HADDI is the story of a transgender’s fight against a corrupt politician. Haddi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), a transgender, arrives in Delhi after finishing off a colleague, Malkan (Resh Lamba). He infiltrates into a gang comprising Sattu Bhai (Rajesh Kumar) and Chunna (Shriidhar Dubey), which is headed by Inder (Saurabh Sachdeva). Inder works for a corrupt politician, Pramod Ahlawat (Anurag Kashyap). He gains their trust and becomes an important member of their team. At a party, Bibek Mitra (Vipin Sharma), Pramod’s secretary, dies due to poisoning. Bibek’s son Gaurav (Abhishek Bharadwaj) confronts Pramod over it and tries to find the truth. Haddi is sent to eliminate Gaurav. Haddi, however, asks Gaurav to continue his fight against Pramod. He also reveals that he’s the one who had prepared the poisoned drink. It was meant for Pramod’s son which Bibek mistakenly consumed. This is where it comes to light that Haddi is here to exact revenge on Pramod. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
Adamya Bhalla and Akshat Ajay Sharma’s story is nothing special. Adamya Bhalla and Akshat Ajay Sharma’s screenplay is messy. The narrative doesn’t flow smoothly. A few scenes, however, are well thought out. Adamya Bhalla and Akshat Ajay Sharma’s dialogues are sharp in places.
Akshat Ajay Sharma’s direction is not up to the mark. To give credit where it’s due, the director has given the film mainstream, commercial treatment. Certain scenes are executed in a fine manner when seen individually. The scene where Haddi is shot and the way it gives way to the flashback sequence is smart and unexpected. It shows that the filmmaker knows the technicalities.
On the flipside, the film suffers as it’s confusing. The film follows the conventional style of beginning the story from the mid-point, making the viewers curious and then coming up with the back story. This formula has worked successfully for many films. In HADDI, it fails as it confuses viewers. Until the flashback begins, one is utterly bewildered, wondering what is happening in the film. Even after the flashback, a few questions remain unanswered. The romantic angle is very weak. Moreover, there are far too many cinematic liberties. It’ll surely leave viewers shocked. Lastly, there’s a reason why the film is called HADDI. Funnily, it’s a needless layer to the story. Even without this element, the story would have looked complete.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s amazing transformation for Haddi!
Speaking of performances, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is impressive. He has put his heart and soul into the role. But getting him to do Salman Khan-style action scenes seemed out of place. Anurag Kashyap is entertaining. Vipin Sharma leaves a mark in a small role. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub (Irfan Rizvi) is dependable, but his character is not well fleshed out. Ila Arun (Revathi Amma) is lovely. Rajesh Kumar is a surprise. Shriidhar Dubey is fine. Abhishek Bharadwaj is hardly there and what happens to his character in the second half is bewildering. Vishwanath Chatterjee (Sathe; cop) is decent. Resh Lamba, Savi Sidhu (Shakun) and Saharsh Kumar Shukla (Jogi) are wasted.
Rohan and Rohan’s music is well-tuned but at the same time, also forgettable. ‘Beparda’ is the only song that stands out. ‘Zaalim Ne Maar Daala’, ‘Kaun Hai Tu’, ‘Main Mastaani Shama’, ‘Shooter Saiyan’ and the title song are nicely played in the background. Rohan and Rohan’s background score enhances the commercial feel.
Piyush Puty and Jay Pinak Oza’s cinematography is appropriate. Prashant Rane, Ashok Lokare and Boishali Sinha’s production design is realistic. Priyanka Mundada’s costumes are flashy as per the requirement. Subhash Shinde’s make-up deserves special mention. Sunil Rodrigues’ action is passable. Tanya Chhabria’s editing is sharp.
On the whole, HADDI rests on Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Anurag Kashyap’s powerful performances. But it suffers big time due to the confusing narrative, lack of logic and too many cinematic liberties.