Venice’s Othello turns into Meerut’s Omkara

The English Language Centre in Kolkata held a blog contest on ‘The Shakespearean film/adaptation that has influenced me most and why’. Sanchari Saha was one of three winning entries. Read her blog below

Four hundred years later, we still appreciate the world’s favourite playwright, William Shakespeare. His legacy of written works ensures his relevance to society, past and present. His characters and stories reveal universal truths about the human condition in a way we can all relate to; whether it is the tragic outcome of unchecked greed and ambition, an unrelenting desire for revenge, or the pursuit of love. His representation of human nature is just as real and as relevant today, as it has been through the centuries. Even now directors and producers all over the world make films which are inspired by Shakespeare’s dramas.  One such movie is Omkara, directed by Vishal Bharadwaj, an Indian director. The film is inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello. I have recently watched this movie and it kept me spellbound.

Vishal Bharadwaj had a vision to turn Venice’s Othello into Meerut’s Omkara and he made sure that vision turned into an epic reality. Omkara is a superlative and exhaustive work of passion and tribute, skill and style. What stands out the most is how most of the characters are dynamic and they teach us a lesson. There is a huge sense of catharsis at the end of the film which I liked the most. Characters like Indu and Omi grabbed my attention. The characters are very strong characters in a different way. Every actor does their part beautifully, but Saif Ali Khan is brilliant as Langda Tyagi. His dialogue delivery and authentic character lends Omkara strength.

To sum up, Omkara is about revenge, love for money and power, dark politics and jealousy. It is one of the rare movies where the antagonist receives more empathy than the protagonist. The movie is superb and is a must watch for cinephiles.

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