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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Vishal Bhardwaj: Bigger than ever

Saif Ali Khan will play Iago in Bhardwaj's version of Othello.

india Updated: May 23, 2006 16:48 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

 nobile team politics

There is a story behind Vishal Bhardwaj's decision to adapt Othello for the Indian screen.

While working with the one and only Aamir Khan in a now-aborted production, Bhardwaj had spoken of his desire to weave his next film around the central premise of the classic Shakespearean drama. At that point, the plan was to keep it small a la Maqbool.

But Aamir got excited and told Bhardwaj that he would love to essay the role of Iago. "That's what got me thinking," said the music director-turned-filmmaker.

"I realised that the Othello adaptation could assume the dimensions of a big-budget star-driven venture." Though Aamir subsequently dropped out of the frame and Ajay Devgan stepped in as the eponymous character, Bhardwaj still had to find his Iago.

"It was in Dil Chahta Hai that I had first seen sparks of brilliance in Saif Ali Khan. I knew he was the star who had the acting skills required to pull off the role of Langda," says Vishal.

With actors and stars like Ajay, Saif, Viveik Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Konkona Sensharma and Naseeruddin Shah, Omkara has become by far the biggest film of Bhardwaj's directorial career.

"In terms of budget, it is six times bigger than Maqbool," he said. Will the impact of Omkara be just as huge.

First Published: May 23, 2006 16:48 IST