Contemporary Indian Literature is becoming the new muse for stories in Bollywood. Film born out of bestselling novels has remained a mixed bag of successes and failures based on the content of the original script. As Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children based on Salman Rushdie’s novel of the same name and Kai Po Che, based on Chetan Bhagat’s Bestselling novel ‘The 3 Mistakes of Life’ gear up for release in February, one might automatically ponder whether Good Books necessarily materialize into Good Films. It definitely relies largely on the execution of the script as well which varies from the skill and talent of the director and the cast of the film to the popularity of the author and the popularity and originality of his or her work itself. Koimoi bring to you the most interesting books-adapted-into-movies ventures and how it works or is expected to work on the audiences.
3 Idiots (2009)
Chetan Bhagat was another ordinary Investment Banker trying his tryst with writing when Five Point Someone released. The book had traveled from one publishing house to another before Rupa agreed to give this undiscovered writer a chance. Five Point Someone attained a cult status and was soon after adapted into a hugely famous film directed by Rajkumar Hirani. The film was declared the Numero Uno film of the year. Hirani who was too interlinked with the Munnabhai series saw this venture as more than a welcome change. Starring Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, Kareena Kapoor, Sharman Joshi and Boman Irani in pivotal roles, the film was very well received by both the audiences and the critics. The film’s message was full of warmth and hope which turned out to be the film’s USP. After all, we all like Fairytales!
While the book, One Night at The Call Centre by Chetan Bhagat sold out its entire first batch within three days of its release, the film failed miserably. Directed by Atul Agnihotri, starring Sharman Joshi, Gul Panag, Sohail Khan and Salman Khan in its main roles, the film was both improperly made and lack of improvisation of the original script sealed its doomed fate!
Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (2010)
Set in the backdrop of the Chittagong Uprising of 1930, the film was based on Do or Die by Manini Chatterjee, a senior editor with Telegraph. The film was directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. Manini who had always believed in hardcore journalism trusted Gowariker with the venture given his fantabulous work in impressive films like Lagaan and Swades previously. The film starred Deepika Padukone and Abhishek Bachchan in main roles. The film opened to rave positive reviews from most critics with Gowariker being praised for his valiant attempt to make a Period film.
Kai Po Che (2013)
With the release of the film scheduled next month, the film has already created interest among audiences. The film has an unusual ensemble star cast starring popular Television actors Amit Sadh , Sushant Singh Rajput and 2012’s wonder boy Raj Kumar Yadav who was noticed conspicuously is films like Talaash and Ragini MMS. The film’s story follows the trail of its mother novel set against the backdrop of cricket, religious politics and ruthless business ethics in Gujrat. Chetan Bhagat is thrilled to yet again, see his work take shape on the silver screen.
2 States (2013)
The film is in the filming process already. This has to Bhagat’s personal dream project. Autobiographical in its tint, Two States is based on the love story of Chetan Bhagat and his wife Anusha. The cultural barrier between Punjabis and Tamils adds to the humorous flavor of the film. The film will be produced by Karan Johar and will star Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt.
The Zoya Factor
Written by Anuja Chauhan who has remained the international face of Indian Advertising as the Creative Director of JWT, working to create advertisements for brands like Pepsi, her debut novel The Zoya Factor was a surprise success. Filled with wicked witty dialogues and interesting characters, the book was a smart choice to be adapted into a film. Slotted to be produced under Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment, sources suggest that the major pre production work on the film will begin towards the end of 2013.
The success stories are many. Looking into international books adapted into movies, like The Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Series which have been immensely popular, successful and revenue raking ventures. There have been Television series and movies like The Sex and The City based on Candace Bushnell’s novel of the same name, which have not only been simply successful but have presented to the audience a newer perspective towards love, relationships, womanhood and feminism. While characters like Carrie Bradshaw provide sympathy to her heartbroken sisters all around the globe, a character like Samantha Jones empowers them to value their individuality, dignity and self respect. Often book adaptations have been absolute disasters. For a novel as heart wrenching and overwhelming as Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, the movie turned out to be dismally disappointing. Despite adhering to Hosseini’s original story, the film fails to bring out the nascent emotions in the book.
While book adaptations are at a very early stage in Bollywood, films like 3 Idiots make us hopeful that fine execution and meticulous direction, added with an improvisation of the script as and when required, can definitely make for an interesting film which impresses both the audiences and critics. Koimoi has always encouraged newer beginnings in Bollywood and wishes Kai Po Che and all such ventures our best wishes.