Chetan Bhagat: It feels fantastic. I write to reach as many Indians as possible, and Bollywood has an enormous reach. A lot more people will know my stories and the messages there and that feels great.
CB: Not really. I write what I want to write. For instance, most would say that you cannot make a mainstream film with incidents like Godhra. I wrote what I wanted to write in the book, and they made a movie on it, which became a hit too. Hence, I don’t think I need to tailormake anything for film. If it has to happen, it will.
CB: I would say it is the most faithful of the 3 film adaptations that have come out. It keeps the essence of the story, characters, setting, plot points and many of the incidents intact. At the same time like any adaptation there are changes/omissions/additions so the film is a separate entity too.
CB: Not really, because even with babies one day they do grow up and you have to let go. I am attached of course, but I also know millions have read the book and know what I wanted to say. And for me the film is a chance to improve on the story as now the book is out and we have feedback. For Kai Po Che, we changed whatever didn’t work so well in the book.
CB: I think they have given one of the finest performances in recent times. People were quite stunned to see these newcomers set the screen on fire. I can’t think of my characters as anybody else now.
CB: Yes, the intended end result was to make the message reach millions, without diluting the book too much. And that is what happened. We managed to tell a story about certain disturbing incidents, that needed to be told, in mainstream format. We also managed to get huge collections and make the film a pure hit, so it will satisfy even the most commercial trade person in Bollywood. It is not something that happens everyday here.
CB: I’d say The Dirty Picture could be a good book as one could get more into the psyche of Silk Smita. The film was good but has limitations on how much introspection it can allow.
CB: Catch-22 I’d say. I found the book really funny yet hard-hitting. In some ways it has inspired my work.
CB: I am writing the screenplay for Kick, a film starring Salman Khan and produced/directed by Sajid Nadiadwala.
CB: I am indeed looking forward to it and have a lot of expectations from it. All my readers loved 2 States and it can make a great film. Yes, the lead pair is looking very good in the film stills I have seen so far.