Admittedly, I am a poor appreciator of cinema. I haven’t always made it a point to watch the film adaptations of the books I’ve loved, and I’ve almost never read up the original novels of some of the films I liked. Of the latter, the best example would be:
I love the film with a fervour. I just cannot drag myself through the book, even though I know it’s a masterpiece in its own right. Then again, a ‘book’ doesn’t necessarily mean novel, and there will always be these favourite play adaptations like A Streetcar Named Desire. Of play adaptations, again, Shakespeare adaptations demand a story of their own. (The Shakespeare obsession is, I suspect, an inevitable effect of a training in English literature. When I started college, I was Shakespeare-neutral. Four years down the line, however, I cannot help making a concession for Shakespeare.) Anyway, if I had to choose one film from the multitude of Shakespeare adaptations, I will (perhaps a little oddly) go with Omkara, which is one of the rare recent Hindi films that I’ve watched and enjoyed a lot.
I am very ‘taensh’, but I love Vishal Bharadwaj’s cinema. I love his vision and style and choice of locations and the vitality of his characters, I love his soundtracks, and I’m reminded of Tim Supple’s comment about Shakespeare’s work being ‘messy and wonderful’, which is exactly how this film is.
Finally, at the risk of repeating myself, I cannot possibly conclude a post on my favourite-book-turned-into-a-movie without a mention of this:
The book moved me so much that I can never judge the film objectively, but this is such an utterly beautiful adaptation. I love Ralph Fiennes. I love him a little less for playing Voldemort in the Harry Potter films, but going back to Wuthering Heights and The English Patient always makes me forgive him that crime.