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The Last Lear is an Indian, English language film directed by Rituparno Ghosh. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Arjun Rampal, Divya Dutta, Shefali Shah and Jisshu Sengupta. It was produced by Planman Motion Pictures.

Production

Basing the script on Utpal Dutt's play Aajker Shahjahan, Rituparno Ghosh penned it in 2006, and turned to the actors in February 2007, all of whom accepted the offer. The film began shooting from 28 February 2007 to 10 April 2007; principal shooting took place in Kolkatamarker and some shooting took place in Mussooriemarker, Uttaranchalmarker. Dubbing for the film ended on 31 August 2007.

The Last Lear premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, and received a significant reception, earning many accolades after being showcased at a Gala Presentation.

The film was later showcased at the London Film Festival, and the International Film Festival of India in Goamarker. The film was received positively by critics with many saying that Bachchan has given a career best performance.

Story

thespian Harish Mishra (Amitabh Bachchan) is gravely ill. The punishments of a film shoot have left the old man in a coma. His co-star, Shabnam (Preity Zinta), is wracked with worry, but their director, Siddharth (Arjun Rampal), keeps strangely distant and refuses to visit his ailing star. In flashbacks, their story emerges.

Siddharth first had to woo Harish from the comforts of his retirement, and the interaction between the two yields some of the film’s most delightful scenes. The impatient young auteur attempts to win the trust and collaboration of the aged performer, who sits raging against the modern world from the sanctuary of his study. Sporting a silver mane, Bachchan is irresistible here – vain, forceful and impetuous. He trumpets the superiority of Shakespeare over anything cinema can create. And yet, the movies hold out a new challenge.

Once he agrees to act in the film, The Last Lear becomes a captivating reflection on the comparative artifices of stagecraft and cinema. As the outsider in the cast, Harish is hilarious in dismissing movie fakery. His theatre skills are grander. Standing on a hillside, he teaches Shabnam how to project her voice clear across a valley to the next hill.

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