Zulfiqar (film)

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Zulfiqar
Zulfiqar poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed bySrijit Mukherji
Produced byShrikant Mohta
Mahendra Soni
Written bySrijit Mukherji
Screenplay bySrijit Mukherji
Based onJulius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
StarringProsenjit Chatterjee
Kaushik Sen
Dev
Parambrata Chatterjee
Jisshu Sengupta
Ankush Hazra
Nusrat Jahan
Kanchan Mullick
Rahul Banerjee
Paoli Dam
Neel Mukherjee
June Malia
Kyra Dutt
Music byAnupam Roy
CinematographySoumik Haldar
Edited bySrijit Mukherji
Anindya Chattopadhyay
Production
company
Distributed byShree Venkatesh Films
Release date
7 October 2016
CountryIndia
LanguageBengali
Hindi

Zulfiqar is a 2016 Indian crime drama film directed by Srijit Mukherji.[2] The film is based on adaptation of two of William Shakespeare’s tragedies: Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra.[3] The shooting of the film started in January 2016. The film was released on 7 October 2016 during Durga Puja to poor reviews but was a box office success.[4] The songs and music of the film is a hit and topped the charts.[5]

Plot[edit]

Zulfiqar Ahmed (Prosenjit Chatterjee) is a Godfather figure and the most prominent member of Syndicate - a powerful organization which oversees most of the happenings in the heart of the city. Basheer Khan (Kaushik Sen), a member of Syndicate is a nationalist, a gangster and the best friend of Zulfiqar, who does not support terrorism. Tony Braganza(Parambrata Chatterjee) is the brain of The Syndicate who oversees the financial things of the organization, and Markaz Ali (Dev) is the brawn. If need be, Tony can shoot a bullet, but he is a man of the papers. Tony and Markaz have grown up together and they are inseparable. Though Zulfiqar is married to Karishma Ahmed (Paoli Dam), he continues an extramarital affair with Rani Talapatra (Nusrat Jahan), a money-lender, and the owner of the "Blue Nile Bar", who in turns loves Markaz and vice versa. Kashinath Kundu (Jisshu Sengupta) is the wily and scheming guy of The Syndicate, who has an ambition for power. The Syndicate also have some corrupt government officials as members, like Customs officer Kaushik Sinha (Sujan Mukhopadhyay), Port Trust officer Tribhuban Gupta (Srijato), and a policeman, Laltu Das (Rahul Banerjee). Zulfiqar is more equal than the others who carries his aura lightly, but even in this group of equals, his opinion on matters of business and policy weigh a bit more. Not everyone likes this including Kashinath Kundu who fuels Basheer's growing individuality and makes him believe that Zulfiqar was the one who gave shelter to Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists who came to West Bengal some days earlier by showing him some fake photographs and documents.

Basheer, fully convinced about Zulfiqar's involvement in helping the terrorists to hide in West Bengal, reluctantly decides to kill him with the other conspirators on the auspicious occasion of Eid al-Fitr. Karishma has nightmares of some upcoming danger that is yet to take place with Zulfiqar and repeatedly prevents him from going out on Eid al-Fitr. Zulfiqar, to calm down his wife, decides not to get out. But Danish, Syndicate's member, escorts him to go out. Tony and Markaz had no idea about the conspiracy and they were prevented from attending the meeting by Tribhuban, who held both of them for some other cause. During the Syndicate meeting, Mithilesh Sikdar (Prasun Gayen) urges the members to rid his brother of the exile, given to him due to the latter's hand in killing of innocent people. Though majority of the members gave their nod to the proposal, Zulfiqar denies the proposal and also told that there is no one to oppose him. This brings an ending to Zulfiqar's rule as the conspirators with Sharafat Qasim (Aryann Roy) shoots first with others, including Basheer Khan, Kashinath Kundu, Kaushik Sinha, Shishir Tili (Barun Chakraborty) to end Zulfiqar's rule once and for all, whereas Laltu Das and Pavel Lateef (Aritra Dutta) escape due to the fact that Basheer didn't want to kill any innocent.

