William Shakespeare’s adaptations in Indian cinema are something which has been discussed a lot of times for its relevance in present times. The legacy of Shakespeare’s adaptations in Indian contemporary art is nothing new or surprising. Shakespeare’s dramas specifically trgedies have an universal appeal which makes it acceptable in many countries including India. We have the Shakespearean works in various forms in various arts be it theatre or cinema. The fullest and finest manifestation of those Shakespearean tragedies are seen in Indian cinema specifically Bollywood movies.
Bollywood cinema has always been the leader of new ideas. “MACBETH” is a classic tragedy by Shakespeare which shows the dark side of ambition. It is well interpreted in big screen through the movie called “MAQBOOL”. In this movie Vishal Bharadwaj makes the conflict evident in the silver screen. As the main protagonists Irrfan Khan and Tabu did some amazing jobs there.
Shakespeare’s tragedies has a universal appeal that makes these tragedies to create itself in a new avatar in every genre. For example, “OMKARA”, the film directed by Vishal Bharadwaj uses a backdrop of Uttar Pradesh and is based upon the tragedy “OTHELLO”, it is a dark tragedy which shows the jealousy and lethal egfect6of insecurity and doubt.
Bharadwaj shows his admiration when he makes his third movie in this genre, “HAIDER”. This movie is another gem of Bollywood cinema not only because of Shakespeare’s adaptation of “HAMLET” but also the superb acting of Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Irrfan Khan in lead.
Shakespeare’s tragedies are not only based on the political themes but also in the love angle and for this we have his one of the renowned tragedy “ROMEO AND JULIET”. We have lots of adaptations of this tragedy like “BOBBY”, “ISAAQ”, “ISHAQZAADE”,” GOLIYO KI RASLEELA- RAMLEELA” and the recent one is “DHADAK”.
Shakespeare’s tragedies find a relevance in other regional movies too like in Bengali movies. The Bengali movie “ZULFIQAR” is based on the adaptations of “JULIUS CAESAR” and “ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA”. Also the great comedy “BHRANTIBILAS”, starring by Uttam Kumar is the adaptation of Shakespeare’s “THE COMEDY OF ERRORS”.
From here we have the idea about the standard of universal appeal of Shakespeare’s tragedies. They find a new explanation from Indian perspectives. Indian cinema has adapted Shakespearean tragedies and represent it in a new light taken from present time making it very much relevant in today’s life.