When you ask an Indian to think of some Bollywood movies based on books, the first image that comes to the mind is none other than Chetan Bhagat’s novels and it is not surprising that only a few Indians know that there are Bollywood movies adaptations of international bestsellers. It may sound a little bizarre, but it is true, and TRB has compiled a list to enlighten you. To know about those fabulous Bollywood movies based on foreign novels and short stories, just keep reading.
Dil Bechara (2020)
The latest movie of the late Sushant Singh Rajput, Dil Bechara is based on one of the best John Green novels, The Fault in Our Stars. TFIOS was a New York Times bestselling and a much-loved novel. It became popular once its Hollywood adaptation released in 2014, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort playing the lead roles of two cancer patients who fall in love. Shortly after this, Bollywood, too, decided to release its own version as well.
The novel Emma written by Jane Austen is about youthful and romantic misunderstandings. Bollywood movie Aisha is based on this Austen classic. The central characters in the movie are enacted by Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol as Aisha (Emma) and Arjun (Knightley) respectively. The book and the movie depict Emma (Aisha)’s failed matchmaking results in a comedy of misunderstandings.
Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Haider is set against the backdrop of the civilian abductions during the 1995 Kashmir insurgency. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet’s father dies, and his mother marries his uncle; the bollywood version, Haider has a similar plotline. The role of Haider is played by Shahid Kapoor and Tabu portrays the mother, Shraddha Kapoor as Haider’s love interest, and Kay Kay Menon as the uncle. In the movie, the famous lines of Shakespeare “To be or not to be” became “hum hain ki hum nahi.”
Shakespeare’s Othello is the central theme of the Bollywood movie Omkara. It is a 2006 Indian crime co-written and directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. The movie stars Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in the lead roles with Devgn portraying Omakara Shukla, a political enforcer. He is the leader of a gang which commits political crimes for the local politician Tiwari Bhaisaab (Naseeruddin Shah). Ishwar ‘Langda’ Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan) and Keshav ‘Kesu Firangi’ Upadhyay (Vivek Oberoi) are his companions in the movie.
The movie Lootera is about Pakhi, an aristocrat’s daughter, who falls in love with an archaeologist. Unfortunately, she was not aware of his double life that threatens their relationship. This historical romance directed by Vikramaditya Motwani is adapted from O. Henry’s The Last Leaf. The short story is about a dying girl, who believes she will breathe her last breath with the falling of the last leaf from a vine outside her window.
Saawariya is a 2007 Indian romance film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali is based on Fyodor Dostoevsky‘s 1848 short story White Nights. It is the first Bollywood film to win the North American release by a Hollywood studio. This film makes the screen debut of actors Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor. The novel is about a young man who suffers from loneliness. He gets acquainted with a young woman and falls in love with her, but his love remains unrequited as the woman misses her lover, with whom she is finally reunited.
Books have been the inspirations for several movies in the world. That is why we have so many book-to-movie adaptations. Bollywood is not different and the list of six given here is nowhere near the actual number of movies based on foreign novels. TRB will be back with more such lists. Until then, happy bingeing!