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.