Adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth by Vishal Bharadwaj in Maqbool

In: English and Literature

Submitted By UtkarshaK
Words 1019
Pages 5
Maqbool (2003) by Vishal Bharadwaj, a modern day reinterpretation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, is based in the backdrop of Mumbai’s mafia kings and is a dark and very close retelling of the original text.
The principal characters are played by Irfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur, Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah. While Bharadwaj has more or less retained the narrative of the original play, he does move around the settings of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Pankaj Kapur (Abbaji - Duncan) is the reigning don of Mumbai’s underworld and Tabu (Nimmi - Lady Macbeth) is his mistress who loves Kapur’s right hand man Irfan Khan (Maqbool - Macbeth). Bharadwaj has intelligently adapted the characters of the play to suit his characters and the time in which it is set by replacing the three witches or soothsayer’s of the original by two corrupt policemen with a knack for astrology, played by Om Puri (Inspector Pandit) and Naseeruddin Shah (Inspector Purohit).
Macbeth, a story about personal ambition, has strong themes of violence, political turmoil and guilt. These ideas are maintained by Bharadwaj to a great extent; however the change in the characterisation of Macbeth and his Lady ensures that the overwhelming theme in the movie is also love/passion. Shakespeare’s Macbeth kills Duncan purely out of ambition; Maqbool’s motivations go beyond those of being the don. Maqbool out of love for Nimmi as well as the hearsay that Abbaji may not be as good as Maqbool originally thinks he is, leads to a scared yet determined Maqbool to end Abbaji’s life.
The policemen too, unlike Shakespeare’s witches, have an active role to play in the movie. They time and again keep intervening to “maintain balance of power” as they call it, by instigating Maqbool, letting go of Boti (Macduff) so that he may join Guddu (Fleance) and by predicting everyone’s fate time and again irrespective of their wanting to…...

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