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. This post reminded me of Harry Potter days. I used to grab a copy of that book and read it till the end. While reading, I use to imagine those scenes at the back of my mind and compare them while watching the movie.


  2. I am not aware of any novels based on movies – or novelisation of movies like you call it. Love the idea though and would surely try and pick your recommendations:)


  3. Good list. I realised that I have seen these movies but never got a chance to read them. Definitely picking up a copy after reading this.
    #MyFriendAlexa #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia


  4. I enjoyed your piece. Very engaging and interesting. I’ve read most of these and can’t wait to get my hands on the rest. Thanks for sharing.


  5. I totally agree that regional language movies can be novelized. Not only would it reach a wider audience but the sensibility of words as compared to visuals is something else entirely.

    Thanks for this lovely post, Esha!


  6. Oh, I was not aware of these novels at all. And I never knew that movies are also novelized. In such a case, I would prefer watching a movie first and then reading its novel. I haven’t watched Elixir, it’s on my watch list now. Thanks for this wonderful post.


  7. Really? I till today didnt know there was a book on home alone, always thought it’s just a movie, adaptation is out of question. Like most, I thought it’s only books to movies and never the other way around. Great yaa.. interesting post. Now I will hunt for book on home alone. #LiveItYoungReads #MyFriendAlexa


  8. That’s very interesting list of novels. Home alone is one my favourite movie, though I’ve not read the novel. Would love to watch onaatah sounds thought provoking. #myfriendalexa #dewreads


  9. I was always fond of movie but the time I started writing blog and articles , I started loving reading blogs , books and seriously it bring a positive vibes in me and I am learning so much from it


  10. Very impressed with the topic and love your writing style. As for your question, I haven’t read any novel which was made after the movie. between books and movies, I always prefer books. Somehow movies based on books have always let me down. Harry Potter though was a marvellous movie series by itself but it couldn’t be compared to the books at all. Twilight movie series was a total let down for me.
    So, it’s better I imagine the movie by myself in my imaginative world as I read the book. 🙂


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