Book Adaptations in Bollywood: English Classics to Hindi Movies

book adaptations
Image Credits:

“Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit, but taste completely different.” -Stephen King

Movies usually tend to contain a little less intense emotion than books do, readers say; books are gory and unreadable at times, viewers believe. However, many book adaptations in Bollywood glued the audience and attempted to obtain an equilibrium state for both sides. 

Through this article, we look at the most famous Hindi films, that took inspiration from English written texts and to what extent could they satisfy readers’ expectations and viewers’ experience. 

Let’s look at some of the most popular book adaptations in Bollywood

1.Chetan Bhagats’ Books 

book adaptions
Image Credits: Firstpost

Initially, Bhagat was highly celebrated in Indian readers, for giving the voice to students’ experiences and dwelling deep into the family strains. Later, his books somewhat, deprived. However, his books were developed into brilliant films that were box-office hits and critically appreciated as well.

Three Mistakes of My Life turned into a Sushant Singh Rajput starring film Kai Po Che. It was well received and appreciated by many. On the other hand, One Night @ Call Center created into Salman Khan starrer Hello did not do well. Five Point Someone gave the greatest Engineering college experience to students when 3 Idiots was made. The other two books Two States and Half Girlfriend retained their original names when turned into films, and featured Arjun Kapoor, alongside Alia Bhatt and Shraddha Kapoor, respectively. 

Overall, the totality of Chetan’s books turned into films, brought him great recognition and, Bollywood, a flood of great stories for films. 

2. Shakespearean Plays 

Image Credits: Trend Pickle

Shakespeare is the most celebrated playwright in the world. His plays are majorly turned into films in Bollywood, with the addition of Indian concepts and livelihoods to make them highly relatable. Vishal Bhardwaj is known to have directed many of such films and is highly appreciated for his representation in using Shakespeare. Even the titles are set according to the related Indian character playing the role. 

Comedy of Errors turned into Angoor (old Bollywood movie), Othello into Omkara, Macbeth into Maqbool, 

and, lastly, Hamlet into Haider. All of these films have the finest of actors; from Sanjeev Kumar  to Shahid Kapoor! These are the best inspiration Bollywood took upon and acted in the finesse.  

3. Ruskin Bond Books

Image Credits: Daily-Hunt

The great children’s book writer of India has his books translated into the language of film, and they did absolutely well in Bollywood. 7 Khoon Maaf, which stars Priyanka Chopra was based on Susanna’s Seven Husbands, and The Blue Umbrella (book with the same name) also was absolutely a wonderful film. His novella, A Flight of Pigeons, was made into the movie Janoon, starring Pankaj Kapoor. These elements only added to the fame of most admiral storyteller for children! 

4. Other Great Films’ Based on Movies

book adaptions
Image Credits: Indian Express

Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake (film by the same name) is a very profound piece of work as she details the experience of the diaspora in the novel, and almost similar is correctly represented in the film 

Fitoor starring Aditya Roy Kapur and Katrina Kaif is based on Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations and perfectly subdues the theme of freedom in the Indian context. It failed at the box office, but a reader of the novel would find it to be justifying the attempt’s effort and success. 

Aisha was based on the book Emma by Jane Austen and quickened to attract a flood of viewers due to its perfect melding into the Indian aspects. 

Raazi starring Alia Bhatt is based on a novel called Calling Sehmat by Harinder Sikka and Sanjay Baru’s The Accidental Prime Minister is also a masterpiece, as done flawlessly by Anupam Kher. 

What can be inferred from these details is, that a novel requires a strong base and a strong story to tap the audience. Books that did great – definitely did a great job in Bollywood, when they were moulded and shaped to cater to Indian audiences while using perfect methodologies to gain attention and acceptance. 

Which of these book adaptations is your favourite? Let us know in the comment section below.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here