4 Books That We Can’t Wait To See Adapted As Films
Films or Books
This debate will never end right ?
We are of the opinion why not both!
There are so many books that were masterpieces in their own right and were so huge in themselves but when they were made into movies, the books were added with a different dimension and a visual perspective to them, and also the piece of art became more and more accessible to the people through the cinematic medium.If the books are adapted well, with an ensemble cast and crew that can together work towards putting up the show, we can definitely get a much needed visual perspective to the story. In our series Book To Film, we take such hypothetical conversions of some of the meticulous and popular books into films with a well thought star cast and technical crew as well, the cast and crew is decided on the basis of the mood, tone and of course the story of the book. We aim at making it as relatable as possible for both movie lovers as well as bibliophiles.
1. The Immortals Of Meluha
Amish Tripathi’s The Immortals of Meluha (the first book in the Shiva Trilogy) re-imagined Indian mythology in a whole new light, where Gods were ordinary humans who created their own legends. The book follows the story of Shiva who is the chief clansman of the Guna tribe as his people migrate to the Suryavanshi kingdom of Meluha where he becomes embroiled in a bitter war with the Chandravanshis, a rival race that has joined hands with the fearsome Nagas.
This fantasy adaptation of a well-known story opens up a lot of ideas for a film-maker to bring on to the big-screen. Since here a god is being portrayed as a human, his human flaws can be explored which couldn’t have been done in a TV adaptation of Shiva Purana. What makes the narrative all the more interesting is the territorial dynamics of the various warring tribes that add more layers to the creation of myths. With well-written characters arcs and a fast-paced screenplay to go with it, The Immortals of Meluha can be the fantasy franchise we had all been waiting for.
Author – Amish Tripathi
Director – S. S. Rajamouli
Cinematographer – K. K. Senthil Kumar
Original Score – M. M. Keeravani
Vicky Kaushal as Shiva (Chief of Guna Tribe),
Radhika Apte as Sati (The Meluhan Princess) ,
Vikrant Massey as Nandi (Captain in Shiva’s Army & loyal devotee)
Abhimanyu Singh as Veer Bhadra (Captain in Shiva’s Army & fierce warrior)
Naveen Kaushik as Brahaspati (Chief Meluhan Scientiest)
Adil Hussain as Daksha (Emperor of Melhuans)
2. The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho’s definitive semi-philosophical novella The Alchemist tells the story of a shepherd boy named Santiago who embarks on a spiritual journey of sorts to find the proverbial treasure that, according to a prophecy, waited for him somewhere in the Egyptian Pyramids. Through a self-realised belief in himself that he would indeed find this treasure that would set him free, Santiago learns a valuable lesson in life about the panacea that we all have within.
This philosophy of finding fulfillment within oneself instead of running after material pleasures is an age-old premise that has been used in films many times. And yet, it is still so relevant for all ages that it never gets old if woven around a story in an engaging way.
Although Coelho’s original creates a mirage of fantasy in the reader, a modern adaptation of the same may also be alluring especially for the fact that it would be highly relatable for our world that is ridden with consumerist ideologies and shallow lives that are devoid of meaning. A young shepherd boy named Sanatan (Sanskrit for ‘infinite’) hears a prophecy from a local fortune-teller called Najumi (an Urdu word for fortune-teller) that his treasure awaited him in a big-city (like Mumbai). And so the story goes.
Author – Paulo Coelho
Director – Imtiaz Ali
Cinematographer – Rajeev Ravi
Original Score –A. R. Rahman
Cast – Shashank Arora as Santiago ( adapted as Sanatan aka Santu Charwaha), Surekha Sikri as Romani Fortune – Teller (adapted as Najumi), Zoya Hussain as Fatima, Kulbhushan Kharbanda as King Melchizedek (adapted as Zamindaar Sahab)
3. The God Of Small Things
Arundhati Roy’s Booker Prize winning debut novel The God of Small Things made a dent in the literary world through its stark prose that interweaved tragedy with romance, narrating a story that spanned across generations. Roy’s epic drama runs parallel to the political upheaval in Kerala, as seen through the intertwined fates of the twin siblings Rahel and Estha.
Although Roy has strongly suggested that she would never sell the rights of her book to be adapted into a film, we can only dream that someday she might yield so that this work of art can be amalgamated into a visual tapestry. Her visceral story-telling guised behind a simple form can prove to be a great translation elevated only by deeply poignant performances. The director, here, may have to take some creative liberties regarding the age of the siblings owing to some of the sensitive aspects of the story.
Author – Arundhati Roy
Director – Mira Nair
Cinematographer – Nikos Andritsakis
Original Score – A. R. Rahman
4. The Great Indian Novel
Shashi Tharoor is well-known as an eloquent, media-savvy statesman, and an author whose books on revisionist history throw a lucid light on India’s story both during the British era and in the contemporary age of information. Besides writing insightful non-fiction, this illustrious Stephanian diplomat also dabbles himself in fiction, especially in the genre of satire. The Great Indian Novel, first published in 1989, is a modern retelling of the Mahabharata where Tharoor weaves a semi-historical story with characters that are inspired from the epic. What comes out of this ingenious reincarnation is a deeply engaging satire that revolves around the giants of Indian democracy, and their political idiosyncrasies.
The Great Indian Novel is an assortment of chocolates in a box, as Forrest Gump would say. Keeping aside the fact that it adapts the complex dynamics of an age-old story into satire, the narrative would also bring together some of the greatest figures in history through characters that are their direct inspirations. For instance, the character Ganga Datta, inspired from Gangaputra Bhishma who is equated to Gandhi in modern history, is shown as a spiritual leader who lives a celibate life. Despite its mythological origins, this modern adaptation with an ensemble cast would be an epic in itself – every bit as theatrical and dramatic, and witty and enlightening in equal measures.
Author – Shashi Tharoor
Director – Umesh Shukla
Cinematographer – Shanker Raman
Original Score – Indian Ocean
Cast – – Amitabh Bachchan as V.V. ji (Ved Vyas : C. Rajagopalachari), Satish Shah as Ganapathi (Ganesh), Anupam Kher as Ganga Datta (Bhishma : Mahatma Gandhi), Rajat Kapoor as Dhritarashtra (Dhritarashtra : Pandit Nehru), Boman Irani as Pandu (Pandu : Subhash Bose), Rajit Kapur as Vidur Hastinapuri (Vidura : Sardar Patel), Paresh Rawal as Jayaprakash Drona (Drona : Jayaprakash Narayan), Tabu as Draupadi Mokrasi aka Di Mokrasi (Draupadi : Democracy), Manoj Bajpayee as Shakuni Shankar Dey (Shakuni : Siddhartha Shankar Ray), Kirti Kulhari as Priya Duryodhani (Duryodhan : Indira Gandhi), Randeep Hooda as Mohammad Ali Karna (Karna : Muhammad Ali Jinnah), Irrfan as Yudhishtir (Yudhisthira : Morarji Desai), Abhimanyu Singh as Bhim (Bhim : Indian Army), Farhan Akhtar as Arjun (Arjuna : Indian Media)