Time and again Hollywood has made awe-inspiring movies based on books setting the bar high for movie adaptations.On the other hand, a lesser known fact is that a decent number of movies have been inspired by books written in Indian regional languages, some even winning awards for the screenplay and story. Considered to be cult classics, these movies in today’s times are a study in itself for any ardent cinema buff.
So today we are sharing ten such movies which were based on books written in Indian regional languages:
- Balika Badhu (1976)
Balika Badhu is the story of two newlyweds, who are still in their teenage and their journey towards understanding marriage, relationships and life at large with the backdrop of Indian freedom struggle.
The movie made by famous director Shakti Samanta starring Sachin and Rajni Sharma is based on a Bengali novel written by Sahitya Academy Award winning writer Bimal Kar.It went onto bag many nominations in Filmfare awards that year and won a few too.
- Choker Bali (2003)
Choker Bali is the story of Binodini and her relationship with three different individuals at different points in her life. It is a beautiful take on the complexity of human relationships and their fragility.
Based on a famous Bengali novel of the same name by Rabindranath Tagore, this movie starring Aishwarya Rai and Raima Sen was directed by Rituparno Ghosh. It won the National Award for the Best Film in Bengali that year followed by a lot of international nominations.
- Devdas (2002)
Devdas revolves around two childhood lovers Dev and Paro who are star crossed and Chandramukhi’s one sided love affair with Dev. When Paro gets married to someone else, Devdas ends up becoming a drunkard. Chandramukhi is unable to help him as he keeps spiraling down his addiction and dies pining for his Paro.
This is one book which has seen many adaptations. From movie adaptations, to TV and theatrical adaptations, it is very renowned and has many versions too. Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’sBengali novel Devdas (1917) was the inspiration for both the movies titled Devdas starring Dilip Kumar and Shahrukh Khan respectively.
The movie made in 2002 by critically acclaimed director Sanjay LeelaBhansali won 5 national awards, the Filmfare award for the best film along with other 10 Filmfare awards in various categories.
- Pinjar (2003)
Pinjar is set in the era of Partition of India and Pakistan when a lot of families lost their loved ones. Written in a moving manner, this is the story of a family whose daughter is lost and they assume her to be dead till she comes back alive but they cannot accept her now. The narrative shows how the right to live was a challenge during those trying times.
Inspired by a Punjabi novel written by Amrita Pritam, this movie with a stellar star cast was critically acclaimed for its brilliant performances.
Saraswatichandra is the story of Saraswatichandra and his battles with life. His dysfunctional family and failed love affair push him become a celibate and renounce the world only to end up meeting his lover again at her husband’s house. The star crossed lovers finally meet in the end, having fulfilled their duties as a son and daughter respectively.
Based on a Gujarati Novel of the same name by Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi, the film is set in 19th century feudalism in India. It went on to win the National Film Award in both Cinematography and Music Director Categories that year.
- Sahib, Biwi aur Ghulam(1962)
Sahib, Biwi aur Ghulam is about the tragic fall of the landlord system in Bengal and the feudalism existent in society during those years. It beautifully captures the plight of the wife of a Thakur who has no time for her and she finds solace in their servant.
Sahib BiwiAurGhulam a movie that created history is based on a Bengali novel by BimalMitra. It is till date considered to be one of the ‘must watch; Bollywood Films for its sheer brilliant screenplay. The film was a success both commercially and critically, going on to win 4 Filmfare awards and was also chosen as India’s official entry to Oscars that year.
- Rajnigandha (1974)
Rajnigandha is the tale of two youngsters Deepa and Sanjay who are in love. When Deepa gets a job interview call in Mumbai, she bumps into her ex ending up in confusion about her choice of partner. The rest of the story is about how she finally concludes who is the best partner for her and why.
This Basu Chatterjee directorial is based on a short story “Yahi Sach hai” written by noted Hindi writer Manu Bhandari. This heartwarming movie with its beautiful take on the complexity of relationships went on to sweep the Filmfare awards in 1975 by winning the Best Picture in both the Popular and the Critics award.
- Paheli (2005)
Paheli is the story of a ghost who falls in love with a woman and takes the form of her husband just to stay close to her. It leads to a lot of confusion when her real husband comes home.
Not many know that this Amol Palekar directorial is actually based on a short story written in Rajasthani by Padma Shri Vijayadan Detha.
- Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977)
Loosely based on Wajid Ali Shah, the King of Awadh, Shatranj Ke Khiladi is a brilliant take on how far one can go to fulfill their obsessions.
Master story teller Premchand’s poignant short story Shatranj Ke Khiladi written in 1924 was adapted on screen by Satyajit Ray. With a stellar star cast that had actors like Shabana Azmi, Sanjeev Kumar and Amjad Khan donning the pivotal roles, this movie is a powerful portrayal of ego clashes and family feuds.
- PatherPanchali (1955)
Pather Panchali captures the life of Apu with his family and their harsh battles for survival in a small village.
Pather Panchali, both the movie and the book are considered to be masterpieces. Pather Panchali the novel was written in Bengali by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay in 1929 and made into a movie by Satyajit Ray. It not only won the National Award for Best Feature film that year but also holds a place in one of the greatest films ever made till date.
Have you watched any of these? Would love to know your personal favourite movie adaptations.
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