A Timeless Tale Retold | Mughal-e-Azam Review

Recreating a timeless classic can be a daunting task, especially when the film in question is K.Asif's extraordinary tale of love, Mughal-e-Azam. However, director Feroz Abbas Khan took up this challenge and the result was a breathtakingly beautiful retelling of the film. Mughal-e-Azam The Play premiered late last year at the NCPA amidst sold out shows, applause and accolades. The makers were back with a second season earlier this month, and once again, their flawless work met with the same incredible response.

Dramatic dialogues, melodious songs, extravagant sets, magnificent costumes and beautiful choreography; this is a grand broadway musical that is bound to leave you speechless. The modern day stage adaption of Mughal-e-Azam takes you back in time and wonderfully recreates the popular love saga of Salim - Anarkali. Right from the excellent casting by Mukesh Chhabra to gorgeous costumes by ace designer Manish Malhotra and Mayuri Upadhya's captivating choreography,  each element has been carefully picked and woven together to create the perfect tribute to K.Asif's legendary film. No wonder, the second season too saw sold out shows and a standing ovation from the audience after every performance.

Chhabra gets together the perfect cast, who effortlessly perform their respective characters. They act, sing and dance their way into your hearts. A special mention of Priyanka Barve as Anarkali and Nissar Khan as Akbar, whose impeccable performances left us spellbound. Barve enthralled the audience with her sweet voice, while Khan's personality and strong dialogue delivery was perfect for the role. Other cast members, including Aashima Mahajan, Sunil Kumar Paliwal among others, also perform very well. The dialogues are powerful. For those who can't get the Urdu dialogues right, there are prominent LEDs on both sides of the auditorium that display English subtitles, which was a great idea. The overall production is extravagant and majestic. We like how even the most minute details have been taken care of. A special mention of the fabulous light effects and background score. Malhotra's stunning costumes will transport you back to the Mughal era. We particularly loved the famous 'Pyaar kiya toh darna kya' costume on Anarkali.

As the curtains came to a draw and the audience began to disperse, what stayed with us were the memories. One walks out of the auditorium with a big smile, especially after watching the mesmerising 'Pyaar kiya toh darna kya' or 'Aye Mohabbat Zindabad' on stage. We are delighted to have the musical era back, and we couldn't have asked for a better recreation of Mughal-e-Azam. While the second season came to a close today, we are looking forward to the third season already. Make sure you get your tickets, before they are gone. 

Play: Mughal-e-Azam
Directed by: Feroz Abbas Khan
Cast: Nissar Khan, Priyanka Barva / Neha Sargam, Aashima Mahajan, Sunil Kumar Paliwal / Dhanveer Singh and others
Language: Urdu

Verdict: Highly recommended! A must watch for it's flawless production and splendid performances.

Line Producers - Namrata Ahmed and Suparna Chakravarti of Rapid Waters
Mughal-e-Azam was conceptualised by Feroz Abbas Khan. He approached us to line produce it for  NCPA and Shapoorji Pallonji in April last year. We were delighted and instantly accepted the offer. Honestly, this has been the best decision of 2016 for us. The creation process has been very challenging and rewarding at the same time.

I think one of our biggest challenge was to do justice to the adaptation. We wanted to give our audience the same joy they felt while watching the film.

Round up of Season II
The popularity has only grown in season two, leaving people completely spellbound. We have had instances where women have come out teary eyed and feeling completely overwhelmed. It is extremely heart warming to see people react like this.

The Mughal-e-Azam effect
We would like to believe the play has definitely set the bar higher, especially when it comes to reviving cultural plays. I think its wonderful that a whole new market of entertainment is opening up.

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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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