Anjan Dutta reinvents Hamlet


Kolkata. Shakespeare’s Hamlet has inspired award-winning director Anjan Dutta to recreate the intense drama on celluloid, though with a contemporary spin.

Anjan’s ‘Hamlet’, which is the second adaptation of the age-defying drama in recent times after ‘Haider’ by Vishal Bhardwaj, deals with socio-political crisis and violence against humanity.

“Shakespeare’s Hamlet suffered from a basic crisis and I wanted to define and interpret that crisis in my own way,” the director told PTI.

Actor Parambrata Chatterjee will portray Hamlet’s character ‘Hemanta’. Anjan said he himself would play the character if he were a little younger.

“Had I been a little younger, I would have done the role and my wish to portray Hamlet got shape through Param,” he said.

Anjan said that his Hemanta couldn’t care less about the situation around him, unlike his contemporaries who were largely insouciant about violence next door and busy with personal affairs.

“I had long been thinking I should not confine myself to Byomkesh exploits and urban relationship and musicals. I thought there is an imperative need to have a hard look at the present time through my protagonist’s eyes,” he said.

“Hamlet’s character has many layers. Some put his crisis at sexual level, some talk about his anguish and hatred towards the stinking political situation in Denmark about 500 years back. But for me it is more of his angst towards the situation prevailing all over the world,” Anjan said.

Parambrata said he had to cut himself off all other projects for one and a half months to study the character over and over again.

“Though I had read Hamlet during college days as a student of English literature, I needed time to grasp the contemporariness of his character,” the ace actor said adding “it is an actor’s dream to work in projects inspired by Chekov, Tagore and Shakespeare”.

Jisshu Sengupta is playing Horatio’s role while Saswata Chatterjee plays Cladius.

Hemanta after graduating from New York Film School returns to his home in Kolkata and gets the news that his film producer father has commited suicide because his mother Gayatri is set to marry uncle Kalyan (Cladius), which triggers a series of murders and mysterious deaths.