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Macbeth meets the Godfather in present-day Bombay. The Scottish tragedy set in the contemporary underworld of India's commercial capital; two corrupt, fortune telling policemen take the roles of the weird sisters, and "Duncan" is Abbaji, the head of a crime family. Abbaji's mistress and Maqbool plot and carry out his death; the sea plays the role of Birnham wood. Written by
Vishal Bhardwaj has proven Rudyard Kipling wrong. West does meet East.
I just came back after watching Maqbool directed by Vishal Bhardwaj (remember Makdee or the music director of Maachis?).
And i am stunned. In this brilliant film, Macbeth meets Mumbai with such ease that i didn't think it would be possible.
It is an adaptation of Shakespeare's MACBETH. Only Duncan is the king of underworld (Abbaji - Pankaj Kapoor). Macbeth is Mian Maqbool (Irfan Khan). Lady Macbeth is Nimmi (Tabu). Macduff is Kaka (Piyush Mishra)
And the kingdom is present-day Mumbai.
Around them are India's best acting talents: Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, and Ajay Gehi.
This film is slightly different from Macbeth though. Macbeth is driven by his love for the throne. Maqbool is driven by his love for Nimmi.
He murders Abbaji and declares himself the leader of the gang. The underworld is in a state of shock and everyone suspects Maqbool. But no one dares raise a voice against him. Maqbool then goes on to murder his close friend Kaka to gain absolute power.
He is led (or misled) in his endeavour by two corrupt cops. (Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah). They essay the role of the three witches in Macbeth.
The performances are of a high order. Pankaj Kapur delivers his career-best performance. Followed closely by Tabu. In fact it is a photo finish.
Vishal Bhardwaj is a great storyteller. He imbues the film with a number of sparkling sequences and dialogues. Bhardwaj and writer Abbas Tyrewala do not resort to gimmicks and instead have been as realistic as possible. The guilt pangs that Nimmi and Maqbool suffer after Abbaji's murder is one phase that takes the film to a different high altogether.
In the end, all i can say is, Maqbool has the potential to be a landmark film in Bollywood. In spite of its shabby marketing.
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