After Zulfiqar's death, Tony and Markaz, along with Zulfiqar's son Akhtar Ahmed (Ankush Hazra), Laltu Das, Rani Talapatra, Pavel Lateef and Tony's favourite aide Chenno Bablu (Kanchan Mullick) go into hiding. Basheer calls them, asking to return on the occasion of Zulfiqar's funeral. At the funeral, Basheer delivers an oration defending his actions and for the moment the crowd, which have gathered outside the assassination spot to know the reasons for Zulfiqar's murder, is on the conspirators's side. However, Tony and Markaz, with a subtle and eloquent speech over Zulfiqar's corpse deftly turns public opinion against the assassins by manipulating the emotions of the common people. Tony, even as he states his intentions against it, rouses the mob to avenge Zulfiqar's murder. The conspirators go into hiding, but one by one Markaz, Tony and Laltu finds and kills Tribhuban, Shishir Tili, and Kaushik's twin brother (whom they mistake for Kaushik). Basheer reveals that his beloved wife Pariza Khan (June Maliah) had committed suicide under the stress of his absence after which the conspirators prepare for a gang war against the loyalists. That night, Zulfiqar's ghost appears to Basheer and tell him, he too will know everything when the right time comes and then once more the ghost will appear. Skirmishes and shootouts occur between the loyalists and the conspirators, in which Pavel, Mithilesh and Qasim is killed. Danish is shot during another shootout, and before his last breath he whispers something to Basheer. Kashinath inadvertently reveals his conspiracy against Zulfiqar to Basheer, the faking of the photographs and how he brainwashed Basheer into killing his best friend, after which Basheer informs him what Danish told him in his last moments- Kashinath is the illegitimate brother of Pariza. Now both of them indulges in a hand-to-hand combat, which ends when they kill each other. With his dying breath, Basheer again sees the ghost of Zulfiqar, as promised before.

The remaining part of the story follows the growing evil ambition of Akhtar, along with Markaz's relationship with Rani Talapatra, and Tony's marriage to Albeena (Kyra Dutt), Akhtar's sister. With the Syndicate no more existing, Akhtar systematically removes every obstacle in his path, forcing Markaz and Rani to suicide, and killing Tony, Chheno Bablu, and Laltu, and ultimately becoming the new, all-powerful gangster of the area like his uncle.

Cast[edit]

Actor Role Based on
Prosenjit Chatterjee[6] Zulfiqar Ahmed Julius Caesar
Kaushik Sen Basheer Khan Marcus Brutus
Parambrata Chatterjee Tony Braganza Mark Antony
Dev[7] Markaz Ali
Jisshu Sengupta Kashinath Kundu Cassius
Ankush Hazra Akhtar Ahmed Octavius
Rahul Banerjee Laltu Das Lepidus
Paoli Dam Karishma Ahmed Calpurnia
Nusrat Jahan[8] Rani Talapatra Cleopatra
Kyra Dutt Albeena Ahmed Octavia
Kanchan Mullick Chheno Bablu Enobarbus
June Malia Pariza Khan Portia
Sujan Mukhopadhyay Kaushik Sinha/unnamed twin brother Cinna the conspirator/Cinna the poet
Srijato[9] Tribhuban Gupta Trebonius
Bharat Kaul Parvez Maqsood Pompey the Great
Aryann Roy Sharafat Qasim Casca
Prasun Gain Mithilesh Sikder Metellus Cimber
Subhra Sourav Das Saqlain Maqsood Sextus Pompey
Barun Chakraborty Shishir Tili Cicero
Kalyan Ray[10] Peer Baba Soothsayer
Debapriyo Mukherjee Danish Bashar Decius Brutus
Aritra Dutta Pavel Lateef Popilius Lena
Biplab Dasgupta MLA N/A

Soundtrack[edit]

