For centuries Shakespeare’s tragic play King Lear has fascinated theatre artists and actors. Now Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh is said to be planning to make a movie on the play. However, the movie will not be a direct adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, but will be based on an adapted play called ‘Aajker Shahjahan’ by Bengali actor Utpal Dutt.
‘King Lear’ tells the story of an ageing king who has three daughters. The king decides to abdicate the throne and divide his kingdom between his three daughters. But before doing so he holds a contest in which he asks his daughters to demonstrate their affection towards him in speech. While the two elder daughters speak volumes about their love for the king, the youngest daughter (who loves King the most) refuses to say anything because she feels words would belittle her emotions. The King eventually divides the kingdom between his two elder daughters and banishes the youngest one. Ironically, when the two daughters come into power they turn cold towards the king.Like any other Shakespearean tragedy, the story of King Lear has a universal appeal.
Rituparno Ghosh’s movie will star Amitabh Bachchan as the ageing King Lear. Preity Zinta , Divya Dutta and Shefali Shah will play his three daughters. Preity will understandably play the youngest daughter. The movie also stars Arjun Rampal .
Planman Motion Pictures, run by Arindham Choudhary, will produce the film. “When Amitabh Bachchan heard that the film was based on Utpal Dutt’s Bengali play, he immediately agreed to work on this project,” says producer Arindam Choudhur. Incidentally, Amitabh Bachchan started his career as a film actor with Utpal Dutt in Saat Hindustani in 1969. “Mr Bachchan appreciated the kind of experimental plays that Utpal Dutt directed. Jayaji kept him informed about the plays, because she was from FTII,” he adds.
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