Haraamkhor Review by Renuka Vyavahare on The Times Of India
Haraamkhor addresses a significant issue without taking sides and that’s commendable. Sadly, the righteous social awareness disclaimers that appear frequently during the ‘diluted controversial’ scenes, do not embody the film’s dark humour or audacious nature. The jumpy narrative leaves a lot unanswered, making you feel indifferent towards the characters. It’s nice when a filmmaker leaves certain things to the audience’s interpretation but Shlok Sharma expects way too much from his unsuspecting viewer. It’s tiresome to fill in the blanks after a while. Those who have seen the film at a festival claim that a few scenes have been cut and what you get is a water-down version. Whatever the reason, they seem disconnected and that puts you off.
Haraamkhor Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express
Sandhya’s character is the most fleshed out, and Tripathi makes the most of her confused angry fifteen year old, seething with resentment and longing, looking for love. I found Siddiqui muted though, coming through only in a couple of scenes, telegraphing a randiness his character needed more of to be entirely credible. Trimala Adhikari, as Siddiqui’s wife, impresses: she is both sympathetic and suspicious, and rightly so. Two young boys (Mohammad Samad and Irfan Khan) act as a narrative thread, spying on, and intersecting with the doings of Sandhya and Shyam: the former is just your quintessential little busy-body ; the latter has feelings for the girl. They provide amusement, especially Samad, but some of their banter seems to be played just for laughs. Overall, despite some strong moments, the film suffers from slightness and disjointedness: did the censorship process snip off more than we could chew? Was there more? A second film from the clearly talented Sharma will give us a clue.
Review by Rohit Bhatnagar on Deccan Chronicle
Nawazzudin Siddiqui is undoubtedly a master of his craft. His aggression and agony will win your heart. His performance is admirable in a few scenes where he teases Sandhya before making love to her. The way he carries himself as a lusty school teacher is commendable. The scene where he suddenly slips in and out of his violent character is remarkable. His performance is a joy to watch in every single frame of the film. After garnering so much fame with Masaan, newbie Shweta Tripathi surely deserves a standing ovation for her performance in the film. She pulled off the role of a fifteen-year-old girl discovering herself with great conviction. Trimala Adhikari and the two kids Mohd Samad and Irfan Khan are praiseworthy.
Review by Sreeju Sudhakaran on Bollywood Life
Haraamkhor is definitely not everyone’s cup thanks to its gritty subject. However it is not exactly a fantastic piece of art either, even though it had the potential to be one. But thanks to the spectacular performances of Nawazuddin, Tripathi and the kids, Haraamkhor can be an uncomfortable one-time watch.
Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
If nothing else, Haraamkhor is a triumph of casting. Every actor is perfectly suited for his/her part. The two young actors, Irfan and Samad, are outstanding, as are the older members of the cast – Trimala Adhikari and Harish Khanna. Haraamkhor isn’t a ground-breaker, but it certainly is worthy of applause for its fearlessness and for the impressive quality of the acting.
Review by Mayank Shekhar on Mid-Day India
As per Urban Dictionary, HK, or ‘haramkhor’, is some someone who gets kicks out of doing something he’s not supposed to. In that sense, this film isn’t an incessantly dark one on exploitation, and a minor’s sex abuse, as it were. Or even something salacious, or simplistic enough to look at how this odd sort of bond, which is essentially a taboo, pans out, at home, in class, or elsewhere.
Review by IANS on Zeenews
It is this absence of straitjacketed characters and a refusal to let the people who populate the dusty town in the pre-cellphone era off the hook, that lend a kind of provocative intrigue to the proceedings, even when towards the finale, the plot spins out of control to create a dark, brooding tragedy that mocks the every essence of existence in such back-of-the-beyond places where survival is never about the best options. See “Haraamkhor” for its original and audacious content and for the way the debutant director extracts a gush of empathy from these bored characters even during their worst moments. Love, we always knew, as redemptive. But lust needn’t be all that bad either.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
In fact, the whole story is innocently told through Kamal and Mintu’s point of view. They witness everything and begin to hate the teacher. They annoy him and annoy him and then annoy him some more until there is only one way out. And it will shock you more than Nawazuddin raising his hand to the schoolgirls. Those of us living in sanitised urban surroundings will wince at the casualness of the violence in film. You will worry for the young Sandhya who casually eats ice cream, teasing and provoking Shyam when she should be worried for her physical safety. You’ll instantly hate Sandhya’s dad and his girlfriend. You will laugh nervously at the jokes cracked by the Kamal and Mintu, and you will have all kinds of premonitions about the end. And yet when the end comes, you will wish you had not seen it coming.
Review by Vishal Verma on Glamsham
Nawaz is a gifted actor but here his ill defined character restricts the audience to have any connect. Shweta who initially charms her way into the audience suddenly finds herself left out with no mercy due to her characters unexplained choice. This proves that no matter how good as an actor you are if the character is not established and defined well then the audience’s connect is minimum. After the insipid scripting, the lack of connection of Nawaz and Shweta with the audience becomes the movie’s biggest drawback. Further during the climax when we pray that this tepidly misguided attempt will reach to some conclusion, a dark, abrupt end makes the matter worse leaving the audience in confusion whether to scratch their brains or tear the screen in which they have just seen HARAMKHOR – ironically, the makers have managed to objectify the movie’s title in the end. BRAVO. What an art!!
