Powerful tribute to a tragic story. This is an adaptation of "Othello" and indeed it is Indianised and is made interesting too.
Before, I even begin reviewing this, let me talk about the performance of Saif Ali Khan as Langda Tyagi. He is given the best performance of his life here. It is a flawless performance, from the cunning giggle to the broken trudge. He has the tenacity and the anguish in his eyes and his demeanor. From costumes to accent to the body language, he fits the role perfectly and also adds a new dimension to it. The greed for power exhibited by him is a rarity to see in a film that is powered by many genuine actors, be it Konkona Sen, Ajay Devgan or Naseeruddin Shah. They are considered to be superior with the body of work they have done prior to this film. Yet, it is for Saif Ali Khan alone you can watch the film.
The film starts with him and ends with him. The opening dialogue "Chootiye aur Bewakoof mein, dhaage ka farak hota hai" means so much as the film goes on. Wonderful Saif for what you have done.
The next most important person is the director Vishal Bharadwaj. I placed Saif above him, because I suppose Saif has added a new dimension to this. Vishal enabled Saif to do so, and Saif took it way further. So thanks to Saif and to Vishal too. This is a rare instance where I place an actor before the director.
I loved the film, but I did not like the ending which was not like the original "Othello" what if evil wins over good and Langda Tyagi becomes ruler. Ah, I wish that was the kind of ending it had.
This has strong dialogue from Bharadwaj and his writers, who have wonderfully incorporated the dialect that is mostly not used in the mainstream Hindi Films. It works and brings a kind of authenticity too.
The music is one that has to be praised. With wonderful tunes from Vishal Bharadwaj and superb lyrics from Gulzar, this is an album where all songs are good. My favorites are "O Saathi Re" and "Naina" and "Laakad".
I am giving a 4/5 simply for the performance of Saif and for the music direction and film direction itself. Thanks Vishal for a wonderful adaptation of Shakespeare's "Othello".