The new year is just around the corner and looks like some trends and formula will continue well into 2019 with regard to Bollywood. In case you are wondering, we are talking about the successful trend of adapting books and short stories into feature films and shows.
While the beginning of 2019 will see the release of Anupam Kher starrer The Accidental Prime Minister (January 11), which is based on the memoir of the same name by Sanjaya Baru, and Anil Kapoor-Sonam Kapoor’s Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (February 1), which is inspired by PG Wodehouse’s Damsel in Distress; the recipe of adapting manuscripts was strong in 2018 as well.
Be it Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone’s Padmaavat, Alia Bhatt starrer Raazi, Akshay Kumar-Sonam Kapoor’s PadMan, or the Sudhir Mishra directorial Daas Dev, this year saw quite a few filmmakers heading towards the reservoir of texts for a ready screenplay.
While the lesser-known Daas Dev was based on Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s classic Bengali novel Devdas, the Danny Denzogpa and Adil Hussain film Bioscopwala took its inspiration from Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s Kabuliwala. In the film, the story of Kabuliwala is taken forward and is placed from the 19th century into the 1980s Taliban regime.
However, the biggest successes that Bollywood was able to churn this year based on book adaptations included the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial Padmaavat, Akshay’s PadMan and Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal film Raazi.
Padmaavat, which courted numerous controversies owing to its source, was said to be inspired from the epic poem of Padmavat, authored by Malik Muhammad Jayasi. PadMan was based on the short story of The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land which appeared in Twinkle Khanna’s book The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, which in turn itself was inspired by the life and times of social activist Arunachalam Muruganantham. On the other hand, Meghna Gulzar directorial Raazi was based on the book Calling Sehmat by Harinder Sikka.
Both PadMan and Raazi proved to be blockbusters. The former earned Rs 81.82 crore, while the Alia Bhatt espionage thriller set the cash registers ringing with its impressive lifetime collection of Rs 123.84 crore. However, Padmaavat stole everyone’s thunder by whipping up an astounding lifetime collection of Rs 302.15 crore.
The digital world also refused to stay behind in the race of ‘let’s adapt another story in film’ as the year saw two Netflix series holding their own in the digital space. Yes, we speak of the acclaimed Sacred Games, which took over the internet with its riveting script and performances by Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Sacred Games was adapted from the book of the same name by Vikram Chandra.
Meanwhile, Selection Day is based on the book of the same name by Man Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga. The series, however, failed to have the kind of impact Sacred Games did. Selection Day has been produced by Anil Kapoor Films & Communication Network and Seven Stories Ltd.
Here’s looking at you 2019, for better books and better films.