28 September 2014 | By Shruti Kohli
I watched The Guide, the film, before I read the book. When I read the book later, I clearly remember I was confused about Raju guide’s character. I had liked him as a hero in the movie but the book portrayed him in a different light. In the book, he is a corrupt, greedy opportunist forcefully converted into a God man by the end of the book. He uses the heroine to achieve his own ambitions to be rich. In the movie, like a typical Hindi film hero, he has been shown as a compassionate, nice guy genuinely in love with the heroine and wants her to use her talent to achieve freedom from an unhappy life.
When I read the book, I was a teenager. It was part of my school syllabus. The movie happened at that tender as it was played on TV and I was home alone. However, until I read the book, I wondered if it really mattered that I read the book or watched the movie. The story was the same! And maybe I thought the movie was better. The characters had faces and it looked livelier.
But when I read the book, I realized the railway station that I constructed in my mind while reading the book, looked different from what it was in the movie. Plus, I had constructed a railway station in my mind rather than just looking at it and then forgetting about it once it was out of sight.
My mind was at work.
Over the years, as I read more books and then chanced upon some movies made from them or vice versa, I felt that though the book-lovers’ lament was not misplaced, making movies from books was not an unfavourable deed altogether.
They make for quality entertainment. If handled proficiently, that is. Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa, The Guide, Alice in Wonderland, The Devil Wears Prada, The Bridges of Madison County, The English Patient, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Schindler’s List, Maqbool, The Colour Purple, are only a few of the thousands of movies that fall in the ‘quality’ category.
When we, at PettiCourtyard, brainstormed last evening about how movie versions of books helped, or not helped, we concluded that movies can be watched as movies and books can be read as books. Comparing the two may be like comparing strawberries to peanuts. If you want to stretch on your couch after a long day and get entertained while your brain is in a lull, go for a movie. Else a book is your best bet, for all reasons and for all seasons.
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photo courtesy: Huffpost
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