Hot Books That'll Make Sizzling Movies in 2011

Ridhima Sinha , 03 May 2011

What is it about books being made into movies that sets our pulse racing? The Harry Potter series and Lord of the Rings franchise are the biggest examples of how bestselling books transformed into million dollar blockbusters. I don’t know how strong this trend is in Bollywood but one thing that I am sure of is that books on Indian subjects make for great viewing on celluloid. There is of course the Academy award winning Slumdog Millionaire which was a phenomenal success.

Slumdog Millionaire photo courtesy: screen trek
Slumdog Millionaire | Photo courtesy : screen trek
Harry Potter and the deathly hallows photo courtesy:moviefone
Harry Potter and the deathly hallows | Photo courtesy: moviefone
The Namesake
The Namesake | Photo courtesy: funatoz.com

My personal pick would be Mira Nair’s The Namesake starring Kal Penn that so beautifully explored the issue of identity in Indian immigrants abroad. The book vs. movie face-off can lead to quite a few debates about which one was better or if the movie did justice to the writing. Growing up, one of my most loved books was Gone with the Wind and I found the movie a tad disappointing. However, having watched it several times over still expecting more from the plot, I discovered that there are several limitations in the transformation of a book into a movie plot. The screenplay needs to be engaging enough to hold the audience attention for that long. The year 2011 comes with the promise of movies being made on some of the most delightful books. So I decided we need a roundup of what’s in store for movie goers (who love books) this year.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

White Tiger|Photo courtesy:blog coinjoos
White Tiger|Photo courtesy:blog coinjoos

The minute you read this 2008 Booker Prize winning hard hitting satirical tale you know it will make a super movie. The book is a dark comical view of life in the big city and its sharp contrast to the crushing poverty of our villages. The book is the story of a man called Balram Halwai, a driver who murders his boss, flees with the money and finally becomes a rich businessman himself. The book also talks about globalization, religious conflict, corruption and several issues which are perfect ingredients for a Bollywood potboiler. The latest buzz is that Mukul Deora is joining hands with John Hart (who made Revolutionary Road with Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet) to produce this international project that he hopes will transcend geographical boundaries. I am super excited to find out who will star in the movie and I am going to break it to you first right here on MissMalini.com.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram book cover|Photo courtesy bibliophilebythesea
Shantaram book cover|Photo courtesy bibliophile by the sea

I have always been a lover of Indian writing in English because so much of it is so real and expresses how the current generation of Indians feel about stuff. This one however featured on my list of books I dig despite being set in the 1980s. The story of an Australian convict who becomes a doctor in India and goes on to join the underworld in Mumbai has this timeless appeal and endearing plot which will make for a scintillating watch on screen. The little anecdotes about how our hero found love and his time spent in Mumbai (he loves Leopold just like us) makes us want to go hug him for his surprisingly real portrayal of Aamchi Mumbai. An internationally appealing subject with the ‘so hot you can eat him off a plate’ Johnny Depp has got to get eyeballs rolling. We can’t wait for the movie to finally see the light of day.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Water for Tigers|Photo courtesy:unkurdziah
Water for Elephants |Photo courtesy:unkurdziah

Book lovers will rejoice when this story of Jacob Jankowski’s well-kept secret of his life at the circus is revealed this May. While this one has no Indian roots, it will leave us drooling over the scorching chemistry that hottie Robbert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon share. Hmm.So now you know why this one makes the list.In 2010, there were two major movies based on books.The first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K.Rowling and the insanely popular Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert both failed to impress movie lovers. While Harry Potter still has some hope of redemption with the second part, Julia Roberts could not salvage the mind numbingly slow plot of the latter that a lot of book fans couldn’t grow to love. The movies based on many books like Brick Lane by Monica Ali and The Japanese Wife by Kunal Basu, were loved at festivals but did not gain commercial success. Looking ahead, I wish that more of our hottest reads are made into  good movies so we can finally see how good our imagination is and so there is a face we can give to our dearly loved characters.

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