FILMS BIT­TEN BY THE LIT BUG

More than a dozen Bol­ly­wood films based on books are in the pipe­line right now. We fig­ure out why

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Prashant Singh prashant.singh@htlive.com

Films based on books are com­mon in Hol­ly­wood and we can also find quite a few ex­am­ples in Bol­ly­wood. But un­til now, we’ve never seen so many A-lis­ters of main­stream In­dian cinema snap up so many book rights for adap­ta­tion — at least four such films are in var­i­ous stages of pro­duc­tion right now, and sev­eral well-known di­rec­tors are also work­ing on more adap­ta­tions.

For starters, Alia Bhatt (bot­tom left) will star in the film adap­ta­tion of Call­ing Sehmat by Harinder S. Sikka, while Deepika Padukone (right) is set to star in Vishal Bhard­waj’s next pro­duc­tion, based on a story from S Hus­sain Zaidi’s book, Mafia Queens of Mum­bai. Then, Ak­shay Ku­mar (above left) has wrapped up Pad­man, based on his wife Twin­kle Khanna’s story The Leg­end of Lak­shmi Prasad. This Friday will see Ar­jun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor in a film based on a Chetan Bha­gat best­seller.

Film­mak­ers such as Sri­ram Ragha­van, R Balki, Ashutosh Gowariker, Nitesh Ti­wari, and Sa­jid Khan are work­ing also on var­i­ous Bol­ly­wood adap­ta­tions of books.

“Lit­er­a­ture will never go out of fash­ion,” says trade an­a­lyst Taran Adarsh. “Big stars and di­rec­tors have all heard of best­sellers and are aware that peo­ple have loved a par­tic­u­lar book. And if a large num­ber of peo­ple have em­braced the book, it’ll make for a great film story, too.”

Direc­tor Mo­hit Suri says that it’s not easy to “sum­marise [an] en­tire book into a two-hour-long film”, so “you have to pick and choose”. He adds, “That’s where the trick lies, be­cause it’s like thou­sands of peo­ple have read the script be­fore­hand.”

Why is cinema show­ing so much love for books now? Trade ex­pert Amod Mehra says that most film writ­ers to­day want to be di­rec­tors. “The side-ef­fect is that [good] writ­ers are a rar­ity. And so film­mak­ers, who need sto­ries, have to turn to lit­er­a­ture.”

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