A Novel Idea!

If I were to ask you about books made in to movies, you would probably rattle off names without a thought. In fact isn’t that something we all look forward to every time we like a book? But did you know novelizing movies have quite been the trend as well? While there would be a long list I am sure, here I talk about the ones I have seen…errr…read!

Home_alone_posterI read Home Alone in a local library as a child and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I got around to watching the movie, I assumed it was adapted from the book. I have to admit it was only years later that I realized it was the other way round. I have tried wracking my brains to separate the two to list out differences and similarities, but they somehow overlap. May be its time to re-watch as well re-read the book! Surprisingly though I haven’t come across it at bookstores or online retail stores (No, it isn’t the illustrated storybook, which came out recently).

ETI am sure everyone has watched E.T the Extra Terrestrial, but how many of you have read the novel? My guess is very few. This again was courtesy the local library. The movie of course remains a classic, the same cannot however be said about the book. I gave up reading it mid-way given the length and other unnecessary details of the lives of the brother-sister. Oh and yes the E.T in the book also had the hots for Mary….I mean…like really? Totally avoidable…go watch the movie again instead!

 

I wonder though what could trigger novelization of block buster films. These are watched by a large audience and are anyways available for further viewing easily. I think it would make a lot of sense if movies made in languages not widely spoken, were novelized, it’s more cost effective than making a multilingual movie I believe.

OnaatahCase in point is my next pick – Onaatah…a National Award Winning Khasi film about a rape victim’s journey of self-discovery.  I saw the film at a National Film Festival screening. The sublime screenplay by Paulami Duttagupta, the brilliant performances and the breathtaking cinematography made it one of my favourite movies last year. Despite being a Khasi Film (with English subtitles) with a mostly north Indian audience, the movie ended to a thunderous round of applause from everyone in the audience. Paulami came up with the novel soon after and it only made me fall in love with the story and the characters even more. If you ask me it’s a hard for me to pick which I like more – the movie or the book.

elixirAnother novelization that I have liked lately is Elixir by Sinjini Sengupta. In this case I read the book before watching the film, a short (selected for Cannes Short Film Corner in 2016). Here is a classic case of how the novel actually helps enhance the movie viewing experience. The book delves deep into the mind of the protagonist Manisha, who seemingly has ‘everything needed’ for a happy life, but grapples with loneliness and anguish and slowly slips into an alternate universe that she creates in her dreams or like the blurb says ‘A Dream of a Story, A Story of a Dream’. Do give it a read/watch or both

You can watch Onaatah on Netflix and Elixir on pickurflick.com. The books are available in bookstores as well as Amazon (Book reviews of Onaatah and Elixir coming soon)

Home Alone and E.T? Of course you’d know where to watch, and if you can figure where the books can be bought from, let me know!

Whats novelized movies made it to your reading list? Do tell me!

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154 Replies to “A Novel Idea!”

  1. You know honestly this is the first time I am hearing about a movie being novelized. I always assumed it was book first and then the movie. Perhaps it has been the other way round with some of the books I have read and that have been made into movies. If so I am unaware of it. I will read the books you have mentioned sometime.

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  2. Esha, so good to see you here! I have always assumed that the book comes before the movie. I would love to watch Oonatah and Elixir, considering that they were both written by friends, both amazing writers. Thank you for sharing this post with us.
    #DeepTiesReads #MyFriendAlexa

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  3. love the cover of your blog. This library is every reader’s dream.
    I love to watch movie adaptations, I know it has its own drawback but it’s so irresistible. I kind of enjoy the movie, even if it doesn’t live up to the expectations set by the book. In fact, this is a wonderful way to get kids interested in books.

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  4. While reading a book I have the freedom to imagine the situation,give face to characters and relate closely with writer. But when I watch a movie, director molds the movie acc. to his understanding. Characters do get a face which we remember for long time. I liked Kai po che much better than the book. while Devil wears padra was disappointment for me. Both have a beauty of their own.

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  5. I actually like reading more than watching a movie made on some novel or biography, becoz thts the only way where you feel free to imagine what actually you want to, not what the director or the screenplay writer wants you to.

