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Will AISHA carry on the trend like 3 IDIOTS, DEVDAS or PARINEETA?

July 8, 2010 04:47:41 PM IST
Rachana, Bollywood Trade News Network
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That Bollywood's fascination towards adapting a work of literature into a movie is an age-old trend is something we are well aware of. But what's really interesting to know here is that converting the novel into a screen work, more often than not, proved fruitful for Bollywood. Over the decades filmmakers have been turning to the literary world to churn out successful films. DEVDAS, PARINEETA, DEV D, OMKARA, 3 IDIOTS, etc, which were greatly inspired from popular novels, have been huge hits.

In the past also, many filmmakers, who made films inspired by books, were immensely successful. Satyajit Ray's APU TRILOGY based on Bibhutibhushan Banddhopadhyay's books and his SHATRANJ KE KHILADI based on Premchand's work are still remembered as great masterpieces of cinema. Others include, SAHEB BIWI AUR GHULAM, an eternal gem produced by the immensely gifted Guru Dutt was adapted from the Bengali novel 'Shaheb Bibi Golam' by Bimal Mitra. Gulshan Nanda's books have provided fodder for commercial hits like KATI PATANG, NEEL KAMAL, KHILONA, JHEEL KE US PAAR, SHARMILEE, etc. These movies proved to be big commercial hits in the late 1960s and early 1970s. When talking about adaptations how can one miss out the name of one of the most prolific directors of Indian Cinema, the pioneer of parallel cinema, Shyam Benegal. He has adapted many novels over the course of his film making career.

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However in the current times, the commercial success of Bhansali's mega budget Shah Rukh Khan-Madhuri Dixit-Aishwarya Rai-starrer DEVDAS played a major role in revival of Bollywood's interest in literature. Also, the dearth of good scripts coupled with the audiences' raised expectations for the trend urged the filmmakers to go back to the books. The thumbs-up to the adapted versions of Rabindranath Tagore's CHOKER BALI, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's PARINEETA further resulted in the proliferation of this trend. And with that many big profile filmmakers embarked on this path (considering it a successful filmmaking formula)

Vishal Bhardwaj went one step ahead and bespoke Shakespeare's plays into movies. The success of Vishal Bharadwaj's take on 'Mcbeth' encouraged this trend. After tasting success with MAQBOOL, Vishal Bharadwaj came up with OMKARA, his version of 'Othello', which again was well-received. Salman Khan's brother-in-law and former actor, Atul Agnihotri too tried his hand in this area and made a film called HELLO, based on Chetan Bhagat's bestseller, 'One Night @Call Centre'. Though the film gained much critical acclaim but couldn't fetch the expected results.

The latest classic example is of Aamir Khan's 3 IDIOTS, also inspired by Chetan Bhagat's bestseller 'Five Point Someone'. The film was a huge blockbuster and rage among the audiences; it not only benefited the author of the novel but also gained enough publicity because of its successful adaptation & execution on screen. Besides starring Aamir Khan, 3 IDIOTS mostly worked because of its content which talked about contemporary scenario and the issues faced by youth. Today 3 IDIOTS' grandeur success has only enthused many aspiring filmmakers to take the route to literary world and in turn created/creating a surge in demand for more & more novels, books & creative writers.

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Now the latest to join the ever-growing list of cinematic adaptations is Jane Austen's 'Emma', which is made into AISHA. Directed by Rajshree Ojha, Sonam Kapoor is playing the title character in the film. Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'Sense and Sensibility' have already been made into BRIDE AND PREJUDICE (a Hinglish movie by Gurinder Chadda) and KANDUKONDAIN KANDUKONDAIN (a bilingual by Rajiv Menon) respectively.

Produced by Sonam's sibling Rhea Kapoor, the major hype & buzz about AISHA is it being inspired by Jane Austen's 'Emma'. Now it is to be seen whether Sonam Kapoor and her much touted film AISHA triumphs at the touchstone of box office and carries the baton of success (set by its forerunners), when it releases on August 6, 2010.