Very often we come across many movies that are book based movies or novels. Some of them go on to achieve great success. Some falter miserably. To cite an example, 3 Idiots based indirectly on Chetan Bhagat’s “Five Point Someone” was a grand success, something that offered movie buffs something to talk about for years.
But similarly, another film “Hello” based on Bhagat’s “One Night at the Call Center” was a box-office failure. The point being made here is that a successful book based movies may not necessarily be a recipe for success when adapted into a motion picture film.
Through this news piece, I am going to list 8 must-watch book adaptations 4 each in Hollywood and India that one should definitely watch right away. Let’s start with some Indian book based movies.
Based on legendary author R.K.Narayanan’s evenly popular novel “The Guide”, Guide is an all-time classic and highly regarded as one of the best book based movies ever made. The film stars Dev Anand and Waheeda Rahman in lead roles and was directed by Anand’s brother, Vijay Anand.
The story revolves around how a tour guide Raju (Anand) marries Rosie (Rahman) who aspires to dancer and eventually becomes one. In the process, Raju becomes an alcoholic and a gambler and ends up in jail. How their relationship moves forward and takes different twists and turns is the basic plot of the movie. The guide ended up winning 7 Filmfare Awards including the Top categories of Best Movies, Best Actor, Actress, and Director.
2.Black Friday (2004)
Based on the novel bearing the same by S Hussain Zaidi, Black Friday directed by Anurag Kashyap is a path-breaking crime drama in Indian cinema. The movie tracks the developments post 1993 Mumbai Serial Bomb blasts and the events that led to the unfortunate day/ the Black Friday. The country has had little success while trying to nab underworld don Dawood Ibrahim who masterminded the serial blasts, but the movie tasted great success on digital platforms and is one of the highest-rated book based movies on IMDb.
3.Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai/ The Catastrophe (1987)
Based on an acclaimed Assamese Novel of the same name by celebrated author-cum-journalist Homen Borgohain, Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai is a recipient of the Swarna Kamal for Best Feature Film at the National Film Awards, 1988. The film revolves around the theme of feudal exploitation and the complete ruination of poor villagers by exploitative landlords. It is one of the best regional films ever made.
An adaptation of William Shakespeare’s timeless classic Othello, Omkara directed by Vishal Bharadwaj revolves around a local gang led by Omi (Ajay Devgn) which commits political crimes.
How the political enforcer is betrayed by his own henchmen and in the process leads to self-destruction is the plotline of the movie. The film went on to win six Filmfare Awards in the year 2007. Saif Ali Khan’s portrayal of Langda Tyagi and Konkona Sen Sharma’s portrayal of his wife Indu Tyagi was widely acclaimed.
Moving towards Hollywood movies:-
The Godfather trilogy based on Mario Puzo’s book of the same name was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The 1ST -1972 and 2ND – 1974 films are regarded as a gold standard of cinema worldwide and widely held as probably two of the best films ever made.
The film revolves around the American Mafia and deals with a certain Mafia family, The Corleones who have to deal with a family feud, mafia wars, and personal relationship hazards. The Godfather I won 3 Oscars including Best Film and Best Leading Actor for Marlon Brando which he famously refused to attend. The second film fetched an even greater tally of 6 Oscars with Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor.
2.The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Widely regarded as the most underrated film of all time and IMDb’s Highest Rated Movie is an adaptation of legendary American author Stephen King’s Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. The film revolves around a banker Andy Dufresne charged with double murder who is convicted and moved to Shawshank Prison only to miraculously escape after serving 18 years in prison. The movie directed by Frank Darabont (who has directed a total of only 5 movies to date) is also noted as being one of the best movies to never win a Single Oscar. Of course, 1994 also saw movies like Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Lion King, and many others. Ironically, Tom Hanks was approached for the role of Andy Dufresne but he rejected it due to clash with – you guessed it right, Forrest Gump. The role eventually went to Tim Robbins which can be safely deduced to be a career-defining role.
3. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Probably containing the most iconic and path-breaking negative role in history, The Silence of the Lambs was adapted from a novel of the same name by Thomas Harris. The movie directed by Jonathan Demme, the movie swept all the top Oscars in 1992 including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Best Director. The movie revolves around a female FBI cadet engaged to nab a serial killer who must interact with the notorious and cannibalistic Dr. Hannibal Lecter to succeed in her mission. But make no mistake about it, this movie belongs to Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a role that was earlier considered for Bond hero Sean Connery but eventually going to Hopkins to etch his name in the annals of iconic performances.
4. Lord of the Rings Series (2001-03)
Before Game of Thrones, the world had already witnessed a gripping fantasy story being magnificently adapted into a series of motion pictures each deserving the magnum opus tag. Directed by Peter Jackson, the series is more of a fan homage to JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the entire story revolves around the hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood) and his quest for the destruction of the One Ring of the Dark Lord. The third installment in the series The Return of the King (2003) went on to win 11 Oscars. The Entire series won a total of 17 Oscars.