No doubt that Shakespeare is one of the greatest storytellers, acclaimed all around the world. But even the greatest of stories can become disasters when badly adapted into a film. Surely, Maqbool doesn’t fall in this category. The first in the series of adapting Shakespeare’s work (the other two works include Omkara (2005) and Haider(2014)), Maqbool was Vishal Bharadwaj’s second film as a director. It’s a well crafted piece of creativity, art and freshness.
Maqbool, loosely based on Macbeth, is a story torn between loyalty and love. Vishal and Abbas Tyrewala’s adaptation gives a contemporary treatment to the story, and is set in backdrop of the Mumbai underworld. The film beautifully incorporates the surreal theme into a realistic setting with a perfect blend of tragedy and satire. The writers did a great job by transporting the essence of story and characters of Macbeth; and the remaining magic is brought in the film by its intelligent director and cast.
With the amazing casting which includes Irrfan Khan (As Miyaa Maqbool/ Macbeth), Pankaj Kapoor (Abbaji / Duncan I of Scotland), Tabu (Ninni/Lady Macbeth), Piyush Mishra (as Kaka/Bonquo), and Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah as the inspectors (Witches) – the film doesn’t give you a single moment to take your eyes away from the screen. To appreciate their acting in this particular film will be like re-establishing a known fact; but it would be really hard to pick the best amongst all these veteran actors.
The music for the film is also given by Vishal Bharadwaj, while the lyrics written by Gulzar. Again, both deserve applause.
The film was premiered at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival and in the Marché du Film section of the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Though the film failed to entice much of an audience during in India, critics were appreciative and Pankaj Kapoor went on to win a Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Critics) and a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor.
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