Hindi Movies

From Pages to Images

Here are a few books that deserve a chance to be made into Bollywood films and thus reach the admirers of good stories who aren't necessarily into reading

Published: Thursday,Jan 15, 2015 21:52 PM GMT-07:00
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In a country where films are religion, all of us know that a good movie starts with a good idea - a strong script. Bollywood filmmakers are always on the lookout for ideas that could resonate with public, stir emotions in them, and eventually become blockbusters of their careers. In comes the ever trustworthy books, laced with author backed strong and sensible story line. After a little creative tweaking and fine tuning, there have been numerous books that have traveled this scintillating path to cinema with unparalleled glory. Be it Classics, science fictions, romances, paranormal or dystopian, there is no genre that the film fraternity has left unexplored. However, Hollywood has been way ahead of Bollywood in creating celluloid images from the words written in books. Earlier, Indian film industry sparsely turned to books for story ideas, and book adaptations like Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam (Shaheb Bibi Golam by Bimal Mitra), Guide (The Guide by RK Laxman), Umrao Jaan (Umrao Jaan Ada by Mirza Hadi Ruswa), Masoom (Man, Woman and Child by Erich Segal) or Devdas (Devdas by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay) were far and few in between.

But since the last decade we have seen a huge surge in book adaptations on Indian big screens as well. Many critically and commercially acclaimed films like Omkara (Othello by Shakespeare), Earth (Ice Candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa), Black Friday (Black Friday by S.Hussain Zaidi), Sarkar (Godfather by Mario Puzo), Pinjar (Pinjar by Amrita Pritam), Namesake (The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri), Parineeta (Parineeta by  Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay), Aisha (Emma by Jane Austen), 7 Khoon Maaf (Susanna's Seven Husbands by Ruskin Bond), Haidar (Hamlet by Shakespeare), 3 Idiots (Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat) and 2 States (Two States by Chetan Bhagat) have originated from popular books, to name a few.

Keeping with this development, here are a few books that deserve a chance to be made into Bollywood films and thus reach the admirers of good stories who aren't necessarily into reading:

The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sunderesan

This enchanting historical epic is a captivating life story of one of India's most controversial empresses - Mehrunissa, later known as Noor Jahan. In Mughal era where women held little to none power, Mehrunissa who was Emperor Jahangir's twentieth and last wife was considered extremely powerful. It is said that she in fact ran the empire from behind the veil. This rich piece of history which won the Washington State Book Award in 2003, is sure to captivate the big screen audiences who have shown their unbridled enthusiasm for historical sagas like Jodha Akbar (2008) and Asoka (2001) .
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Winner of the Commonwealth Writer's Prize Award 1994, this is the story a mother who is in search of a suitable boy for her daughter's marriage. Set in post-independence India, the novel meticulously captures the individual mindsets and socio-political environment of the tensed class and caste infested period of India that was clamoring for liberation. It binds romance, love, politics and society in a flawlessly written plot. With the positive reception of movies like Gadar (2001) and Pinjar (2003) by India's cinema going audiences, A Suitable Boy is sure to find a lot of success in Bollywood.
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Winner of the prestigious Booker prize for fiction 2008, this is a gripping tale of the son of a rickshaw puller who works as a chauffeur in Delhi and then flees to Bangalore after killing his employer, stealing his money and becoming a successful businessman. It is a mind boggling story which introduces us to the plights and dreams of lower class India, of people who are essential tools to our day to day life machinery, but hold very little value as human beings to us. This book would require a very intelligent and sensitive maker if it is to be justly adapted into a film.
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning

Indian cinema and television has time and again tried to address the issues of obesity, but have never been able to do justice to it. The characters were often reduced to mere caricatures. In a country where body image is highly valued, this is an issue that needs perceptive and serious handling, and given a solid script it is very much possible. This book tells the tale of sweet natured overweight girl Neve Slater and her torturous fight with her weight, her struggle to maintain the weight loss, her conditional love life, her crushed hopes and her deserving successes. The flawed male lead of the story is unforgettable as well. This realistic book has 'an awesome movie' written all over it.
Making Faces by Amy Harmon

An ugly duckling, Fern Taylor, is helplessly besotted with a popular handsome school senior, Ambrose Young. Fast forward a few years, and the ugly duckling has turned into a beautiful swan and the handsome young man is back from the war with a burdened conscience and a brutally scarred blown-up face. Will the love alter or will it become stronger? A riveting story about two insecure yet strong people assailed by love over the years; it is a story about finding the inner beauty and more than that, embracing it. This plot has all the makings of a gut wrenching and tear inducing love story.
Nalini Singh's Psy-Changling series

An author of Indian origin, Nalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling series. Set somewhere in the year 2079, it is a dystopian series with strong elements of thriller and romance that has fourteen main books and a few intermittent ones. It tells the story of different characters hailing from Changling species that can convert from humans to leopards or wolves and the icy and emotionless Psy who are under the control of a powerful council with aspirations of world domination. The lovers of Twilight and Hunger Games would definitely love to see this paranormal series come to life on Indian cinema. And with so many books, we can have as many sequels.
Before wrapping up, yes, we are aware that in light of millions of books being published and the widely varied tastes and preferences of readers all over, this list is insufficient. We would love it if you can contribute to this list and name the books you think deserve to reach a bigger audience via the wildly popular silver screen. Till then film lovers, keep a look out for film adaptations of books like that of Amish Tripathi's The Immortals Of Meluha, which is being produced by Karan Johar. These pieces of art not only add sound and vision to the written masterpieces but they are almost guaranteed to not disappoint you and get you back your cinema-hall ticket's worth in full.

Writer: Anamika GK
Editors: Aishwarya S. & Hershi J.
Graphics: Komal P.

Do you have a suggestion or comment for BollyCurry? Drop us a PM at BC_Dropbox today. 

Karan Johar Guide  Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam  Umrao Jaan  Black Friday  The Namesake  Omkara  Parineeta  Pinjar  Devdas  Earth  3 Idiots  Aisha  7 Khoon Maaf  2 States  Sarkar  Haider  Masoom 

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