With recent content, the spotlight has increasingly turned towards inclusivity and the LGBTQAI+ community within the Indian entertainment industry. Following Sushmita Sen's groundbreaking performance in 'Taali,' we now see Nawazuddin Siddiqui, under the direction of Akshat Ajay Sharma, delving into the role of a transgender character. Adding to the intrigue, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap makes an extended cameo appearance, pitting his acting prowess against Nawaz's in the film. The question arises: do Nawaz and Anurag, in their collaboration once more, manage to weave their cinematic magic? Here are my thoughts on the film.
Plot and Screenplay
"Haddi" revolves around the life of Harika, a transgender who discovers her true identity and is embraced by Revathy Amaa (Ila Arun) into her gharana, a sanctuary for transgender individuals. As Harika's life seems to be on a joyful path, with her upcoming wedding to her lover Irfan (Zeeshan Ayyub), a shocking incident unfolds that pushes her into a dark and tumultuous journey, pitting her against the politician Pramod (Anurag Kashyap). Akshat Ajay Sharma's editing skills appear to fall short in "Haddi." The first half, while attempting to build anticipation for the unfolding narrative, loses its way, leaving viewers somewhat bewildered. It's only after the first half that you start to piece together the events and comprehend the storyline. With its intense violence, gruesome scenes, and a somber atmosphere, the film demands a considerable amount of emotional investment and energy to connect all the dots.
The entire story of "Haddi" is a slow build-up, leading you to one pivotal moment: the eagerly anticipated climax. It's the moment that promises to tie everything together and make sense of the entire narrative. However, disappointingly, the climax falls short of expectations, leaving you questioning everything you've witnessed and absorbed. Anurag Kashyap, portraying the arrogant politician, maintains a constant, almost villainous laughter throughout, akin to the character Ravaan. With a few straightforward and predictable twists, the ending lacks the stylish flair one might hope for, resulting in a conclusion that is far from the satisfying resolution one had hoped for.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui wasted for a bad script
Despite the shortcomings in the film's treatment, Nawazuddin Siddiqui once again demonstrates his enduring talent and dominance in the realm of acting. Nawazuddin embodies the mannerisms of a 'kinnar' flawlessly, from his gait to his hand gestures. His portrayal is not only aesthetically pleasing but also flawlessly executed with unwavering conviction. He reaffirms the significance of the dialogue 'Mai marti nahi,' and it's his exceptional acting prowess that breathes life into this imperfect cinematic venture, showcasing his enduring prowess in the world of acting.
Talking about the man- Anurag Kashyap, this time not at the director's seat but presenting his own act. He embodies grumpiness, villainy, and wit as demanded by the role. While he fulfills the character's requirements, one can't help but feel that his true forte lies in directing. Zeeshan Ayyub, portraying 'Irfan,' provides strong support to Harika's character and delivers a commendable performance. Additionally, the supporting cast, including Ila Arun, Rajesh Kumar, and Saurabh Sachdeva, contribute effectively to the narrative, portraying their roles with sincerity.
BGM and Setting
The film's setting deserves special recognition for its meticulous attention to detail. It fearlessly portrays the incineration of entire dead bodies, the remnants of deceased individuals, and various gory elements, all highlighted to create a strikingly realistic and compelling atmosphere. The film masterfully constructs its locales, from the factory to the mafia-controlled lands and the village, immersing the audience in a believable world. The background music effectively heightens tension but occasionally becomes overly loud. Regrettably, some of the added songs, while attempting to evoke emotions, end up becoming rather dreary and vexatious, detracting from the overall experience instead of enhancing its emotional depth.
Amidst violence, gruesome scenes, and a somber atmosphere, "Haddi" stands as a fleshless narrative, finding coherence primarily through Nawazuddin Siddiqui's outstanding performance, supported by the ensemble cast. Its complexity places it outside the realm of mass appeal, catering to a more niche audience.
**(2/5) starsALSO READ: Nawzuddin had a hurt ankle, Anurag had a hurt shoulder & knee while shooting for 'Haddi' climax -Akshat