Zulfiqar
Zulfiqar audio poster.jpg
Soundtrack album by Anupam Roy
Released2016
Recorded2016
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelShree Venkatesh Films
ProducerShrikant Mohta
Mahendra Soni
Anupam Roy chronology
Pink
(2016)
Zulfiqar
(2016)
Runningshaadi.com
(2017)
No.TitleWriter(s)Singer(s)Length
1."Ami Aajkal Bhalo Achi"Anupam RoyAnupam Roy4:53
2."Ek Purono Masjide"Anupam RoyNachiketa Chakraborty5:07
3."Ghawrbaari"Anupam RoyAnupam Roy4:46
4."Katakuti Khela"Anupam RoyShaan, Shreya Ghoshal3:54
5."Katakuti Khela (Acoustic Version)" Anupam Roy4:23
6."Qatl E Zulfiqar"Anupam RoyTimir Biswas4:59
7."Katakuti Khela Acoustic Version"Anupam RoyAnupam Roy4:59

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The film received mixed to negative reviews from the critics. The film was rated 2.5/5 by reviewers of The Times of India. The reviewers lambasted the storytelling, acting, costume design etc. commenting-"The result of the Shakespearean 'fusion' is a film that is an overcooked, hyperventilating stream of images and sound stretching for well over two hours".[11] Editors from Indian Express also critiqued the Shakespearean adoption rating the film 2/5.[12]

Controversy[edit]

The film was subjected to controversy as it showed the leading characters, mostly Muslims, associated with illegal activities. Chairman of the State Minorities Commission Imtiaz Ali Shah reported the incident to the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, following which Mukherji had agreed to address the issues. Sources said Banerjee herself ordered some cuts in the film.[13]

Assistant Professor at Aliah University Mohammad Reyaz wrote a critique of stereotyping of Muslims in the film which led to the director Srijit Mukherji responding with a note on Facebook.[14]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Recipient(s) Result
Filmfare Awards East 2017 Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Bengali Dev Nominated
Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor - Bengali Jisshu Sengupta Nominated
Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor - Bengali Kaushik Sen Nominated
Filmfare Award for Music - Bengali Anupam Roy Nominated
Filmfare Award for Best Lyrics - Bengali Anupam Roy for Ek Purono Masjide Nominated
Filmfare Award for Best Playback (Male) - Bengali Anupam Roy for Ami Aajkal Bhalo Achi Nominated
Filmfare Award for Best Playback (Male) - Bengali Nachiketa Chakraborty for Ek Purono Masjide Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Srijit Mukherji to adapt two Shakespearean tragedies in one film". Hindustan Times. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  2. ^ "My film Zulfiqar is a tribute to The Godfather, says Srijit Mukherji". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 Sep 2016.
  3. ^ "Srijit Mukherji to adapt two Shakespearean tragedies in one film". The Hindustan Times. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Out of the box: Of bad reviews and good collections in Tollywood". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 Oct 2016.
  5. ^ "Anupam comes out of comfort zone, slays with Zulfiqar". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 Oct 2016.
  6. ^ "I will never stop exprerimenting-Prosenjit Chatterjee". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 22 Sep 2016.
  7. ^ "I took classes to learn sign language: Dev". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 4 Oct 2016.
  8. ^ "I had to walk a kilometer to get to a washroom: Nusrat". The Times of India. Retrieved 8 Oct 2016.
  9. ^ "Srijato to debut as an actor in Srijit Mukherji's Zulfiqar". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 Dec 2015.
  10. ^ "Kalyan Ray makes a comeback with Zulfiqar". =The Times of India. Retrieved 11 Apr 2016.
  11. ^ "Zulfiqar Movie Review, Trailer, & Show timings at Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  12. ^ "Zulfiqar movie review: The fault, dear Srijit, is not in your stars, but in your story telling". The Indian Express. 2016-10-08. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  13. ^ "Row after Muslims object to Bengali film". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 Oct 2016.
  14. ^ "Zulfiqar – An attempt to negatively stereotype Muslims | TwoCircles.net". Two Circles. Retrieved 31 October 2016.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]