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    1. Though mostly I agree with you… But check out my previous post “second time lucky”… Have written about movies which I felt were in fact better than the books.. Would love to know your take on that…

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    1. I know… I think a lot of people don’t… I don’t mind watching adaptations though, just to see how they are interpreted.. Unless I have loved the book too much, in that case I don’t want anybody to mess with my intpretation of the book and the characters…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Esha, we meet again! Nice post to ponder upon! I didn’t know Home Alone is in the book form too. I have enjoyed this movie so many times that I have lost count. My issue is that I can’t read a book once I have watched the movie. For instance, I watched Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Netflix last month and now I know I won’t be able to enjoy the book. The case is somewhat similar to book-to-movie adaptation. I loved reading HP, but found the movies wanting, because of course my imagination is bigger and larger than any movie can provide. I like to keep both entertainment formats separate.

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    1. Hi Anshu…thanks for stopping by. I can totally relate though… If I really love a book.. Like totally in love with it… I generally avoid watching the adaptation because I am worried it might just not fit into the world I have created in my mind… 😊

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  7. This is an interesting topic to ponder. These days, novelization of popular movies is a fad, just to make a little more from the franchise before it vanishes from the audiences’ mind space. Case in point, the books about Bahubali and the John Wick comics. I loved reading the Doctor Who books a couple of decades ago, when there was absolutely no way of watching the show in India.

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  8. I am out and out a book lover over movies. Be it Twilight or ET or any other, most of the movies have changed to accommodate box office figures. Books are real treasures. I am also writing about the movies that inspire …
    #MyFriendAlexa #gleefulreads

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  9. i didn’t know that there’s a novel made after the success of home alone and ET they’re indeed great movies. i’ll read the novel and see if books have done justice to movie or not.

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  10. Few movies that I watched after I read the novels are – Day of the Jackal, Dr. ZIvago, War and Peace, Shwshenk Redemption and several movies on Feluda by Satyajit Ray. After reading Day of the Jackal, I was surprised at the character of French inspector of police looked exactly the same as I had expected. Regarding Dr. Zivago and War and Peace, I could understand nuances better reading the novels first.

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  11. I wasn’t aware of the novelization …esp of ‘Onaattah’ and ‘Elixir’. I am going to look these up now.
    I have watched ‘Home Alone’ as a kid. And somehow I feel it was over hyped. Same with ET actually. But of course, like every other person my age, I went crazy about these back then. 😐

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  12. At one side there is always a Harry Potter fan who will abide by his/her books, and on the other hand will be a movie buff like me who would give fair competition to the book nerd! Both will lock horns on any new book-to-movie adaptation and gore will fly! But at the end of the day for me both win!

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  13. I have always preferred a book over a movie, and reading gives me more pleasure than watching it on screen. However, I have never heard about any of novelization. They sound interesting…

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  14. As someone who loves books and movies, both , this post is such a treat! Both the books and movies sound so interesting and I am going to be looking them up.So happy I came across your post today! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. This is an interesting topic to dwell on, there some fascinating facets when we are talking on the relationship between the two medias… the print and the visual. In fact many authors like Gabriel Marquez Garcia resisted for long to allow his book turn into a movie, and he had a rationality deeply driven with him.
    Just take the case of each such writers who etch our characters from their wild wide imagination and everything cannot be articulated and there so many aspects which the reader interprets and there lies the beauty of making the reader explore new horizons. The moment character is placed on the screen it gets interpreted in a way by the director and actor present it, and author’s visualization of character gets diluted.
    All said and done, Home Alone and ET, I had the same impression and always the movie to the front seat and many of us not aware of the book behind the scene.
    Just enjoyed the subjects and the flow.

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    1. I agree with you Nihar. While reading, every reader conjures up his/her own mental picture about the story as it rolls on. It’s personal, it’s wild and free. It’s our own colorful imagination. It takes an excellent director to produce the same story with an appeal that is agreeable to all.
      Esha, I wasn’t aware of the novelization of movies though and I look forward to the two books and movies that you have recommended. Thanks for the share!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true Dipali… Do you know I haven’t seen Cumberbach and Downey Jr’s Sherlock Holmes only because they don’t even come close to the Holmes in my head.
        Thanks for read… Do check them out

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      2. Well said Dipali, we keep seeing these experimentation with our directors/actors and there is always that inherent risk of missing the critical essence while seriously attempting to get the connection established with the audience…
        😀

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