Book Day! What Indian Movie Do You Most Want Made Into a Book?

This is a very clear question in my head, hopefully I can make it clear for other people to understand too. Because I want to know your thoughts!

When you write a book, versus a movie, you can do things like go into the character’s heads and write out their thoughts. Or describe their motivations for past actions in detail. Or just have more story, no need to limit yourself to what can be contained in 3 hours onscreen, you can have little tangents and substories and things. What Indian movie would you really really like to see in book version, with all that detail?

First one that comes to mind for me, DDLJ! Largely for the character motivations. I feel like we miss so much not having a simple statement of “Simran was intrigued by this wild boy, but afraid and guilty about her feelings, so hide them under a blanket of anger”. Or having a discussion of the details of Raj’s past romance and how it left him a little quicker to put up a front of confidence. Or a deep backstory for Amrish Puri and his journey to England, and why he distrusts Westerners so much. You see what I mean? So much there! I would gobble up the novel version that hops back and forth from our present day couple to the backstory of their immigrant parents (what happened to Shahrukh’s Mom anyway?) and has the time to fill in Anupam and Himani’s romance.

DDLJ Shooting Locations in London | 8 Beautiful Locations Of ...

Next one, Hasee To Phasee! In a very light rom-com chick lit kind of way. There are so many plotholes in this movie, and I feel like in a book we could get get a handle on them. Some glimpses of Sid M. and his fiancee so we have a better handle on how incompatible they are and how there have been cracks for years. Some scenes of Pari with her family before she ran away, for similar reasons. Some fun glimpses into Pari and Sid’s minds to help us watch them fall in love. Don’t expand the story, keep it a little silly romance, but instead of “wasting” time on songs, use that same story time to get us into the protagonists’ heads.

Hasee Toh Phasee”… Escape plans | Baradwaj Rangan

Okay, what are yours? Movies you wish were books so you could see the story a different way?

23 thoughts on “Book Day! What Indian Movie Do You Most Want Made Into a Book?

  1. – Love Aaj Kal 2020, Highway and Jab Harry Met Sejal from Imtiaz. They have great potential since everything is already quite internal.
    Kalank, so much potential if we concentrated on the important parts and fixed the ending.
    – Jab Tak Hai Jaan, needing some editing and again, fixing that ending!
    – Khoobsurat, just so we can have more time with Sonam and Fawad and not rush the ending.

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    • I also went straight to Imtiaz movies! It would still need to be that poetic metaphoric kind of thing he does so well, but you can do that in a book just as well as a movie. Have Anushka try to describe what she is feeling when she watches Shahrukh walk away, or have Kartik express his struggles with understanding Sara in Love Aaj Kal 2020 without solving that problem for him.

      Jab Tak Hain Jaan, I could only see as a kind of silly romance novel. And of course, it already was a novel, only with almost a totally different plot and far far more Serious than the romance novel version I would want of the movie.

      Yes Khoobsurat! It basically already is chick lit, we just need to make it official and put it in a book. and then we can have a sequel where Fawad’s fiancee gets together with his best friend, like I want.

      On Thu, Jun 18, 2020 at 4:14 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really, anything with plot holes or unclear endings, and not too reliant on physical action. The first thing that comes to mind for me is Kalank. The big selling point of that movie was the spectacle, and it fell flat because the story wasn’t there, even in an almost 3 hour long thing. You could have so much more world building for that in a book. Backstories on Alia, Varun, Madhuri and Sanjay and their relationship, way more details on the romances, Sona & ARK, Alia & ARK, Alia & Varun. And with decent descriptions, the spectacle wouldn’t be lost.

    SMZS might also work. Again, more backstory, and the family banter would make more sense in that format.

    Other random ideas: Jabariya Jodi, October, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Queen, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

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    • Oh, yes to Jabariya Jodi! I want that turned into an R rated sexy book. Not just because Sid M is sexy, but because the romance really works better as a kind of tormented sexy driven thing than as the comedy the movie tried to sell it as. October and Queen really feel like short stories already, you just have to put them down on the page. And Ae Dil Hai Mushkil already feels like a tear jerking soaper kind of book you would cry over in college.

      On Thu, Jun 18, 2020 at 5:44 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Yes! childhood sweethearts reunited, fight, separation, torment, come together again, fight again, torment again, come together again, and so on and so forth until you hit 300. Keep the kidnapping framework just so you can have some interesting traveling sex scenes.

