BOL­LY­WOOD TURNS THE PAGES OF NOV­ELS

A bunch of films based on lit­er­ary works shows how a good story is worth retelling on screen

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

What’s com­mon to Bareilly Ki Barfi, the Alia Bhatt-star­rer Raazi, and Ak­shay Kumar’s up­com­ing film, Pad­man? It’s the lit con­nect.

Bareilly Ki Barfi is in­spired by a French novel, In­gre­di­ents of Love. Raazi is an adap­ta­tion of Harinder S Sikka’s novel, Call­ing Sehmat. Pad­man is based on a story from Twin­kle Khanna’s book, The Leg­end of Lakshmi Prasad.

Lit­er­a­ture has al­ways been a source of in­spi­ra­tion for films, but of late, there has been a sharp spike in the trend. Is it be­cause adapt­ing a book for the screen is easy? Not quite. “Writ­ers pen a book with lots of ex­pla­na­tions. Un­like films, there may not be many plot points or ‘turn­ing points’ in [a book]. When a lit­er­ary piece is picked up for a film, all the cin­e­matic el­e­ments have to be wo­ven in,” says Ash­winy Iyer Ti­wari, di­rec­tor of Bareilly Ki Barfi.

Nev­er­the­less, books are rul­ing Bol­ly­wood. Au­thor Chetan Bha­gat’s Half Girl­friend was the story source for the re­cent movie re­lease with the same ti­tle, star­ring Shrad­dha Kapoor and Ar­jun Kapoor. Then, Deepika Padukone is play­ing Rahima Khan aka Sapna Didi in Vishal Bhard­waj’s next pro­duc­tion ven­ture, based on a chap­ter from S Hus­sain Zaidi’s Mafia Queens of Mum­bai. Sev­eral other film­mak­ers — Nitesh Ti­wari, Sri­ram Ragha­van, Ashutosh Gowariker, and Sa­jid Khan — are busy with film adap­ta­tions of books.

“If peo­ple have lapped up a cer­tain piece of lit­er­a­ture, and film­mak­ers can cap­i­talise on it... that par­tic­u­lar movie, in all like­li­hood, will do well at the box of­fice,” says trade an­a­lyst Taran Adarsh.

Trade ex­pert Amod Mehra points out, “In to­day’s times, when there aren’t many writ­ers and good orig­i­nal sto­ries avail­able, film­mak­ers have no op­tion but to turn towards lit­er­a­ture for sto­ries and in­spi­ra­tions.”

ADAPT­ING BOOKS FOR CIN­EMA IS NOT EASY, BUT CAN BE A VERY RE­WARD­ING VEN­TURE IF A FILM­MAKER KNOWS HOW TO WEAVE IN PLOT TURNS

A story from this book has in­spired Ak­shay Kumar’s film Pad­man

Above left: Bareilly Ki Barfi; Above: The book on which Alia Bhatt’s film Raazi is based

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