Updated January 31st, 2024 at 00:19 IST

Hero Loser Hai: Maqbool Director Says A Movie 'Rejected By Everyone' Made Him A 'Star Filmmaker'

Maqbool has completed 20 years since its release on Tuesday. Director Vishal Bharadwaj's film was a commercial failure but later became a cult classic.

Reported by: Republic Entertainment Desk
Maqbool | Image:IMDb

Maqbool director Vishal Bhardwaj opened up about making his cult classic starring Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur, Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah on the day the film completed 20 years since its release. The film, the first of his Shakespeare trilogy, didn’t do well in theatres, didn’t make much money and there was no actor willing to take on the title role — finally played by Irrfan, VIshal shared.

Maqbool poster | Image: IMDb

Vishal Bhardwaj says Maqbool made him a ‘star filmmaker’

Vishal credited the film, which released on January 30, 2004, for making him a “star filmmaker” overnight. “Even now, when you watch the film, it does not feel dated. I have to sometimes remind myself that it’s already 20 years because it feels like I was struggling just recently to make Maqbool. It didn’t do well in theatres. It didn’t do any business but so much appreciation,” he said.

A still from Maqbool | Image: IMDb

Talking about the struggles while making the Irrfan starrer, Vishal shared, “But when I tried to make Maqbool, I could not get money or stars. I approached everybody, except Aamir, Shah Rukh and Salman, almost everyone rejected it. Some said, ‘Arrey, hero loser hai’, ‘Arrey, ye to badi depressing film hai’, ‘Underworld is done to death, ‘Satya and Parinda are already there so who can make a better film than this?'” he recalled.


Vishal started out as a music composer in the film industry and turned to direction with Makdee in 2002. He said that he already had the script ready for Maqbool at the time he made his debut film.

Vishal's tryst with Shakespearean literature 

After Maqbool, Vishal Bhardwaj later went on to complete his Shakespeare trilogy with Omkara, an adaptation of Othello in 2006, and Haider from Hamlet in 2014. He said that he now wants to look at Shakespeare’s comedies but said it will take some time. His last directorial was Khufiya for Netflix.

(With PTI inputs)




Published January 30th, 2024 at 23:35 IST

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