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
At 31, Shweta Tripathi internalises the emotions of a character who is half her age so immaculately, it’s difficult to imagine anyone else essaying the role. While 15-year-olds may be considered minors, it doesn’t undermine their ability to feel and experience. It is an age when one pines for adulthood and hopes to rush into it as a means for validation and Tripathi’s character summarises this aptly. Nawazuddin Siddiqui has played a range of characters in films but none have extracted as much from him. Here, he is able to convey his character’s mind space, sometimes even wordlessly. Trimala Adhikari, who plays his screen wife, effectively channels compassion, concern, jealousy and even disgust at various points in the film. Both Mohammad Samad and Irfan Khan are a delight to watch and their characters have been assigned sufficient pranks to diffuse the tension in the film. Haraamkhor may not be a film that sets a cinematic benchmark but it is an important one as it dares to explore a forbidden subject, without condemning or legitimising it.
Review by Devarsi Ghosh on India Today
Speaking of career haraamkhor, you have seen Nawazuddin Siddiqui play opportunist, conniving characters before (Talaash, Miss Lovely, Badlapur, Raman Raghav 2.0 even the ‘family film’ Freaky Ali) and each time he has added enough rough edges to make you feel like each avatar is fresh. Be that as it may, by playing the superhuman-among-lesser-humans character time and again, Nawazuddin has perfected and sharpened his tools as an actor to such an extent, that to match the street-smart evil in his eyes and the daredevilry in his gait in Haraamkhor would require the kind of actor who has definitely not stepped up on the Indian big screen yet. There is a lot to love and lot to notice in Haraamkhor. The film is like a diamond; the more you notice, the more you find imperfections which make it all the more beautiful, all the more perfect. Just one advice: Don’t take your jaanu to watch it with you, it is not a date movie.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
At the outset, let us warn you that the film is not for everyone. The track between Shyam and Sandhya will make you feel creepy as hell and thankfully, director Shlok Sharma has diluted the effect by juxtaposing this narrative with the story of Kamal, whose puppy love seems pure and eternal and like a breath of fresh air when compared to Shyam’s dubious affection for his student. Classroom crushes have always been looked at patronizingly by everyone, but this film will make one sit up and think about the potential for manipulation in such cases. To Sharma’s credit, he could have made the film preachy, but he chose to skirt the moral science lesson and present a story, which may not be palatable, but is sure as hell capable of making an impact while evoking some chuckles on the way.
Review by Kriti Tulsiani on News18
The well-thought casting of the film pulls the narrative forward despite its sluggish plot. The subject is pretty relevant and one would have expected a lot of dark scenes in the film – but to a viewer’s disappointment – it offers none of those. Shlok Sharma has treated the subject with sheer sensitivity but ended up leaving a lot to viewers’ interpretation and imagination and after a while, even a viewer tires of filling the blank spaces. Haraamkhor is a well-intentioned film which deals with a socially relevant subject and for that we give it a thumbs up. But the fact that its makers couldn’t use the subject to its full potential leaves you a little empty towards the end.
Review by Rohit Vats on Hindustan Times
The concept of protected childhood is not heard here. Sandhya’s juvenile behavior and urge to understand her body better are visible. The shaky camera and wide minimalist frames make her life seem even lonelier. It’s a role Tripathi should be proud of. Masaan was no fluke. Brave and original, Haraamkhor walks the razor’s edge. One tiny mistake, and it could have been pronounced morally twisted. Some may call it immoral even now. However, Haraamkhor is one film you just shouldn’t miss, even if it’s just to see how Hindi cinema is exploring new themes with finesse.
Review by Namrata Thakker on Rediff
Nawaz does a fantastic job in playing a role which many A-list heroes wouldn’t dare to take up. As Shyam, he is not lovable at all but still manages to tickle your funny bone with his comic timing. Shweta Tripathi, who made her acting debut with Masaan, is a delight to watch. She is 33 years old but at no point in the film does she look like one. Despite sharing screen space with a stalwart like Nawazuddin, Shweta stands out with her fabulous screen presence. Irfan Khan (not the famous Bollywood actor) and Mohd Samad, who play Kamal and his friend Mintu respectively, lend good support to the story. Their naughtiness and innocence adds some layers to the dark and bold subject. Through their characters, the makers have highlighted how children have no knowledge about sex and how they have so many myths about it.
Haraamkhor Review by Indiaglitz
Director Shlok Sharma’s finale act could have been much better as the shock factor seemed bit forced. The movie is not for all those who love mainstream masala oriented films. There are many abrupt cuts and jumps which dilutes the flow of the film. ‘Haraamkhor’ is a bold, artistic and engaging film, which will be enjoyed by all those who like content driven film. The movie could have been a great film, but settles up only due to some great performances and the novelty factor associated with it.
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