kapoor -starrer " Haider " -- a modern-day
adaptation of "Hamlet" with Kashmir as its
backdrop -- has achieved many milestones. It has
become the first Kashmir-based film in many
years to click with the audience, acclaimed
director Vishal Bharadwaj's first golden goose,
and has reportedly been declared the fifth
highest-rated crime drama of all times. Bravo!
The adaptation of William Shakespeare's tragedy,
which is centred on a young man whose life is
destroyed by fate, has not only crossed the
Rs.50-crore mark, but the Rs.22-crore film has
recovered its cost and is still counting. Bhardwaj
co-produced the film with UTV.
But the success of " Haider ", where sufferings in
the Kashmir Valley seethe through each frame,
makes one wonder why a non-formulaic drama
sans any fluff is flying so high at the box office?
Trade analysts say content and word of mouth
have done wonders for " Haider ", catapulting it
into a gold spinner. Also, the way Bhardwaj has
merged the Shakespearean tragedy with the
political conflict, it resonated with the audience,
they said.
Punit Sahay, senior manager programming and
operations, Spice Cinemas, admits that the film's
box office performance has defied the general
perception about the movie.
"People didn't expect it to do well because it's for
a specific audience. But the word-of-mouth is
really strong."
"Now, most people are going for ' Haider ' first and
'Bang Bang!' later. I've spoken to a few people
after watching the movie, and they said that the
performance was really good -- something that
they were not expecting from Shahid Kapoor and
Shraddha Kapoor . And people generally like Vishal
Bhardwaj's films. He makes good movies," Sahay
told IANS.
Bhardwaj's passion for the craft reflects in each
of his narratives, but " Haider ", his third film
based on Shakespearean dramas after
" Omkara " ("Othello") and "Maqbool" ("Macbeth"),
is different as it broke the myth that such films
can win appreciation, but not big bucks.
Set in insurgency-hit Kashmir in the mid-1990s,
the film has raised the bar for others who are
attempting a serious drama in the same league.
Rajesh Thadani of Multimedia Combines sums up
its success, saying: "It's a sensible film and the
subject has been handled well. Right choices of
actors and good music have worked in its favour.
The content is really strong, plus it is Vishal
Bhardwaj's film."
The intensity and information in the revenge
drama is close to reality, thanks to journalist
Basharat Peer, who teamed up with Bhardwaj to
pen the script of " Haider ". Peer himself hails from
Bhardwaj's storytelling got ample support from
his powerful cast -- Shahid, Tabu , Kay Kay
Menon and Irrfan Khan .
Amrita Pandey, vice president and head
(Marketing and Distribution), Studios, Disney
India, said that ever since the film's first promos
came out, it connected with the audience by
arousing their curiosity.
"And when the film came out, people connected
with the family drama. Ever since it was screened,
it phenomenally and unanimously received a
positive response," Pandey told IANS.
She too admits that phenomenal word of mouth
played an important role in taking it to a wider
"It was widely discussed on Twitter. The
discussion on Twitter was the measurement of
sentiments about the film," she added.
Distributor Rakesh Sippy feels that apart from the
strong script and performances, "the fact that it
was shot in Kashmir has made a difference".
"The word-of-mouth was so strong. You feel like
you shouldn't miss it," he added.
Atypical " Haider " came along with typical
potboiler "Bang Bang!", which had saleable names
like Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif . But the
larger-than-life big budget drama couldn't cast a
shadow on " Haider ".
The five-day long Dussehra weekend was like a
blessing in disguise for both the releases, allowing
them enough breathing space to find their
audience and connect with them.
"There is always an audience for every film. Be it
comedy or dark genre, people need to connect
with the film and the audience was able to do so
with ' Haider '. The acting and script are of
superior quality," PVR Pictures' chief operating
officer Deepak Sharma told IANS.
In fact, Shahid, who has been waiting for a big hit
for some time, too takes pride in being part great
cinema. "So haider becomes the 5th highest rated
Crime drama of all time... And the highest rated
Hindi movie on IMDb woahhh," he tweeted.
Even before the film had released, Bhardwaj's
wife and renowned singer Rekha had said that
"' Haider ' is the best film of Vishal's career."
It seems now everyone is on the same page with
Rekha, who has sung the song "Aaj ke naam" in
the film.

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