Eklavya: Shakespeare meets the Mahabhartata

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


The Eklavya: The Royal Guard, directed by the celebrated film-maker Vidhu Vinod Chopra, has been described as a version of Hamlet. The filming locations establish the setting as Rajasthan, specifically Bikaner, Jaipur and Udaipur, all filmed in sumptuous detail worthy of a quality travelogue. The film is also explicitly situated in the historical ambit of Indian myth since the central reference is to the Mahabharata. Some recognisable elements are noticeable: Eklavya manifests the generic hybridity which is a hallmark of Hindi movies, shifting between murder mystery, romance, political thriller, and musical. There is, however, a far more international dimension to Eklavya, including the ubiquitous referencing to Shakespeare. The Eklavya's intertextuality invokes some of certain associations but in a way that involves both contemporary reference and a longer historical perspective, weaving together sources which hold mythical and cultural status, including different works by Shakespeare.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShakesepare and Indian cinemas
Subtitle of host publication"Local Habitations"
EditorsPoonam Trivedi, Paromita Chakravarti
Place of PublicationNew York and London
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781315670409, 9781317367017
ISBN (Print)9781138946927
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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