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24 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

"Haasil" is refreshing.

Author: Arundhati Ghosh ( from Bangalore, India
10 July 2003

We, who live in metros, away from the rest of India need to be reminded sometimes that there lies a larger India outside the metros. We, who criticize politicians and call politics 'dirty' and never vote out of laziness and apathy yet disguising it brilliantly as our only act of protest against the corrupt system, need to be reminded that politics does run the country. And if we don't, someone else less worthy will take the reins in their hands. We, who watch films to escape from our otherwise dreary, tiresome, collapsed lives need to be reminded that possibly film can mean more than a sneak preview into the lives and lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Haasil, does all that. And more. Now while the film is not without its problems, lets begin by saying, it's a refreshing, thought provoking change from the regular onslaught of dancing on European alpine valleys; zipping on Mercedes Benz; parties - poolside in the lush greenery of palatial mansions and of course, designer clothes on designer bodies.

Set in a university in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, where the Director Tigmanshu Dhulia himself studied, the film revolves around two rival political gangs in a college. One headed by college veteran and students' union president Gauri Shankar (Ashutosh Rana), and the other by an aspiring politician Ranvijay Singh (Irfan Khan), encounter each other constantly in corridors of the university, the labyrinths that control student political power. While Aniruddh (Jimmy Shergill) and Niharika (Hrishitaa Bhat), both students of the college, fall in a simple and 'looks real on screen' kind of love creating a parallel narrative in the film, the plot thickens, as Aniruddh, after turning a deaf ear to the warnings of his friends and lover, gets slowly sucked into the world of Ranvijay's politics. He blindly places his faith in Ranvijay, who uses him to win votes from the `a-political' students. One thing leads to another and before he can realize what is happening, Aniruddh finds himself neck deep in the game of power politics which leads back to the rooms of ministers and the state.

Let's take a look at what I like and what I don't in Haasil.

I like:

1. The story, though not original, is a refreshing change. 2. The editing is neat and the narrative flows on perfectly. 3. The extremely real life dialogues give it a sense of being rooted 4. It has no stars, just characters. The actors perform these characters well. Irfan Khan as an upcoming, ambitious, brash, fearless student leader and yet nervous of his appeal to the other sex is brilliant. One wonders what's it with Bollywood, which can't nurture such talent! Jimmy Shergill, as a young boy from a middle class family of a small town finally gets to do in this film what he has never got a chance to do before, act. Hrishita Bhatt as his coy yet strong-minded girl friend is promising. Tinnu Anand as Jimmy's father needs a special mention. He performs the role of a father constantly aware of the growing gap between him and his son attempting to bridge it, yet not quite succeeding is believable. Ashutosh Rana as the president of the student association fails to impress beyond the stereotype he is being made to perform lately. 5. The film makes 'love' watchable again on screen. It is sensitively handled, looks believable and does not pretend to be anything other than it is; i.e. two college mates being attracted to each other and falling in love! Jimmy's impulsive kiss on Hrishita's cheek followed by a nervous 'sorry I'm really sorry'; the scented letter that makes her go into a bout of sneezing; the newspaperman turned love-letter delivery boy; the cycle and the ricksaw; the arguments in the old dilapidated movie hall where they meet secretly; all seem out of real life 'falling in love'. 6. The music scores are good and worthy of an ear though failing to make a lasting impression. Yet, it complements the film well. 7. The Director's involvement with the film, his personal experience with student politics in a small town is evident in the film. Even his understanding of the town of Allahabad, with its huge population of out-of-Bengal Bengalis, who have lived there now for ages and have managed to mingle with the locals yet keeping their festivals and customs alive prove that he has studies the city. 8. It is small budget. It cost just Rs 4 crore and it is doing pretty well inspite of the lack in advertising and promotions moneys. I guess word of mouth still works.

I did not like:

1. It gives in to the stereotypes and conventions of a mainstream Hindi film time and again. We could have done with fewer songs for instance, or less number of change of clothes for the heroin. 2. Irfan's character, its gray edges came out beautifully in the first half till the director decided to make him the ultimate villain and willfully simplified his emotions midway giving him no chance to redeem himself.

3. The introduction of the mosque, the `good Samaritan' Muslim friend and the song in the mosque ending with Jimmy's verdict on how friendly Muslims truly are inspite of popular belief, seems tokenistic and banal. If anything, it seems to be working against the very purpose it was meant for. And that I guess is the problem. When one tries to achieve a purpose in a sequence with no links to the main story it looks imposed, banal.

