Don’t Judge A Movie By Its Novel, A Novel Is The Film That You Create In Your Head!

Significant questions remain: which is better: a book or film? In the case of Bollywood, it has recreated and created a lot of films from novels of all languages, genres, and times. The road of adapting novels into movies has been bumpy. But there is some underappreciated work. 

So what do you prefer: books or films? As you think about the questions let’s take a look at these amazing adaptations of novels. And beware of spoilers ahead. 

Starting with Haider.

Father is one of the other ambitious adaptations of William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet by Vishal Bhardwaj. The filmmaker recreated the narrative of Hamlet in different time spaces and genres. Well, this is not the first time Bharadwaj has turned a Shakespearean tragic story like Macbeth and Othello into masterpieces reflecting emotions and scenes of the Indian social system. 

Haider is a very tragic story of vengeance. The protagonist Heather as a young man returns home to Kashmir after receiving the news of his father’s disappearance.

This film has done a great job in adapting the most serious tragic play of a legendary dramatist and executing it in the most sensitive scenario of Kashmir. 

In terms of performance, everyone has done well. Tabu portrays the role of the ghazal mother of Haider and has done a fabulous job. Shraddha Kapoor, Narendra Jha, KK Menon, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, and more have played exceptional characters in the movie. But Shahid Kapoor steals the show for me. One of his best performances to date. Is hard to be the character and he is convincing in doing that. A special mention of Irfan Khan as well as he played the role of Roohdaar. He grabs our attention for whatever screen time he has, with his dialogues and his performance, and just by being on the screen.


Moving on to Devdas.

The adaptation of this beautiful Bengali novel in two films has happened at least thrice in Hindi itself. It’s a romance novel written by Sarat Chandra Chatterjee. 

Devdas the protagonist is a young man from a wealthy Bengali Brahmin family in the 1900s. Parvati aur Paro is a young woman of a middle-class Brahmin family. Both live in the same village and are childhood friends, who fell in love despite the family boundary of class. 

The story took a tragic turn leading to the death of Devdas (spoiler). This novel has caught the imagination of Indian makers. A tragic Hero too proud fails to express his love and destroys himself for its sake. This is a story that can be sold like a hot cake in front of an Indian audience. 

The third superhit cinematic representation of Devdas came up in 2002 and blew us away. A film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Starring mega superstars like SRK as Devdas, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Paro, and Madhuri Dixit as Chandramukhi. 

The sets, beautiful scenes, songs, and performance all added more to the imagination of the novel. 


And at last, an underrated gem… The Namesake. 

American-born Google is the son of Indian immigrants who wants to fit in among his fellow new yorkers despite his family’s unwillingness to let go of traditions. Based on Jhumpa Lahiri is Nobel directed by Mira Nair. It stars Irfan Khan, Kal Penn, Tabu, Shahira Nair. The movie does justice to the novel.

The namesake concerns itself largely with being Indian and American at the same time. The film is held together with a subtle loving performance by Tabu and Irfan Khan.