5 Bollywood Adaptations of Shakespeare’s Novels

Who doesn’t know Shakespeare? The genius playwright’s plays have been performed in theatres across the globe since time immemorial. Veteran Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah had once said, “The roots may look lost, but every big story in the Hindi film industry is from Shakespeare."

In Bollywood Shakespeare has found many admirers, who have turned his plays and stories into Bollywood blockbusters. The latest being Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider, which is based on the 17 th century tragedy Hamlet and is getting released this 2 nd October. Let’s take a look at some of the other Bollywood movies based on the writing genius’ plays.

The Tragedy Of Macbeth
Written in April 1611, this tragedy play was the inspiration of Maqbool. The movie had some of the biggest Indian parallel cinestars like Pankaj Kapoor, Irrfan, Tabu, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri and Piyush Mishra. Released in the year 2003, the movie was produced by Bobby Bedi and directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, who also composed the background score of the movie. Though it failed to perform much at the BO, the movie is considered a landmark in terms of acting and direction.

The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice
Written approximately in 1603, this tragedy play inspired Omkara, starring Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Naseeruddin Shah and Bipasha Basu. The 2006 movie was produced by Kumar Mangat and directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, thus becoming the second Shakespeare work adapted into a movie by Bhardwaj. The movie was a critical and commercial success, and won three National Awards.

The Comedy Of Errors
Believed to be written in 1594, the comedy play has inspired six Indian movies, viz. Do Dooni Char (1968) starring Kishore Kumar and Asit Sen; Angoor (1982) starring Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma; Bhrantibilas (1963 Bengali film) starring Uttam Kumar and Bhanu Bandopadhyay; Ulta Palta (1997 Kannada film) starring Ramesh Aravind and Karibasavaiah; Aamait Asal Eemait Kusal (2012 Tulu film) starring Naveen D Padil and Jyotish Shetty; and Double Di Trouble (2014 Punjabi film) starring Dharmendra and Gippy Grewal.

Romeo And Juliet
Written in 1597, the tragedy play has inspired many Bollywood movies till date. Some of the movies inspired by Romeo and Juliet are: Bobby (1973) starring Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia; Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981) starring Kamal Haasan and Rati Agniohotri; Sanam Teri Kasam (1982) starring Kamal Haasan and Reena Roy; Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) starring Amir khan and Juhi Chawla; Saudagar (1991) starring Manisha Koirala and Vivek Mushran; Ishaqzaade (2012) starring Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor; Issaq (2013) starring Prateik and Amyra Dastur; and Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela (2013) starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Written in 1603, the tragedy has inspired Haider, starring Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Tabbu, Kay Kay Menon, and Irrfan Khan. The movie is produced by Vishal Bhardwaj and Siddharth Roy Kapur, and is directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. This is the third film that Bhardwaj has adapted from Shakespeare’s plays. The movie is all set to release on 2 nd October 2014.

Image: indiatimes
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