SHAKESPEARE IN HINDI FILMS: READING VISHAL BHARDWAJ’S CINEMATIC INTERPRETATIONS

Anchal Dhara Anchal Dhara

Abstract


The traces of Shakespeare’s works are found in Indian cinema since the beginning of films in the country. However, there are only a few directors who acknowledge the borrowing from the Bard. Vishal Bhardwaj, the writer and director of three Shakespearean Hindi film adaptations, is one such film maker as he credits Macbeth, Othello, and Hamlet as source plays for Maqbool, Omkara, and Haider, respectively. All the three movies by Bhardwaj are embedded in local culture of the communities they represent. For instance, Maqbool showcases the lavish but unpredictable lifestyle of gangsters in Mumbai, Omkara depicts prevalent casteism in Indian society (through Western Uttar Pradesh milieu), and Haider foregrounds the volatile political conditions of Kashmir. This paper studies three Shakespearean adaptations by Bhardwaj to deliberate on his unique perspective in each cinematic transportation. This research also explores the exposition of female portrayals in Bhardwaj’s Shakespearean transpositions. In the films, where women characters like Nimmi (Lady Macbeth), Dolly (Desdemona), Arshia (Ophelia) and Ghazala (Gertrude) follow the trajectory of their source personas, a part like Indu (Emilia) showcases new alterations. Bhardwaj has even introduced a new woman character as Jahangir’s (Duncan) daughter – Sameera, in Maqbool.


Keywords


Hindi Shakespearean adaptations; Politics; Cultural adaptation; Sexual conflict; Vishal Bhardwaj

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References


Works Cited

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