- Controversy is the favourite love child of Bollywood – the film industry believes that all publicity is good publicity. So if the recent Shahid Kapoor starrer film Haider co-scripted by the celebrated genius Vishal Bhardwaj and Kashmir separatist ideologue Basharat Peer ran into a whole lot of controversy, the film makers probably expected that this would work in favour of the movie and its box office fortunes.
- However the controversies, the criticism of the film’s Anti India message, the trouble with censors and the famous 41 cuts made to the film as well as the acres of media reportage devoted to the various controversies surrounding the film seem not to have helped the fortunes of the film.
- Haider has done average business at the box office, and the verdict of the trade pundits is that the film has done “Below Average” business at the office. While some have labeled the film Anti-Muslim, others have called it Anti-Hindu; both tags seemed to worked against the success of the film. The film, made at the relatively modest budget of Rs 37 crore, has not yet broken even; India collections till date are Rs 19.45 crore with worldwide collections only crossing the take, Rs 21 crore mark (Source – Financial Express).
- Critics have also leveled the charge that the film is slow in parts, and that it drags; that the running time of nearly 3 hours is rather much to sit through.
- The hashtag #BoycottHaider has gained tremendous popularity on social networking sites such as Facebook at Twitter mainly because of the negative portrayal of the Indian military in the film. The average Indian netizen is just not content to have the army and the air force portrayed in a poor light; particularly when the Indian soldier suffers tremendous hardships and makes daily sacrifices in the line of duty to protect all Indians, bar none.
- There was a strong tide of support for the #BoycottHaider hashtag on Twitter with people supporting the boycott for reasons ranging from solidarity for the army, to Vishal Bhardwaj’s Anti-Modi stance to Basharat Peer’s anti-Indian ideologies.
- Twitter wars were either personal attacks or criticism for a movie that has show the Indian army in a poor light. “@shahidkapoor will earn crores defaming army while our army men die everyday to protect India #BoycottHaider,” said one tweet; “Why such films r allowed 2be made in country that glorify terror,separatists&on anti army theme, we d people must not watch #BoycottHaider” said another; “Any movie that sympathises with terrorists, glorifies them; insults Indian Army & justifies ethnic cleansing,goes to the bin. #BoycottHaider” said yet another. (Source – First Post)
- The film has also been criticised for ignoring the painful narrative of the exiled Kashmiri Pandits; and of glossing over the kind of terror campaigns unleashed against the common Kashmiris by vested interests (Pakistan and separatists).
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