This is one film stuck in the pipeline for a very long time. Particularly for dealing with a sensitive issue - the projection of Kashmir. Actor Aamir Bashir who is at director's mantle for this one uses personal experiences, for being a Kashmiri himself, to bring out authenticity in the portrayal of the lives of Kashmiris. Whether it makes an impact or not let's find out.
Harud, meaning autumn depicts the decaying state of Kashmir through the eyes of Rafiq (Shahnawaz Bhat), a young man caught between the crossroads of extremism of violence and peace. The story revolves around his failed attempt to infiltrate into Pakistani militant outfit. Back home in the bleak conditions of Kashmir Rafiq copes with a lot of problems. The disappearance of his brother, his mother's false hopes of his brother returning, his father's deteriorating mental condition owing to the violent times of Kashmir render him disturbed and clueless.
Aamir Bashir's Harud has been in the pipelines since quite a few years and has been doing the rounds of film festivals for quite some time. The filmmaker tries really hard to portray the plight of the Kashmiris in a layered art-house fashion. And in the process reduces his film to appearing long drawn and garbled to many. The conditions of Kashmir have always been mooted and Aamir's symbolical and metaphorical representation only makes it further confusing.
There are multiple layers of meaning right from the title Harud, which not only denote the season but also the bleak, brooding times it brings about. There are constant references to bard wires, bloodshed etc denoting the conditions. However, one really has to pay magnanimous effort to decode the intentions of Bashir resulting in a strenuous watch. There are far too many long drawn shots, camera lingering over one scene for way too long. The jump cuts within scenes also render the film all the more confusing.
Shahnawaz Bhat appears with one expression through the film. His single stark expression adds to the annoyance of the viewer. He doesn't quite get many dialogues in the film as well so much so that for the initial bits you wonder whether he is shown mute or not. Mohammad Amir Naji who plays the father however does a brilliant job in portraying a mentally disturbed father.
To sum it up, Harud, is pointlessly complicated and garbled. It ends up becoming a wannabe intellectual affair.
Critic: Mansha Rastogi
(2 / 5) : Average