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Director Vishal Bhardwaj: In Conversation With Women’s Web On The Strong Female Characters In His Films

Posted: August 14, 2018

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Vishal Bhardwaj, the celebrated film director, music composer and playback singer, shared some stories from his interesting journey, with creating strong women characters in Indian Cinema.  

Director Vishal Bhardwaj has given us many memorable films like Maqbool, Omkara, Haider, Kaminey, 7 Khoon Maaf – with strong plotlines and melodious music. Shakespearean tragedies have often inspired him. His adaptations of Macbeth (Maqbool), Othello (Omkara) and Hamlet (Haider) into Indian contexts are very well done.

Bharadwaj feels that his initial ignorance towards Shakespearean literature was bliss as he could fearlessly adapt ‘Macbeth’. He initiated a brand new genre in Bollywood when he successfully premiered Maqbool in 2003 at the Toronto Film Festival.

Most of his films are noted for exceptionally good music, with Gulzar being a frequent collaborator and often joining him in the studio. Many twists and the portrayal of characters in grey shades are prominent characteristics of his work. His movies have been screened in various prestigious international film festivals and he has received a number of accolades for his immense contribution to the world of Indian Cinema. He has been honoured with the National Award multiple times for his exemplary film direction and music composition.

At the Bangalore Poetry Festival, the Women’s Web team got an opportunity to interact with Vishal Bhardwaj. When the female characters in his films were appreciated he said, “I personally feel that women are stronger characters than men.” He also agreed to the fact that  women-centric movies are getting enormous encouragement from producers, as well as the audiences, with reference to major hits like Raazi and Queen. He also spoke of how he intentionally creates flawed characters that reflect reality, rather than being superhuman or perfect.

During the interview, he also spoke about why he named his new book of poetry, ‘Nude’ and about his upcoming comedy-drama Pataakha, a firecracker of a story of two sisters. The unveiled poster of this new film has already created a huge buzz and the trailer will be out on 15th August. The interview ended on a thoughtful note with the recitation of one of his beautiful poems. Watch below, this exclusive interview!


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