Adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth by Vishal Bharadwaj in Maqbool

1025 Words Oct 23rd, 2013 5 Pages
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
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The last prediction that the witches make about the ‘forest entering the castle’, is re-interpreted by Bharadwaj to suit the situation where Maqbool is wanted by customs officials, by predicting that Maqbool would die when the ‘dariya (river/creek)enters the house’. This prediction comes true when the Coast Guard officials enter Maqbool’s house in order to arrest him.
Bharadwaj tries to create a convincing world of Mumbai’s dark underbelly, where people are killed routinely, but the idea of moral acts and loyalty is much appreciated. Hence, Maqbool’s guilt not only has to do with the murder of Abbaji, but also the fact that his loyalty to Abbaji transcended the bond between a don and his goons – Maqbool treated Abbaji with respect that a father is given.
Here too, Bharadwaj suitably modifies his plot by showing us the extent of Maqbool’s guilt, whose hallucinations are much more frequent and de-settling than that of Nimmi’s. The strongest imagery of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is that of his Lady washing her hands over and over again when she believes that they still have blood over them, as a physical manifestation of her guilt in being party to Duncan’s murder. Bharadwaj chooses to do away with this crucial point and since Nimmi was in bed with Abbaji when he dies, the blood smears are imagined by her to be on her face and subsequently on the walls of Maqbool’s house.
Since the use of music is possible in

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