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22 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Irfan Khan should've got an Oscar for this!!

Author: Prateek Dham from India
23 July 2007

Firstly,I'd like to know more about this director Tigmanshu Dhulia.And why hasn't any producer taken notice of his talent till now.The lad has made such a fine movie that from what I see,this has put the Oscar winners to shame!And no freaking major recognitions for this movie in the country in which it was made and also which it has depicted so perfectly in its lens.Such movies are hard to make,and probably even tougher to get recognised.Isn't it?Irfan Khan has broken all the acting fronts through his debut performance as Ranvijay Singh,a wannabe politician,who takes up against the reigning student leader in his university,the character being portrayed so flawlessly by Ashutosh Rana.Irfan Khan has immortalised the character and the movie itself,at least in the hearts and brains of the ones who've seen this flick.Despite hailing from the state of Rajasthan,he's played the part of a UP guy and perfected the accent so easily,it makes you stand up,take notice and applaud the efforts.Jimmy Sheirgill is good as the lead,but Hrishita Bhatt leaves a lot to be asked.She was arguably the weakest link in the movie,which was dominated by the great performances and the dialogues of its characters.When I saw this movie,I became Irfan Khan's fan,and I can assure the same fate for any other cinema lover!This movie is as realistic as it can get and I simply love that for Indian cinema.

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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Realistic movie about caste based university politics and inter caste love in India

Author: atulmohan1 from United Kingdom
12 August 2006

It is one of my all time favourite movies. The caste based politics and subsequent violence which is a reality in universities (in India) is depicted in a realistic manner. The love story of two college kids from a typical orthodox middle class society in India grows as the plot thickens. The depiction of the middle class society, family values, aspirations, class/caste barrier is very realistic. Irfan Khan has given a powerful performance as a university student turn political figure using violence. Ashutosh Rana is also impressive in short role as leader of students of higher castes.

The movie is a like a breathe of fresh air, when most of the bollywood movies based on college love stories and college politics touch these real social issues superficially. The climax of the movie is a bit let down though. But even then the movie is a definite 'Must-see'.

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Whether You Love It Or Hate It, Politics Runs A Country

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
22 March 2008

Politics. there are many of us who hate it and refuse to be part of it. Yet, politics is what runs a nation. To quote a fellow commenter, 'if we don't take part in politics, someone else less worthy will take the reins in their hands'. This is what Haasil does. While the more recent films like 'Rang De Basanti' which glamourizes violence or an insipid 'Yuva' which fails to get the message through due to its several weaknesses have been hugely successful (the former being a commercial success while the latter was a critical success), 'Haasil' is one film that received comparative little attention but excels both films (notwithstanding the fact that it was released before).

The screenplay is quite innovative and the narrative flows very well. Dhulia's storytelling is refreshing and he portrays the events with grit, realness and sensitivity. An example is the very gradual and somewhat subtle way he shows a carefree Anirudh's movement towards Ranvijay's party. Unlike 'Yuva' and 'Rang de Basanti' this one has no stars. It has actors, and that too, some of the best.

Irfan Khan is phenomenal as Ranvijay. While we see Ranvijay as a brave ambitious leader, we see his weakness towards the opposite sex, particularly the woman he desires. Shergill too is fantastic as the young and naive Anirudh who's slowly drawn into the web of politics. Both these characters are very well-written with different shades. Ashutosh Rana is strictly okay as his character borders on caricature. Hrishita Bhatt has a strong presence and she holds her own. She and Shergill have a wonderful chemistry and their love story is quite genuine and well-handled. Tinnu Anand is quite likable as the father who's unsuccessfully trying to bridge the generation gap between his son and himself. Rajpal Yadav doesn't have much to do.

The songs are quite nice but some could have easily been left out. For example, the Qawali sequence towards the finale, looked a little too dramatic and Bollywoodish. Actually the whole mosque sequence looks a little out of place. The screenplay is a little imbalanced. In the first half it balances the love story and the political chaos but in the latter half it shifts towards Ranvijay's obsession (why?) for Niharika. The sudden change in Irfan's character looks a little drastic, especially his outburst at Niharika's parents followed by his insane hunt. Then again, perhaps the outburst scene reflects his sexual frustration, a hint of which we see in an earlier scene when Anirudh jokes to him about his weakness with women. The ending too looks a little odd and rushed but one can understand why the director wanted to round it up this way. Also some situations required further development. For example, Ranvijay's attraction towards Niharika or how did Ranvijay manage to convince Niharika's father to marry her off to him?

