From Book To Big Screen

From Books To Big Screen

Two States, Three Idiots, Saat Khoon Maaf, Parineta, Kai Poche, Guide, A White Tiger, and the list goes on. They all have one thing in common. Yep, you guessed it right these are the screen adaptations of some bestselling novels. Some of them were smash hits and praised more than their book counterparts.

Nonetheless, these books were great works of authors and became hot sellers in their time and were equally loved and cherished.

The movie adaption of books has gained momentum significantly in the last couple of decades although the first adaptation was witnessed as early as in the eighteenth century.

The first known footage of a book-to-movie adaptation was witnessed in 1899 with the release of the movie Cinderella which was based on Brother Grimm’s story and King John which was known to be based on Shakespeare’s work.

It was done by the French actor and director George Melies who was known to have paved the way for many new film techniques and tools.

It set the ball rolling for many more books to get a cinematic adaptation for a larger audience.

The popularity and success of the aforementioned movies inspired filmmakers so much that they are constantly on the lookout for a fresh and crisp piece of writing to be turned into another blockbuster.

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Book vs Movies

Are you a binge-watcher or a voracious reader? Are you a screen lover or a book enthusiast?

If a book is made into a movie,  you will read the book or watch the movie first?

Though It is a matter of personal preference they both have their own benefits and experiences.

When you read a book you go into a detailed description that transports you to a different world, where you visualize your characters, their moods, their expression, their action and last but not least the setting where the plot is developing. The story starts to play out in your mind and moving forward you become part of the narrative.

Reading a book not only strengthens your vocabulary but enhances your imagination too.

When you spend your time reading, you’re constantly exploring new worlds, meeting different characters, and living through a whirlwind of adventures.

All of these experiences fuel your imagination like never before.

It’s no surprise then that people who grew up reading often have a dexterity for creativity and can think outside the box like a pro.

Reading opens up a whole universe of words, phrases, idioms, and expressions.

It helps one understand the subtlety of language and how different words can be used to convey myriad emotions and ideas.

Well, the movie lover has their way of justifying it.

Watching movies with family and friends is a lot more fun than reading a book by yourself confined in a solitary and isolated place.

Watching a movie is a fast-paced and swift affair as it takes a few hours to finish as it happens in one sitting but going through a book takes from a day to a few weeks as devouring 300-400 pages just doesn’t happen in one go.

The motion picture and the visuals make it easier to connect with the characters and eventually with the storyline and leave lasting memories in your mind. Sounds and special effects make the content more engaging and exciting.

Both books and movies are a way of storytelling.

Both have their unique strength and it depends on what you are looking for in a narrative experience.

Having said that I prefer reading books to watching movies. In my opinion, we get firsthand experience of the intent and content of the book that the author wants to impart, no less no more. However in the movies sometimes to enhance the cinematic experience and to make it acceptable and accessible to a larger audience effectively either they add or delete some elements of the book. And it remains no longer the same story as it had been in the book. The story gets either exaggerated or sometimes remains understated. In both cases, it doesn’t stay true to the book and loses its novelty and essence in the process of its adaptation from a book to a big screen.

 I may sound a little biased saying this but finishing a book gives me a sense of achievement and satisfaction too whereas movies don’t.


What is novelization? When a story of a screenplay is written down to take the form of a book or in simple words when a movie is turned into a book, it is called novelization. The opposite of the familiar practice of turning a book into a movie.

Whereas The movie adaptation of the book is prevalent and has become a run-of-the-mill exercise, novelization seems to be a rare and under-conceived idea. Though there are a bunch of movies out of Hindi cinema that have been turned into a book but we are still waiting for Bollywood to get the ball rolling. Though Telugu movies have witnessed a few instances of novelization.

 One of the first films with spoken dialogue to be novelized was King Kong (1933).

The novelizations of Star Wars (1977), Alien (1979) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) sold millions of copies.[2]

Even after the advent of home video, film novelizations remain popular, with the adaptation of Godzilla (2014) being included on The New York Times Best Seller list for mass-market paperbacks.

 The Queen of Mahishmathi and Rise of Sivagami by Anand Neelakatan are book adaptations of movies Bahubali 1 and Bahubalj 2 respectively which became very popular and successful.

 Indian cinema has a long way to go when it comes to novelization. I hope that in the coming times, we will see many innovative examples of Novelization in Hindi cinema.


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