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Friday, April 04, 2008

From bestsellers to blockbusters

Harry Harry PotterPotter, The Da Vinci Code, Lord of the Rings, Gone with the Wind, et al were all bestsellers before they become thundering blockbusters. Not only these, the best of Hollywood cinema has been picked up from the best pot-boilers. But, when it comes to Indian films, such cases are few and far in between. However, cinema adaptations of books have seldom failed to work their magic at the box office. Fascinated by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay’s book Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray decided to portray it on silver screen. The film went on to become one of India’s most recognised films globally. When it comes to cinema inspired by literature, Bengali cinema boasts the maximum numbers – Devdas, Choker Bali, Parineeta to name a few. In recent times, Vishal Bharadwaj, has mastered the art of putting life into the written word. His critically acclaimed Maqbool was a take off from Shakespeare’s Macbeth; while the recent hit Omkara was a local spin off on the great playwright’s Othelo. Even Booker prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake was recently translated onto celluloid by Meera Nair and was well-recieved. Nevertheless, the fact that on the Indian cinema has largely ignored the literary powers of Indian authors, is intriguing. Does Indian literature lack the punch or are desi filmmakers not book-savvy? The jury is still out!

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2008

IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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