Novels, specially fiction, open up a whole new worlds to our imagination where some of these emerge as classics and bestsellers. It has now become a common trend to adapt novels into movies hence BollyCurry brings to you a list of a few of various literary works which have been adapted to fit the big screen.
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Saraswatichandra is a 1968 film adaptation of the Gujarati novel of the same name written by Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi. It tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers who find their soul mate in each other over letters. However, fate waves a cruel hand on the couple and through a series of feuds and misunderstandings, they are ultimately separated after a short-lived romance. The film was widely recognized and is best known for being the last Bollywood movie to be made in black and white.
Loosely based on Chetan Bhagat's Five Point Someone, 3 Idiots (2009) is a comedy drama directed by Rajkumar Hirani and starred Aamir Khan, R.Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Omi Vaidya and Boman Irani in pivotal roles. It follows the life of three friends in a prestigious engineering college. Despite the ups and downs, all was happy till one day one of them disappears and it is revealed that he is not who he claimed to be. The movie was a huge critical and commercial success, becoming one of the highest grossing Bollywood films of all times.
Currently a viral among movie-goers, Kai Po Che (2013) is the latest movie adapted from a novel. Based on Chetan Bhagat's The 3 Mistakes of My Life, this film set in Ahmedabad is also about three friends. It is told as a flashback from 2000-2002 over the backdrop of how the major happenings in Gujarat at that time changed their lives forever. It became the first Indian film to feature in the World Panorama section at it's world premiere at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival. The Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkumar Yadav and Amit Sadh starer also enjoyed critical and commercial success.
Starring Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol as the leads, Aisha (2010) is a modern day adaptation of Jane Austen's classical work, Emma. Set in the upper class society of Delhi, it follows the life of a girl, Aisha, who is heavily into match-making and this is met by disapproval from her friend and neighbor, Arjun. With much riding on the production, the chick flick was a below average performer at the box office.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas (2002) is the latest of the many adaptations of a Bengali novel by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay, with which it also shares it's name. Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit Nene in the leading roles, it tells the tragic tale of Devdas who loses the love of his life and becomes alcoholic, ultimately resulting in his death. It became the highest grossing film of 2002 and won several awards and accolades as well.
Parineeta (2005) marked the debut of director Pradeep Sarkar in Bollywood. Starring Vidya Balan, Saif Ali Khan and Sanjay Dutt, it is a musical film adaption of the 1914 novella of the same name by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. It revolves around Shekhar and Lalita who are childhood friends. Their friendship eventually blossoms into love, only to be opposed by his father creating a series of misunderstandings. But against all odds, the couple manages to reunite and live happily ever after. Parineeta was critically acclaimed and a box office success in India as well as overseas.
Marking the debut of two star kids, Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, Saawariya (2007) is based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's short story, White Nights. The film was produced and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and was the first Bollywood movie to receive a North American release by a Hollywood studio. Spanning over four nights, it tells the story of Ranbir Raj who falls in love with a girl but loses her by reuniting her with her lover who she meets after months of separation. Despite the hype surrounding it, Saawariya met with negative reviews in India and mixed reviews abroad and was commercially declared a flop.
A multi-starrer co-written and directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, Omkara is a 2006 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello. It revolves around Omi, the leader of a gang who commits political crime and his two lieutenants, Langda and Kesu. The main plot starts when Omi chooses Kesu over Langda as his successor and in an attempt to avenge both of them, Langda falsely implicates that Kesu is having an affair with Dolly, Omi's fiance. In a fit of rage Omi shoots Kesu and throttles Dolly and when he realizes the fatal misunderstanding, he commits suicide. Despite it's dark theme and strong language, Omkara was a critical and commercial success.
An adaptation of another Shakespeare play Macbeth by Vishal Bhardwaj, Maqbool (2003) had a North American premiere at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival. Set in the backdrop of the Mumbai underworld, Maqbool is the right hand man of the powerful underworld don -Abbaji. His ambitions lead him to murder the don with the help of Abbaji's mistress, Nimmi who is actually in love with Maqbool. Guilt and suspicions of the other gang members lead to a tragic end for the couple. Though it failed to entice much of a commercial audience, Maqbool was a critical success.
Yet another by Vishal Bhardawaj project, 7 Khoon Maaf (2011) is a black comedy based on Ruskin Bond's short story, Susanna's Seven Husbands. It follows the life of Susanna, a femme fatale, who falls for all the wrong men in her life and ends up killing them all. The movie was critically acclaimed and though it opened to a weak response, it managed to be declared a plus at the box office at the end of it's run.
Based on a Punjabi novel of the same name, Pinjar (2003) deals with one of the most historic events in India: it's partition and the religious problems which followed. Puro, a young Hindu woman, is kidnapped by a Muslim, Rashid, because of the tensions between their respective families. Despite his evilness, Puro sees that Rashid is genuinely falling in love with her and is repenting what he did. In the end, she chooses Rashid over a chance to return back to her old life. Starring Urmlia Matondkar, Manoj Bajpai and Sanjay Suri, the film was a critical and commercial success.
2 States is an upcoming Bollywood movie slated to release later this year. It shares it's name with Chetan Bhagat's novel on which it is based. It is a story of Krish and Ananya who are deeply in love but hail from different states where their marriage is opposed. How they convince their family for the same forms the rest of the plot. The film stars Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt in the lead roles.
Though similar in plot, a film offers a different flavor to the events of a story as compared to it's written version. Do leave your views on this ongoing trend in Bollywood and how the experience of reading a novel differs from watching it's movie adaptation for you.
Author: Neethi B.
Editors: Komal P. & Jenifer Y.
Graphics: Marsh P.
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