Vishal on Shahid and Shakespeare

Neeru Saluja - Vishal-Bhardwaj








Shahid with Vishal at Haider sets


By Neeru Saluja

As Haider sweeps six awards at IIFA and Shahid Kapoor hits headlines with his wedding, we talk to director Vishal Bhardwaj about his relationship with Shahid and Shakespeare.

Director Vishal Bhardwaj is not only an Indian film director but a writer, screenwriter, producer, music composer and playback singer. He came into the limelight as a music composer with Gulzar’s Maachis and continued to earn fame through his music.

In 2003, he made Macbeth, the first film of his Shakespearan trilogy. “I transitioned from music direction to film direction to tell my own story. Music pushed me to make my own films. Music will always remain my first love. I still do music for my films. My films have been accepted because of this” says Vishal.

Haider is the third film of Bhardwaj’s Shakespeare trilogy after Maqbool and Omkara. But his love for Shakespeare did not stem from his schooling or university days. “I had no idea about Shakespeare. I did not study him in my college days and I had no interest in Shakespeare’s literature. It was quite later in life when I read Macbeth. At that time I was also keen to do an underworld story. Violence had to be the background and I wanted to go into the psyche of the character. I put two plus two together. I started working on Macbeth for my underworld film and then I read all the rest Shakespaeare’s plays,” tells Vishal Bhardwaj to us.

Haider is known to be Shahid’s best performance so far to date. Shahid also won many awards for his performance. Was Shahid always your choice for Haider? “I’ve worked with Shahid previously in Kaminey. We both know the negative and positive points of each other. Actually I choose the best actors, then the characters choose the actors. My characters drive my films which make my films character driven,” asserts Bhardwaj.

“You have also worked with Tabu previously but this was the first time with Shraddha. How was the experience? “I have worked with Tabu in Maqbool so we had a previous understanding. It was a great experience working with Shraddha Kapoor. She gave her best. Irfan Khan was also perfect for the role.

Haider was the first Indian film to win the People Choice Award at the Rome Film Festival. It has also won five National Awards. But surprisingly Vishal Bhardwaj doesn’t want to be associated with awards. “Popular awards don’t interest me. They don’t excite me at all. The awards are associated with newspapers and magazines. They can never be fair. If there is an award, I have full regards for the national award. It covers all the languages. It’s a prestigious award given by the President of India,” confides Vishal.

On a closing note, we ask Vishal about his future plans, “I’m definitely not doing Shakespeare for my next film. I will be doing music for a couple of films. I don’t need to speak much, my films speak for themselves.”

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