Is “Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola” adapted from “Mr Puntila and his Man Matti”?

Posted: January 9, 2013 by moifightclub in Aao guess karein, Adaptation, bollywood, cinema, film, News, Story / Plot / Synopsis
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Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola

This is weird. Don’t remember Vishal Bhardwaj mentioning about the Brecht’s play, Mr Puntila and his Man Matti, in any of his interviews. But the basic plot seems to be quite similar.

To quote from wiki page of the play

The story describes the aristocratic land-owner Puntila’s relationship to his servant, Matti, as well as his daughter, Eva, who he wants to marry off to an Attaché. Eva herself loves Matti and so Puntila has to decide whether to marry his daughter to his driver or to an Attaché, while he also deals with a drinking problem.

 In his essay “Notes on the Folk Play” (written in 1940), Brecht warns that “naturalistic acting is not enough in this case” and recommends an approach to staging that draws on the Commedia dell’Arte. The central relationship between Mr Puntila and Matti—in which Puntila is warm, friendly and loving when drunk, but cold, cynical and penny-pinching when sober—echoes the relationship between the Tramp and the Millionaire in Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights (1931).

Now, if you have seen the trailers of MKBKM, it’s easy to guess the basic plot. To quote from its IMDB page

Harry is an industrialist who loves his daughter Bijlee, and the bond they share with Harry’s man friday, Matru. Bijlee’s plan to wed the son of a politician, however, brings twists and turns in the lives of Matru, Bijlee and Mandola.

Though the IMDB synopsis might not be accurate but one thing we are sure about – Pankaj Kapur’s character trait is the same as Puntila in the play. And as mentioned in the wiki page, City Lights is on similar tangent.

Also, if you see the title of the play and the film, both swings the same way. And as a friend mentioned on twitter, VB’s love for giving subtle hat-tips in names/titles is not really new – Iago/Tyagi, Desdemona/Dolly etc.

So what’s the real deal?

If the film is an adaptation of the play or even the basic idea is the same, why is Vishal hiding it? Especially when he is known for doing great adaptations. If not, what are we missing? Enlighten us please! Otherwise friday is not really far.

  1. Ivich says:

    Well I did read somewhere that it was Kapur who brought the play to Vishal’s notice. Though they didnt name the play in the article, it did mention that Kapur had acted in the play. But yes, nowhere in Matru’s promotions are they crediting Brecht. It seems logical though that VB adapts – Bond, Shakespeare and now Brecht.

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  3. rajasen says:

    Iago/Ishwar, you mean. Langda had a first name : ) Never let it be said that he doesn’t dot the ‘i’s. curious though. hmm.

  4. Amit says:

    From the description, it seems pretty much the same plotline. But then… with VB.. his Shakespearean adaptations are usually in our face. This time, Brecht, did not hit that easily.

  5. […] Is “Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola” adapted from “Mr Puntila and his Man Matti&#8… […]

  6. Jogi says:

    Can you pronounce Dostoyevsky, my friend?

  7. Shreekant says:

    I was trying very hard to spot the hints for a subtle credit somewhere. There was The Bard, but didn’t see any Brecht in the film! Did I miss something? It is unlike VB to not acknowledge the source!!!

  8. hardik mehta says:

    Pankaj ji had mentioned it to VB long back – his NSD play ‘Chopra Kamaal, Naukar Jamaal..was also adapted from the same Brecht play.. here pankaj ji and kk raina had acted together in the play..

  9. highadmi says:

    Yeah it’s surely based on the play. in fact the trivia is that Pankaj kapoor had also acted in the play with K k raina. One can spot a still from this play on the famous wall of NSD.

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