In this article, we delve into a comprehensive review of “Haddi,” a film that brings a unique perspective to the forefront. Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and featuring a surprising performance by Anurag Kashyap, “Haddi” is a noteworthy addition to the world of cinema. Despite a few flaws, it manages to stand out with its intriguing narrative and strong character portrayals.
“Haddi,” also known as Hari or Harika (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui), is a trans person entangled in a world of shadows and secrets. When he crosses paths with a dangerous syndicate, he decides to collaborate with them, but his motives run deeper than they seem. As the story unfolds, Haddi’s true intentions become apparent, leading to a gripping tale of revenge and redemption.
Directed by Akshat Ajay Sharma, who has been influenced by the Anurag Kashyap School of Cinema, “Haddi” explores the life of a trans individual with depth and sensitivity. Unlike traditional portrayals of trans characters as mere antagonists or outsiders, this film treats Haddi’s journey as a central and relatable narrative. The depiction of Haddi’s romantic relationship is a significant milestone, presenting it as normal, regardless of gender identity.
The script successfully balances its violence, keeping it more conceptual than graphic. It carefully constructs multi-dimensional characters, a trait reminiscent of Anurag Kashyap’s work. The film’s empathetic tone effectively navigates the morally ambiguous world it portrays.
However, the flashback sequences in the script tend to veer into soap opera territory, undermining the overall narrative. The romance, while crucial, feels superficial, lacking the depth needed to support the story’s nuances.
The debate around casting real trans individuals in trans roles remains relevant. While casting a cis-gendered actor in the lead role for star power is understandable, there was an opportunity to include transgender actors in secondary roles, which the filmmakers missed. Ila Arun’s presence in the movie adds depth, but the inclusion of a real transgender woman could have enriched the cast further.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s performance in “Haddi” marks a return to the heartfelt roles he excelled in. While not flawless, it showcases his versatility as an actor, breathing life into a character few could have imagined him playing. Anurag Kashyap’s portrayal of the antagonist is refreshingly original. He crafts a unique villain, drawing inspiration from pulp antagonists, contemporary politics, and societal dynamics. His performance strikes a balance between eccentricity and menace, leaving a lasting impression.
The supporting cast also delivers commendable performances, contributing to the film’s overall impact.
Direction and Music
Akshat Ajay Sharma’s direction demonstrates a keen eye for visuals. Collaborating with cinematographers Piyush Puty and Jay Oza, the film utilizes lighting effectively to create captivating frames. However, the climax feels disconnected from the rest of the narrative, adopting a soap opera-like tone that detracts from the film’s organic flow.
The music by Rohan Rohan offers a fresh and non-stereotypical soundtrack. While it may take time to grow on the audience, Rekha Bharadwaj’s soulful track stands out.
In conclusion, “Haddi” is an intriguing and thought-provoking film that challenges stereotypes and offers a unique perspective on trans individuals. It boasts strong performances from Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Anurag Kashyap and showcases promising directorial talent in Akshat Ajay Sharma. Despite its flaws, “Haddi” is worth watching for its compelling narrative and character portrayals.