It is not uncommon for books to be adapted into movies. We are seeing a lot of word-to-screen adaptations this year. A Suitable Boy has been made into a series by BBC, The White Tiger starring Priyanka Chopra and Raj Kumar Rao has just dropped its first look, Scam 1992 has been receiving a lot of praise online, Serious Men is also streaming on Netflix. An iconic book like Cobalt Blue is in the process of being adapted. Here are a few more books that we think would make amazing movies.
Milk Teeth by Amrita Mahale
Milk Teeth is set in Matunga, Bombay in the 90s. Ira is a journalist with a civic beat, uncovering and reporting on municipal affairs and illegal drains, and her childhood friend, Kartik, a corporate man in an MNC; as India opens up to the world, he remains closed to it, with a secret to keep. This is a book that is brimming with drama and tender nostalgia. The narrative of the book is also quite cinematic, almost following the three-act structure.
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland is a story of two brothers Udayan and Subhash set in Calcutta. Udayan is a Naxalite, passionate, heady, and unworried about consequences whereas Subhash completes his studies and settles abroad. The story veers between Calcutta and California, Rhode Island, and Kenmare, and it is in this visual landscape that death dwells.
The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh
The Hungry Tide has it all, the book is striking, visual, and moving. Set in the Sundarbans, this book follows Piya Roy, a young American marine biologist who is in search of a rare species of Gangetic dolphins. She enlists a local fisherman and a translator to help her, and together they wade through the mangrove forests. The book keeps the brutal Marichjhapi massacre in the background and has roving cyclones and tigers, and most cinematically, a tender love story that undergirds this pursuit.
The Painter Of Signs by RK Narayan
RK Narayan’s prose is so easy to adapt because so much of the drama is external, even as the anguish is internal. Guide is a great example. The Painter of Signs is no different, even as this book has Narayan write about sex and contraception in a way he hasn’t written often. Raman, a painter of signs, is hired by Daisy to make signs for her birth control clinic. As happens often, Raman is instantly smitten, and understandably it is in this attraction that the drama lies. Set in Malgudi, Narayan’s fictional South Indian town, this book looks at desire in his trademark voice of dry humour and subtle messaging.
The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness By Arundhati Roy
Roy’s flair for drama comes out in this book. There’s a love story, but there’s tragedy too- in Kashmir, in Delhi, in Dantewada. The main character Anjum is intersex, and idenfiies as a hijra. This would be a great moment to actually cast a hijra playing a hijra. She lives in a graveyard, a wonderful throwback to Pakeezah.
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