Tragedy of Omkara ( Hindi Othello)

Omkara, is the 2006 film depiction of one of English Literatures greatest tragedies, Othello by
William Shakespeare.   To this date, Omkara remains one of the most controversial and also the
most commercially successful among all the other Othello films made . Omkara is a Bollywood
film production from India, which not only won many applause from audiences around the
world but also raised eye-brows of many Shakespeare purists. However, one of the most
important points to be considered about Omkara, is that it is directed by Vishal Bhardwaj .
Bhardwaj is well- known in India for transforming renowned western novels and plays into
films. Although the basic plot in Omkara is very much similar to Othello, there are some notable
differences, not just to fit the screen time issue, but to maintain the cultural and racial value for
its audience, who are mainly Indian.

The most notable change in Bhardwaj`s Omkara is that the original names of some of the
important characters are changed into Indian names.   In Othello, some of the names of the
main characters are Othello, Iago, Cassio, Desdemona, Roderigo, Emilia and Brabantio.
Although there are other characters in Othello, these characters are the most important ones
and the whole story basically revolves around them. But in Omkara, these names Othello, Iago ,
Cassio, Desdemona, Emilia and Brabantio are changed into Omkara, Tyagi, Kesu, Dolly, Indu and
Waakil-Saab.   Such changes are obvious, as the target audience of the film are of Indian origin,
and it is an acceptable change as the names are used to fit the cultural boundaries of the Indian
movie industry. Regardless of all the changes with the names, Bhardwaj makes them sound
similar as much as possible to the original ones. Such contrast is done, so that the
Shakespearean critics and purist around the world can relate to his film. The original names
could not have been used in an Indian film, as these names are...