One of the modes of translation is known as adaptation, which takes translation one step further and modifies the content to make it culturally appropriate and accurate. By definition, adaptation means to change something in order to make it suitable for a new purpose or situation. The process of adaptation is not only inevitable but necessary and as well a product of evolution.
The adaptation is a multifaceted topic, because of its ability to incorporate numerous mediums from one literary form to another such as films, stage-play, etc. Despite the numerous mediums, through which adaptation can be found, discourses surrounding the field of adaptation studies are often dominated by the relationship between film and literature. Along with the advent of technology and the evolution of the film industry, literature has attracted all creative filmmakers to draw stories from literature. The evolution of literary adaptation has enhanced the understanding and teaching of literature, as it shaped the concept and sensation of literary texts into visual images. As a medium of representation, the images in the films have a more immediate relationship to what it describes, while the words rarely do that. Since the inception of cinema, literary texts were transformed into films.
From the very beginning of the conceptual release, that is, Dadasaheb Phalke’s, “Raja Harishchandra” to the recent release of Ribhu Dasgupta’s, “The Girl on the Train”, clearly shows that the field of literature and cinema has been closely intertwined. The great works of William Shakespeare have been successfully adapted all around the world. His dramas have contributed immensely to the global film industry. The Shakespearean plays like “Romeo and Juliet”, “Hamlet”, etc have been adapted multiple times over the years in different languages and settings. One of the renowned Indian directors, Vishal Bharadwaj is popularly known for his films like ” Maqbool”, “Omkara” and “Haider” which are literary adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, “Macbeth”, ” Othello” and “Hamlet” respectively. In India, the Oscar Winner Satyajit Ray had his works based on great works of literature for his films like “Pather Panchali”, ” The Apu Trilogy”, etc. However, the film is also used in a response to poetry. Poetry, as the art of utterance and cinema as the art of visualization, has been correlated many times. For, e.g, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film “Padmavat” is the adaptation of an epic poem, “Padmavati”, written by a Sufi poet.
The film, “Guide” is an Indian romantic drama film starring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman, which was released in the year 1965 and directed by Vijay Anand. The film is based on a novel, “The Guide”, which is written by R. K. Narayan. The film is said to have won many awards including Filmfare Awards for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and many more. This film is a deviation from cinematic experience and is perhaps one of the milestones in the Bollywood industry. the story of the freelance guide Raju and his meeting with Rosie the wife of a wealthy archaeologist. This is one of the earliest efforts in the Indian film industry to depict both the hero and the heroine in the negative shade.
Kai Po Che
The film, “Kai Po Che” is an action and political based film starring Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkumar Rao and Amit Sadh as the three main protagonists, while Amrita Puri plays the female lead. This film is directed by Abhishek Kapoor and is an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel, “The Three Mistakes of My Life”. It was released in 2013 and is said to have a world premiere at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival. The title of the film is originally a Gujrati phrase that means, “I have cut”, which refers to Makar Sankranti where one of the competitors uses his kite to cut off another competitor’s kite and yells the phrase. The film is set in Ahmedabad from 2000 to 2012. “Kai Po Che” revolves around three friends, Ishaan “Ish” Bhatt (Rajput), Omkar “Omi” Shastri (Sadh) and Govind “Govi” Patel (Rao), who want to start their own sports shop and sports academy; the film also revolves around the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, 2002 Godhra train burning and the 2002 Gujarat Riots. It tracks the deep friendship of three friends and their innocence tarnished by religious, political and communal hatred.
The film, “Fitoor” is a romantic drama film featuring Tabu, Katrina Kaif and Aditya Roy Kapoor in lead roles. The film was directed by Abhishek Kapoor and is based on Charles Dickens’ novel, “The Great Expectations”. It was released in the year 2016 and is said to achieve overwhelming success at the Box Office. This is basically a modern adaptation of the novel and portrays the story of a Kashmiri boy, Noor who falls in love with a rich girl, Firdaus. And, the plot leads to a series of events portraying the hardships of their lives.
In this context, the Bollywood industry has also turned other literary texts into movies. As it was known earlier, in Bollywood films, ‘love’ is generally the driving force of each plot. And, this is interesting to watch films that are based on literary texts. However, a film even if inspired by a novel takes a different train to tell its story.
Visual by: Raysham Powdel
Article by Shalini Deb Roy, The North-Eastern Chronicle