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Shakespeare and Indian cinema: Here are India’s famous movie adaptations of Shakespearean plays

Megha Mukundan

Megha Mukundan
Jul 15, 2021

William Shakespeare’s plays have always been an inspiration to countless Indian movies even in this 21st century. Many times, the directors have been successful in not only presenting a good adaptation but also in exacting a good box office collection. The intensity, emotions and drama of Shakespearean plays have created wonders, even when mixed up with Indian cinema aesthetics. Here are some Indian movies, which were inspired from The Bard’s plays.

8.7OTTplay Rating
The recent Dileesh Pothan directorial is inspired from Macbeth, the most distressing Shakespearean tragedy. Macbeth’s central theme, which is that humans' greed and betrayal are what make them capable of turning to complete evil, is brilliantly blended in Joji, which shows the story of a son who turns wicked out of his greed. Fahadh Faasil has played the major role alongside Unnimaya Prasad, Sunny P N, Baburaj and Joji Mundakayam.
Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela
6.6OTTplay Rating
The 2013 romantic tragedy by Sanjay Leela Bhansali is based on the iconic tragic romantic Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet. The movie is set against the violent background of two rival communities in Gujarat, and two lovers who are caught up in the middle. Major roles are played by Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Richa Chadda, Supriya Pathak and Gulshan Devaiah.
10ml LOVE
6.8OTTplay Rating
The portrayal of a love triangle and the following complex situations directed by Sharat Katariya, is a screen adaptation of the beloved Shakespearean comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The cast includes Tisca Chopra, Rajat Kapoor, Tara Sharma, and Neil Bhoopalam.
8.5OTTplay Rating
Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation trilogy of Shakespearean plays starts with Maqbool, which is Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The complex film deals with the themes of loyalty, betrayal and guilt, and the cast includes Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur, Om Puri and Naseerudh Shah.
8.5OTTplay Rating
Indian crime drama inspired from Othello, is the second in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Shakespeare adaptation trilogy. The story revolves around political crimes and the cast includes Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi and Bipasha Basu.
8.3OTTplay Rating
The story of a young man returning to Jammu Kashmir and seeks closure for his father’s disappearance resembles Shakespeare’s Hamlet, who is after avenging his father’s murder. The final one in Vishal Bhardwaj’s trilogy of Shakespearean adaptations stars Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor Tabu and Irrfan Khan.
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