So when I was told that Vishal Bhradwaj's MAQBOOL is the latest adaptation of Macbeth, I pounced upon it with both the hands. But the CD which we brought was a pirated one ;neither audio nor video was clear. However, a few weeks later , I saw it again on my comp at my office and to state the least , this movie should be watched for sheer performance and adaptation.
Now since it had been a long time since I last read Macbeth, the play or seen Macbeth, the movie, I was wondering whether I would be able to relate the events or not. But script writer Abbas Tyrewala and director Vishal conceptualized the characters and situations in a very innovative way. Analogies were brilliant, dialogues, narrative were engrossing.
Then there were stellar performances by the lead actors. Infact, casting itself was the half job done. Tabu portrayed the bitchy Lady Macbeth very efficiently through her controlled perfomance. Naughty, bold , scheming. She looked very convincing in every scene, barring the crying scene in the end where I guess she overdid it. Irfan Khan has grown leaps and bounds since his Chandrkanta, Chanyaka days. He is as brilliant here as he was in Hasil. His character, like that of Macbeth's under goes varying changes of emotion. From blind loyalty, to subtle, underlying greed, lust, rage, haughtiness and then guilt and realization of defeat in the end, he portrays every emotion brilliantly. He does all this with his big ,scary eyes. Particularly the scene when Pankaj Kapoor is making love to Tabu and Irfan is waiting outside. The pain in the eyes so palpable that it could be touched.
Pankaj Kapoor, in the role of King Duncan. Well what to say of him. He could be best described with what Om Puri says in the movie, "Kya actor hai Abbaji!!!". Just look at his eyes and accent in the movie. Those eyes which haunt Tabu and Irfan in the end, that accent which says "Gillaurian khaya kero miyan, is-sey zuban kabu mein rahegi". He has given the performance par excellence.
Banquo's character , the loyal lieutenant of King Duncan was portrayed by Piyush Mishra. He did a okayish job. I have seen him in many serials but don't remember him in any movie.
Now comes the most innovative part of the script. The witches. The witches who had ruined Macbeth, who along with Lady Macbeth had corrupted, captivated his mind. The witches characters were depicted by Om Puri and Naseerduddin Shah playing Inspector Purohit and Inspector Pandit, respectively. I loved the analogy. They are the ones who keep enticing rival parties to maintain "prakrati ka nium". In a way , they are the sootradhar of the movie.
As far as the songs are concerned, I liked the qawwali- "Rubru". Rest of the songs are okayish.
So you see this is not a typical underworld movie. There are no big guns booming, no tapori dialogues. This is an underworld, which speaks khalis urdu, with pure accent. It has been probably been shot outside Mumbai. A must watch movie if not already seen. You will kubool it.