'Haasil' is a brilliant effort in spite of its flaws. It isn't exactly a masterpiece but is a lot more real and effective than the other successful films (I already gave two examples) trying to convey a similar message. Worth the watch!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Hardhitting,Original & Intellectual with Irrfan Khan's best performance

Author: Ajit Tiwari from India
20 July 2011

This is not just a movie but a great depiction of the Northern India. Mr. Dhulia's directorial debut "Hassil" is a powerful drama about love, politics, deceit and of course our social values.

The plot will give you an essence of Northern India's politics and intrusion of politician with our tranquil lives.The story is set in Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) and revolves around Aniruddha (Jimmy Shergill) and Niharika (Hrishitaa Bhat) fall in love. Ranvijay Singh (Irfan Khan) an aspiring politician and opponent Gauri Shankar (Ashutosh Rana) are the real people in charge of the University. Aniruddha's companionship with Ranvija Singh engulfs him into deep trouble along with his beloved.

Irfaan has done an astounding work, he is a born thespian. He goes straight into the character with amazing dialogue delivery in the local dialects of Allahabad. Jimmy Sheirgill proves that he can do wonders if he gets a good role. Hrishita Bhatt is fabulous as conservative college going girl and any north Indian girl can resemble with her. Sharat Saxena is veteran and looks like a real father who is worried on his daughter affair with other cast boy. Ashutosh Rana is just remarkable in his screen presence, with small role.

The dialogues are powerful in the proper accent of Allahabad, a great research and character study by the director.

The supporting cast was incredible and every scene looked so genuine that you will be engaged with the story. The voyage from a love story to a political thriller takes place in a first-rate pace. Thanks to Tigmanshu Dhulia who proves that we can make powerful cinema with an essence of rural India.

This is highly recommended for the natives who watch the movies according to the characters not the stars in it.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The turning point in Irrfan Khan's long lost Bollywood career

Author: xpics from India
4 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Anirudh (Jimmy Shergill) and Niharika (Hrishitaa Bhatt) are university students. With a couple of songs and a peck on the cheek, love blooms between the two. Meanwhile Anirudh befriends a college leader Ranvijay Singh (Irfan Khan) who uses him to win votes from the students. Turning a deaf ear to the warnings of his friends and lover, Anirudh gets sucked into the dirty world of Ranvijay's politics. He shoots a man and has to flee to Mumbai. But when he realizes that he has fallen prey of Ranvijay's conspiracy to marry Niharika, he decides to fight back.

The movie starts off impressively depicting a realistic picture of the unrefined environment at the U.P. campus. The crude behavior and aggressive lifestyle of the characters is deftly portrayed. Every aspect of the political functioning and the gang-rivalry is looked into, in detail.

But the outcome is hampered when the plot deviates from campus politics to the predictable zone (love story of an obsessed Ranvijay) in the second half. The director fails to clarify many points in the narrative. For instance, when and where does Ranvijay develop an attraction for Niharika? And how does Niharika's father agree to marry off his daughter to this gangster, while he doesn't approve of Anirudh? After repeatedly pointing fingers at the corrupt political functioning, a chief minister turns out to be good at heart (because he used to be a school headmaster once)! Certainly not a good idea to terminate the otherwise hard-hitting story! Also the much-talked about climax at Maha-Kumbh lacks novelty. The dialogues and language used in the film give it a very real and earthy feel.

One word for Hrishitaa – gorgeous, that's it. Jimmy emerges out of his candyfloss image. The scene-stealer, of course, is the sulky-eyed Irfan Khan inducing life in every frame of the film, flawlessly.

