16 May, 2021


Shakespeare has not got too lost in translation here

Starring: Pankaj Kapoor, Irfan Khan, Tabu, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Rating: ***

Shakespeare hasn't got too lost in translation here. Macbeth, a study in ambition and guilt, is perhaps one of the more accessible of the bard's plays. And the director and co-screenwriter, Vishal Bhardwaj, has effectively transported the essence of the story to the milieu of the Bombay underworld of our times: it's all about crime and self-punishment. Maqbool is the desi Macbeth, enacted with a remarkable intensity that at times unfortunately veers dangerously close to being over-the-top by the talented actor Irfan Khan. He is the right-hand man of the gangster boss, in a tour de force performance by Pankaj Kapoor. Nimmi is the ageing don's young mistress who eggs on the loyal Maqbool to kill him and take his place: both in the hierarchy of the gang and in her bed. Tabu manages the difficult balancing act between passion and hysteria.

Each side of this doomed triangle holds its...

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