New song from Haider shows Shahid, Shraddha heating things up in snowy Kashmir
Just after the news came out that Vishal Bharadwaj's Haider has endured 41 cuts to make it acceptable to the censor board (and presumably the tender sensibilities of Indian audiences), a new romantic number from the film has been released. 'Khul Kabhi Toh' is sung by Arijit Singh and shows Haider (Shahid Kapoor) and Arshia (Shraddha Kapoor) frolicking in snowy Kashmir. They're well swaddled in woollies, but not wanting to leave anything to chance, they rely rather heavily on passion-induced body heat to keep themselves feeling toasty.
Kapoor's Arshia is director Bharadwaj and screenwriter and journalist Basharat Peer's interpretation of Ophelia. In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ophelia is a delicate and frail heroine who is best remembered because of how classical painters have imagined her suicide (her body is found floating down a river). The play sees Ophelia driven mad with grief when Hamlet kills her father. There are also suggestions that Hamlet took her virginity.
In Haider, Arshia isn't the easily-ordered puppet that Ophelia was. She's a journalist and according to Peer, her character is a mix of the original Ophelia and Horatio, who is Hamlet's friend and the truth-teller in the play. Considering Peer's years as a journalist, Arshia's character should provide an interesting perspective to the turbulent politics that are the backdrop to Haider.
As is obvious from "Khul Kabhi Toh", there's nothing about the romance between Arshia and Haider that traumatises Bollywood's Ophelia. Gulzar's lyrics have a male voice (presumably Haider's) pleading his beloved to open up to him and as the video suggests, Arshia's happy to oblige.
One of the cuts that the CBFC had demanded from Haider was a shot of a bare back and we're presuming it was Kapoor's. From the look of the lovemaking that hasn't been edited (hallelujah!) from "Khul Kabhi Toh", we can only wonder just how scandalous that bare back was. Of course, if Arshia suffers Ophelia's fate, then all the loving lip locks and sweet romance is going to feel much more heartbreaking.
Haider releases on October 2nd.
Updated Date: Sep 10, 2014 10:01:50 IST