Verdict: A beautiful take on a perverse reality.
It has happened. Nawazuddin Siddiqui has finally been overshadowed by another actor in a movie. Vicky Kaushal couldn’t do it, Arbaaz Khan couldn’t do it, even Irrfan Khan fell short while working with the actor. And now, the Nawaz has been trumped by none other than a child. In Haraamkhor, Siddiqui plays his creepiest role till date. Think Ramanna from Raman Raghav 2.0, and this one is still more disturbing. Partly because here, the character is not a psychopath like in the other movie. He is a regular school teacher, in an irregular relationship with his teenage student. Yes, Haraamkhor deals with a very sordid topic, and portrays it fairly realistically.
Kamal (Irfan Khan) and Mintu (Mohd Samad) are the best of friends. Kamal has a crush on his classmate Sandhya (Shweta Tripathi), but she likes someone else. It is later revealed that Sandhya and her professor Shyam (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) are in a relationship. Shyam is married, and his wife is oblivious to his extra-marital affair. Sandhya is confused about her relation with her professor, as well as with her father, who is rarely around. As her mother left her in her childhood, she has no adult figure to fall upon. Shyam takes advantage of this and continues the affair, till a pregnancy scare makes him end things with Sandhya. Meanwhile, Kamal with the help of the mischievous Mintu, is trying to get Sandhya to reciprocate his feelings.
The film mainly deals with the lives of the three teenagers. Two stories run parallel – one dealing with the teacher-student relationship, and the other revolving around the boys’ antics. While one talks about a fairly grim topic, and the other is meant as a comic relief. However, the boys are the highlight of the film. The actors strike an amazing chemistry, and their friendship would give you some serious goals. Mohd Samad kills you with his hilarious charm, and we’d love to see more of this young star on screen. Shweta Tripathi also plays her part well and manages to get the right amount of sympathy for her character. She’s not the one you’d feel sorry for, rather the character you come to admire.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui undoubtedly pulls off his part effortlessly. Creepy roles are somewhat his forte now, and there’s nothing about him in Haraamkhor that you haven’t seen before. Rather, it is Mohd Samad who not only melts your heart, but also keeps you entertained till the very end. The cinematography and editing of the movie seem a little shaky in places, but that has been done on purpose to blend in with the crude, rural atmosphere as well as storyline. What we love is that the story isn’t portrayed in a grim manner. It takes no sides, and is shown as realistically as it happens. This makes a great watch, as the audience is finally given the opportunity to think for themselves, rather than follow in the footsteps of a larger-than-life superstar. It is simple, entertaining, and very dark for a comedy drama.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
For once, don’t watch a movie for the actor playing it. Give this film a try, and you will be awed by the performances of the young stars. The story is dark, the ending is not happy, but the journey is highly entertaining as well as educating about an issue that is not often spoken about.