Category Archives: On The Rocks Pick

Maqbool (2003)

Maqbool -Irfan

Shakespeare I


Cast:Irfan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapoor, Naseer, Om Puri, Piyush Mishra

Director: Vishal Bharadwaj

One of the striking opening scenes in cinema, Maqbool opens with a rainy night shot of a police van windscreen in the frame. No one else is visible. We hear voices and rain. A hand is drawing a kundali kind of sketch on that glass using fingers. He says it’s of Mumbai’s. Hand belongs to a cop. Another cop is drinking with a bald queer looking guy and they are discussing an encounter cop did earlier. He says it’s very difficult to encounter someone who is scared shitless. He muses one shouldn’t be scared (“Hasate hasate aaye ho, hasate hasate jao”). After sometime we sense we are witnessing culmination of a gang war going on for last few days. The bald guy belongs to the rival gang. Cops work for the other. He is brought there to be killed of course before getting last key piece of information. The whole scene builds up where eventually cop shoots and blood splatters on the windscreen where kundali was drawn. The astrologer cop exclaims, “Kya kar dia yaar? puri Mumbai khoon se rang di!”(See what mess you created? You painted whole Mumbai in blood). This is how a violent film opens and sets the rest of tragic tale of guilt, ambition, lust, and murder where its title splashes in color of blood and ‘q’ deliberately looks a dagger symbolizing betrayal.