New York Indian Film Festival 2015

May 4 - 9, 2015

Vishal Bhardwaj's Shakespeare Trilogy
Vishal Bhardwaj's Shakespeare Trilogy - Screenings and a Conversation with Vishal Bhardwaj
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Maqbool Omkara Haider
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Synopsis - Macbeth meets the Godfather in present-day Mumbai. 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. Synopsis - Shakespeare’s masterpiece “Othello” set in modern day India. A politically minded enforcer’s misguided trust in his lieutenant leads him to suspect his wife of infidelity. Synopsis - A young man returns to Kashmir after his father’s disappearance to confront his uncle – the man who had a role in his father’s fate.
Cast - Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapur
Runtime - 132 Minutes
Language - Hindi/Urdu
Year - 2003
Cast - Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Konkana Sen Sharma, Vivek Oberoi, Bipasha Basu, Naseeruddin Shah
Runtime - 155 minutes
Language - Hindi
Year - 2006
Cast - Tabu, Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Khan
Runtime - 162 minutes
Language - Hindi
Year - 2014
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews,
“Some of the most imaginative visualisations seen in Hindi cinema”

“Maqbool is a visual gallery that is an intelligent blend of dark, tragic overtones and comic, satirical undertones.”


“Watch it.”
-- The Hindu

“Bharadwaj shows a good eye for visual compositions.”

“The charismatic Khan dominates and is surrounded by a strong male cast”
-- Variety

“Enacted with a remarkable intensity”

“Tour de force performance by Pankaj Kapoor”

“Bhardwaj has a poet-philosopher's eye: some of the shots are lyrical”

“This film has powerhouse performances from most of its cast, but the scene-stealers are Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri”
-- Outlook

“A haunting operatic tragedy”

“The story is tightly told and the acting, first-rate.”

“A better cast would be hard to find.”

“Relentlessly riveting”
-- India Today

“The adaptation is ingenious”
-- The Guardian

“Omkara blew my mind.”

“Spellbinding stuff.”

“It is impossible to not be mesmerised by Kareena Kapoor”

“Saif Ali Khan… so wonderfully loathsome, right down to the tiniest detail. And he has the finest, finest lines, each worthy of being on a t-shirt.”

“Omkara is a very special film, the kind that comes around rarely, making you instantly long for a repeat viewing and the filmmaker's next project.”
-- Rediff India Abroad

“Oozing quality individual performances from a star cast and fantastic cinematography”

“[Vishal Bhardwaj] manages to create a film that is both stunning and realistic”
-- BBC

“Transposition of Shakespeare’s schemers from Venice to an Indian gangster milieu works seamlessly.”

“Devgan is just right as the laconic Omkara”

“It’s Khan’s movie through and through, in a performance of rugged, contained malevolence”

“It’s smart casting, superbly realized.”

“Vishal Bhardwaj draws a rich pail of dramatic water in “Omkara.””
-- Variety

“Omkara is a well-garnished, aesthetically appeasing platter of stylish Bollywood at its creative best.”

“For not only does [Vishal Bhardwaj] skilfully capture the netherworld of the human psyche - those ambiguous grey areas of conventional morality - which formed the playground for Shakespearean drama, he manages to lift the bar of Indian cinema with his unique adaptation.”

“Here's a film that breaks the conventional mould of Bollywood into smithereens and does it with a panache that encompasses all departments of film making. Vishal has taken the usual Bollywood actors and sculpted their make-over like no other director.”
-- The Times of India

“Pushes the limits of Bollywood's creative energy, not just by ingeniously reinterpreting Shakespeare but also by authentically bringing alive a whole new landscape and culture.”

“Omkara also showcases Saif Ali Khan in a bold and brilliant new avatar.”

“It's truly the Indian wild west.”

“[Vishal Bhardwaj] shows ingenuity not just in dealing with the minutiae of contemporary small-town society and politics but also in weaving in elements of Indian mythology into Shakespeare.”
-- The Outlook

"I have never seen the play so perfectly tuned to a time (present) or a place (UP),"
-- James Christopher in The Times.

“This Bharadwaj work is not to be missed.”
-- The Hindu
“Deserves a standing ovation.”

“Thrillingly ambitious and powerful.”

“You will emerge from Haider shell-shocked. And when was the last time a Hindi film did that to you?”
-- Anupama Chopra, The Hindustan Times

“Haider is superb, witty, violent, tragic - magic.”

“Haider is one of cinema's bravest takes on identity.”

“To see or not to see is no dilemma here. Don't miss Haider - he's got chutzpah like none other.”
-- The Times of India

“These movies make Shakespearean tragedy seem a natural lens through which to view contemporary India.”
-- The New York Times

“A palpable hit, in any language”
-- The Guardian

“It doesn’t get more lyrical than this in Hindi cinema.” “An instant classic, a literary epic.”

“Haider is an incredibly brave uncompromising film made with loads of conviction with blatant disregard to market conventions”

“Get your minds blown.”

“You will find Haider to be a truly rewarding cinematic experience.”
-- The Hindu

“Wrought with great intellectual and technical finesse, this film is pure poetry in motion.”

“Ignites the political undercurrents of the play—with passion and poetry— like no other adaptation you will see.”

“With Maqbool (2003), Bhardwaj raised the bar in Hindi cinema. It has taken him 11 years to raise it again in Haider.”
-- Open Magazine

“Vishal’s finest film yet.”

“Haider is devastatingly beautiful, just like Kashmir itself.”

-- Deccan Chronicle

“Vishal Bharadwaj brings alive the ecstasy, pain and passion of Hamlet on screen”

“As you watch the beauty of the valley wide-eyed, you can almost smell the Gulmohar in the air and touch the icy waters of Jhelum.”

“It has chutzpah… and a lot of soul too.”
-- Mid-Day

“Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of ‘Hamlet’ is a thrilling Oedipal drama, with Kashmir as its deeply tragic centre.”

“Haider is an immensely effective reimagination of Shakespeare and the film’s biggest triumph is that the provincial, in this case Kashmir and the characters defined by its reality, shine in a universal and timeless tragedy.”
-- Live Mint

“Powerful performances make "Haider" a delightful cinematic experience.”

“Don't miss this one.”
-- Business Standard

“Bhardwaj and his team have nailed it.”

“One of the best stories you’ll every watch on celluloid.”
-- Filmfare
Maqbool trailer Omkara trailer Haider trailer
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Vishal BhardwajVishal Bhardwaj Biography and Filmography:
Vishal Bhardwaj, born 4 August 1965 is an Indian film director, writer, music composer and playback singer. He also produces films under his banner VB Pictures.

He was born in Bijnor, and raised in Uttar Pradesh in the northern part of India. He pursued his graduation at the Hindu College of Delhi University where he nurtured his talents and also met his wife, Rekha Bhardwaj. During this time, he was actively involved in theatre. He started out as a music composer and worked on films such as Maachis (1996) Satya (1998), Chachi 420 (1998) and many others. His directorial debut was with the critically acclaimed Makdee (2002).

He is known for his adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays – Maqbool (2003), based on Macbeth and Omkara (2006), based on Othello which were well received by audiences and critics alike. The films have a cult following. Bhardwaj completed his trilogy of Shakespeare adaptations with the release of Haider (2014), based on Hamlet.

Other directorial titles include – The Blue Umbrella (2005), Kaminey (2009), 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), Matru ki Bijlee Ka Mandola (2013) and many more. His films have won several National and International awards and his films have travelled across prestigious film festivals.

New York Indian Film Festival
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