Saturday, July 21, 2012

Books-turned-movies impress M’wood

The industry has had some exceptional film adaptations of short stories and novels, and more are in the offing..

Over the years, tinseltown has had several literary classics shot into flicks. But more often than not, they fail to live up to the magic cast by the book, disheartening the audience at large; be it the much hyped Harry Potter or Twilight series; though, M’wood has had some exceptional books-turned movies. A pursuit into the mind of the audience … 

Madhura Somayaji, a communication student, says the problem lies with the perception of readers. “While reading a book, a reader creates his own imagery of the story in his mind, replete with things that a filmmaker might not exactly bring on screen. When the characters are cut to size and the filmmaker takes liberty with the plot, a movie might refuse its viewer the bliss the book gave him as a reader.” Yasha Shetty, a student, adds, “Directors forget the fact that the book has already made an impact on the minds of the readers. The only book-turned movie that matched my expectation is The Lord of the Rings,” she opines. 
    However, there are a few readers who feel that a film has to change the story in accordance with two factors – the time it is to be presented in and the taste of the audience. “The book may be written for a particular segment of people. Such stories might have to be modified when the target in mind is a larger film audience,” says Karthick Sharma, an aspiring movie maker. 

Over the years, M-Town has had many movies adapted from well-known novels, with director P Padmarajan leading the front with most of his films being adaptations of mostly his own novels and short stories — 
Thoovanathumbikal, Itha Ivide Vare, Nakshathrangale Kaaval, Rathinirvedam, Vadakakku Oru Hridayam, Thakara and Kallan Pavithran, among them. 
    “The clash of visualisation happens here as well, but most novel-turned-movies in Malayalam keep up the pace of the original story and therefore, are appealing,” says Ratna Kumari, an avid reader and film buff. “One must also remember that turning books into movies is a solution to reach out to multiple audiences when the book would have otherwise been limited to the readers’ domain.” 

Imbibing the audience’s interest in books-turned-films, M’wood will witness a number of such projects soon, including 
Randamoozham, EMS um Penkuttiyum, Ivan Megharoopan and Balyakalasakhi. 
    “Film and book are two different media, each demanding a different treatment,” says Aravind Suresh, a short filmmaker himself. 
    Nonetheless, when movies, such as the Harry Potter series target a universal audience, the issue of customisation may not come into play. “The books are meant to be read and enjoyed as series. When they are broken into a two-and-a-half hour film, naturally, the audience don’t find the experience equally gripping.” 


This article is published in Times of India on 20th July 2012.

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