Certainly not a masterpiece, but a good break from the usual stuff

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A masterpiece

Author: Niraj Verma from United States
14 July 2008

This is only kind of such movie made in Indian cinema. This movie truly replicates and speaks about mind and mindset of students in northern part of India (not in metros). The efforts put by director/writer Tigmanshu Dhulia can't be measured by just few awards. A lot of research (or say no research was required because every scene looks so natural) has been done behind each and every scene in the movie. Most of the actors in the movie are stage performers and they have given their best shots in the movie. No doubt this is the best movie of the best (?) actor in India after Kamal Hasan. Performance given by Jimmy Shergil and even Hrishita Bhatt is par above than so called superstars of Indian Hindi cinema. I recommend everyone to watch this movie at least once.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Perfect an India no one sees

Author: anshul2001anshul from India
31 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of my all time favorite and I have been watching it every year since my last year in college and every time I find it refreshing, more so because environ around us in big colleges and metro is so out of place or cut off from real India. What I like : 1.Opening sequence how the vice chancellor is helpless 2. conversation of minister and student leader signify how the link between college politics and real politics run. Many of top Indian politicians were once active student leaders. 3. Heroine's and Heroe's father play their part well and in real life people are like that 4. Movie plays on Bengali stereotype of being coward( hero's friend can't protect his mother) 5. More importantly movie builds on Indian idea of politics being a means of granting favors : politicians to budding leaders (!) , politicians to their sidekicks 6. Indian middle class , father -son tension , husband dominating over wife and a desire to remain away from politics and goons. 7. Love between jimmy and hrishita is so real and this is how things used to be once in small towns quite different from metro before arrival of mall, café and multiplex culture . 8. problem of successful transition in political families and how well meaning people get caught in politics 9. cinematography is fabulous which makes full use of environ :university , Allahabad & Ganges ,middle class home. In fact i would suggest to someone who wants to study small town India watch this movie instead of reading tons of books.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

the best movie ever made about college politics and Jigar...

Author: down_to_planet from India
11 March 2009

this is one of those rare movies... which makes you feel good from the inside... it makes you feel.. that there are still some directors in India.. who make movies with Jigar.. not the K3G Panzy with a Z stuff.... this is one of those movies.. wherein.. you would not want to go to your grave.. without having watched it.

Rajput vs. Pandits.. at its best...

more than anything.. the dialogs and their delivery is something to be applauded...the way the story unfolds.. the power of student politics... the beating of the CM with Chappals.. by the youth leader.. it is very very gratifying...

best dialog: Jaan SE Na Mar Dena.. Magar Itna Marna.. Ita Marna.. Ki Tumhaari Jaan Ko Lage Ki Tumhe Jan Hai...

Rana / Khan / Murad / support cast... classic... could have easily.. done without the love pair....jimmy/Bhatt... :-)

i am surprised... Dhulia.. has not directed... anything post.. Charas... feed us dude..

Ranvijayaaaaa.... nice.

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Expect the Unexpected

Author: silvan-desouza from India
29 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sometimes promotions play a key role in a success of the film, Haasil's promos gave a wrong impression, the promos mostly focused on the songs and romance and people though it will be yet another romantic film of Jimmy Shergill who till then hadn't yet done meaningful roles and after Mohabbatein became yet another Srk wannabe and tried doing romantic films but hardly they succeeded. The film however is a complete departure as it focuses more on college politics, rivalry between 2 gangs, one handled by Ashutosh Rana and the other by Irrfan Khan and the handling by Tigmanshu Dhulia(who debuted with this film) is simply superb, the romance is in short doses and thankfully we don't have the filmy romance though at times the songs do disturb the flow of the film. The film has several twists and turns, though it does get predictable at many places, yet the director and writers should be praised for handling it superbly. Being from UP himself, Tigmanshu Dhulia shows the politics with perfect nuances, though towards the end the film does get filmy but yet the storytelling is simply superb. The film not only revived the career of Jimmy Shergill but also gave a new lease to Irrfan Khan who till then was doing short roles, though he had got praise in Gunaah, this film made him popular Tigmanshu Dhulia went on making great films though first success was shortlived yet he got critical acclaim, now he is a big name. Music by Jatin Lalit is good Dialogues are superb

Jimmy Shergill does a superb job, portraying the emotions perfectly, his transformation from a lover boy to a fugitive is convincing, after this film his career got a new rise. Hrishita Bhatt does her role perfectly though it doesn't need much to do Irrfan Khan is simply awesome, though now he is become typecast but he breathes fire in the role only he could perform, his eyes, expressions, dialogue delivery is topnotch. He won the award for best villain that year. Amongst rest Ashutosh Rana is perfect in a short role, Sharat Saxena, Tinnu Anand are superb as always, Rajpal Yadav is amazing in a short role, Raj Jhutsi overacts, Sudhir Pandey is superb, rest are okay

The film does have some flaws, like Irrfan Khan's obsessive love could be more better explained, Also some plot holes but overall the film is superb

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