Vishal Bhardwaj will adapt William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night into a film, Bombay Times reported. Bhardwaj has previously written and directed modern-day Indian adaptions of the Shakespearan tragedies Macbeth (as Maqbool, 2003), Othello (as Omkara, 2006) and Hamlet (as Haider, 2014), and now aims to adapt three of the Bard’s comedies into movies.
Bhardwaj told Bombay Times that the first film in new the trilogy will be based on Twelfth Night. “The film will be called ‘Chaudhvin Ki Raat’,” he said. “This particular play had two titles. One was ‘Twelfth Night’ and the other was ‘What You Will’. The play was called ‘Twelfth Night’ because it was first performed 12 days after Christmas. The title also refers to the night before Epiphany, the day when the wise men visited infant Jesus. When I wanted adapt it to a more contemporary and Indian setting, I decided to call it ‘Chaudhvin Ki Raat’ because this night has a huge significance in the Indian context, as the moon is at its most beautiful.”
Shakespeare’s comedy revolves around Viola and her twin brother Sebastian, both of whom are shipwrecked and believes the other to be dead. Viola disguises herself as a man and gets a job at a servant for the Duke, Orsino.
Bhardwaj revealed that the film would be set in contemporary India, like his previous films. “I want to throw light on the politics, culture and music of contemporary India,” he added.
The filmmaker and music composer will collaborate with Gulzar for Chaudhvin Ki Raat. “Except a couple of movies, I have done all my films with him,” the filmmaker said about Gulzar. “The film will have music as the backdrop. The play’s first line is, ‘If music be the food of love, play on.’ He always helps me bring out the musician in me.”