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Bollywood takes the novel route

bollywood Updated: Sep 21, 2013 18:08 IST
Prashant Singh
Prashant Singh
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

It’s interesting how Bollywood is coming up with new concepts of filmmaking. While biopics were recognised as the latest trend, several filmmakers are treading an unconventional route by taking inspiration from well-known literary works. For instance, Anurag Kashyap’s upcoming venture, Bombay Velvet, which stars Ranbir Kapoor, is based on historian Gyan Prakash’s Mumbai Fables.

Explaining the challenges of making such films, Vikas Bahl, the co-producer of Anurag’s film, says, “It’s tougher to pick up a piece of literature because when people read a book, they have an image, which varies from person to person. But, when a director picks it up, he puts his own imagination on to the screen. The idea should be to fill the gap between the filmmaker’s and reader’s image.”

Talking about the trend, journalist-writer S Hussain Zaidi, whose book (Dongri To Dubai) inspired Shootout At Wadala, says, “Bollywood is always content-starved. So, it’s great if they are picking up literature for inspiration, which Hollywood has always done.”

inspired by: Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
It was Kaminey (2009) that saw Shahid Kapoor and Bhardwaj team up. The duo will be working together again in the Hindi adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous play. Interestingly, the film will complete Bhardwaj’s Shakespeare’s trilogy. This will be his third rendition after Maqbool (2003; based on Macbeth) and Omkara (2006; based on Othello). The film has been announced recently and is likely to go on the floors by the end of the year. It will release in the second half of 2014.

2 States
inspired by: 2 States by Chetan Bhagat
Director: Abhishek Varman
Based on Bhagat’s hit novel, the film is being produced by Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiadwala. It will see Arjun Kapoor playing a Punjabi lad, and Alia Bhatt as a south Indian girl. The film is scheduled for release early next year. Before this film, another novel by the author, The 3 Mistakes of My Life, was successfully made into a film, Kai Po Che, that released earlier this year.

Bombay Velvet
inspired by: Mumbai Fables by Gyan Prakash
Director: Anurag Kashyap
The first schedule of Anurag’s multi-starrer film has been wrapped up in Sri Lanka lately. Besides Ranbir, the film also stars Anushka Sharma, Raveena Tandon and Karan Johar, among others. Bombay Velvet is set in the ’60s and it will show Mumbai’s transformation into a big metropolis. The film is slated to release on Christmas next year.

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy; Fitoor
inspired by: Byomkesh Bakshi by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay; Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, respectively
Directors: Dibakar Banerjee; Abhishek Kapoor
Sushant Singh Rajput will soon start working on Dibakar’s next, based on Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay’s detective series. The film will be set in Kolkata. Post that, the actor will also work in Abhishek’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’s famous novel, Great Expectations. The film will see Sushant starring opposite Katrina Kaif.

inspired by: Romeo and Juliet by
William Shakespeare
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Starring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, the film — which has been in the making for some time now — is set in Gujarat. Although the makers haven’t officially announced it yet, the film is reportedly a take on the iconic love story. A few days ago, the film’s trailer was launched and was immediately praised by fans and critics alike.

Also in the pipeline…
Kabir Khan’s Yet-untitled Based on S Hussain Zaidi’s yet-to-be-published book. The film will star Saif Ali Khan.
Bhabesh Vikramaditya Motwane’s next, based on a Gujarati novel, will star Imran Khan in the lead.
Sonam Kapoor’s yet-untitled The actor has apparently bought the rights to one of author Anuja Chauhan’s books to make a movie based on it.
Revolution 2020 A famous production house has bought the rights to Chetan Bhagat’s latest novel.
The Immortals of Meluha Karan Johar has bought the rights to Amish Tripathi’s famous novel but the film is yet to be announced.
Mafia Queens Of Mumbai Vishal Bhardwaj and Sanjay Leela Bhansali are apparently set to take up two different stories from Zaidi’s book.