7 Times When Shakespeare’s Plays Were Adopted Onto Indian Screens


By KS Reddy

Who doesn’t know Shakespeare? our first encounter with William Shakespeare is in the classroom. The literary corpus of Shakespeare is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for countless people across the globe. When Shakespeare’s writing is adapted on celluloid, it sets it ablaze, and transfers the audience to a cinematic utopia. Indian adaptation of both Shakespearean tragedy and comedy can be comprehended as an amalgamation of ‘videsi’ and ‘desi’, a synthesis of East and West.In 1594 he had started writting his plays and till date he inspires many .

His plays and stories have inspired many , Vishal Bhardwaj is quoted as saying: “Shakespeare is the greatest storyteller ever. His stories have layers of spectacular human drama. I think they can be adapted anywhere and in any language. I can live my whole life on Shakespeare. Veteran Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah had once said, “The roots may look lost, but every big story in the Hindi film industry is from Shakespeare.”  Let’s take a look at some of the movies based on the writing genius’ plays.

There’s also a tollywod movie based on shakespear play made in the year 1949.

1. HAIDER – The Tragedy of Hamlet


Starring Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Tabbu, Kay Kay Menon, and Irrfan Khan. This movie was  directed by Vishal Bhardwaj.

  1. MAQBOOL – The Tragedy Of Macbeth


The movie had some of the biggest Indian parallel cinestars like Pankaj Kapoor, Irrfan, Tabu, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri and Piyush Mishra. Released in the year 2003, the movie was directed by Vishal Bhardwaj Though it failed to perform much at the BO, the movie is considered a landmark in terms of acting and direction.

3. OMKARA – The Tragedy of Othello


starring Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Naseeruddin Shah and Bipasha Basu. The 2006 movie was directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. The movie was a critical and commercial success, and won three National Awards.

4. ANGOOR- The Comedy Of Errors


The comedy of errors play has inspired six Indian movies, viz. Do Dooni Char (1968) starring Kishore Kumar and Asit Sen;Angoor (1982) starring Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma; Bhrantibilas(1963 Bengali film) starring Uttam Kumar and Bhanu Bandopadhyay;Ulta Palta (1997 Kannada film) starring Ramesh Aravind and Karibasavaiah; Aamait Asal Eemait Kusal (2012 Tulu film) starring Naveen D Padil and Jyotish Shetty; and Double Di Trouble (2014 Punjabi film) starring Dharmendra and Gippy Grewal.

5. Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela – Romeo And Juliet

Ram leela

This play had inspired many movies . Some of the movies inspired by Romeo and Juliet are: Bobby(1973) starring Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia; Ek Duuje Ke Liye(1981) starring Kamal Haasan and Rati Agniohotri; Sanam Teri Kasam(1982) starring Kamal Haasan and Reena Roy; Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) starring Amir khan and Juhi Chawla; Saudagar (1991) starring Manisha Koirala and Vivek Mushran; Ishaqzaade (2012) starring Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor; Issaq (2013) starring Prateik and Amyra Dastur; and Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela (2013) starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.

6. 10ML Love  A Midsummer Night’s Dream

10ML Love

starring  Tara Sharma, Purab kholi ,Tisca Chopra. This was directed by  Sharat Katariya.



This was a Telugu film in the year 1949, directed by Kadiri Venkata Reddy. It is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s King Lear and it was a super Hit movie .