          On Fri, Jun 19, 2020 at 12:03 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I just read that Sushant had written a 300 page novel from the script of Kedarnath. I haven’t seen the movie so can’t comment on what needed amplifying, but thought you might be interested to learn this.

    Aren’t you already well on the way to turning DDLJ into a book with all your scene by scene reconstructions? 🙂

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    • That is interesting! Thank you. Kedarnath was one of those movies that had too many interesting bits for the runtime to cover, I think. There ended up being a lot of intriguing little things that never really resolved.

      On Thu, Jun 18, 2020 at 6:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Hum Aapke Hain Koun — mostly because when I watched it I had to be very focused to follow along with some of the story beats between all the songs. It is a beautiful movie, and I like it, but I think I could follow the story better if it was a book!

    Kirre Ranin already said Khoobsurat and Jab Harry Met Sejal so I’ll say Mohenjo Daro and Baahubali.

    MD because…let’s face it, Hrithik was miscast or the story needed to be changed so that he wasn’t supposed to be a dopey 19 – 23 year old. If you have the book then yes, you can have a face-claim of Hrithik as the main character, but if it is a book then it isn’t constantly jarring you as you watch a 3 hour movie.

    Baahubali because while a ton of the motivations for characters are either well explained (Kattappa, love you but…) or well telegraphed (how bad does Baahu want up the waterfall? SO BAD)…it would be nice to see some of their interior struggles, etc.

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    • Good point about Hum Aapke Hain Koun! Only, I don’t know if there even was enough story there without the songs. Would it be a book or would it just be a novella and half of it is explaining family relationships?

      I’m nervous about Bahubali because I read the novelization they already made and BLECH. May have tainted the story for me forever, can’t even picture what a “good” book version would be like.

      Yes to Mohenjo Daro! And it is this perfect historical period for a novelization, because we know enough to make it interesting (there was this enormous city, it had hidden pools, the region had just started up trade routes, etc etc), but still so little else that there is room for imagination. I would love to have a novel that has lots of side stories talking about the lives of various characters in the city, like what does a market stall owner eat for dinner?

      On Thu, Jun 18, 2020 at 10:40 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Maybe short stories for HAHK then? That might suit exploring some of the family relationships better than a full novel and leave more room than a novella would.

        I didn’t know they’d done a novelization of Bahubali – oh no!

        And about the ‘perfect period’ with MD — Yes! A thousand times yes! There’s a ton of interesting things and as long as you transcribe that ffuggin HUGE preface card from the front of the movie you can fill in the blanks of what do folks eat, where do the visiting merchants sleep, etc.

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  5. Kapoor and Sons. I feel like the spectacle ends up being all the fights, but you need more of the love and interior lives of the characters to feel what’s under the arguments. Having more of the interior perspective would make the characters more sympathetic and give the plot more ballast. And the web of character relationships is rich and could stand up to much more exploration.

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    • YES! heck, the practical present day stuff could use more exploration. I don’t have a firm sense of how long Fawad had been with his boyfriend, was this a newish exciting relationship, or was this someone who had shared his life and been with him through thick and thin for years? Sid M was living in America (I think) and doing minimum wage work, did he ever go to college? Did he try the regular world and then decide to drop out and start writing and only working as he needed to? Had he lived anywhere else? How did he get there? In a way, we only saw the family as they saw each other, in the very defined roles of “son” “brother” “mother” “father” “Husband” “wife”. A novel would let us feel the rift of these full interesting individuals and the way being together as a family limits them to just one small thing. I wouldn’t even mind backstory on how Rajat Kapoor’s affair started.

      On Fri, Jun 19, 2020 at 12:41 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. I second Kalank, because with all the characters they didn’t fully explore them all in a truly satisfactory way which could be rectified in a book. Honestly i’m just imagining a prologue where it isn’t Sonakshi talking to her doctor, but a scene in the past, maybe when Madhuri abandons her son in pursuit of her lover. That would help to set up his story later on instead of just being told it because of his resentment about that fact. Especially because in said prologue you could see that Madhuri doesn’t regret the decision/doesn’t feel bad about it, thus justifying Varun’s anger because in the film you only ever see her trying to reconcile with him lol.

    Also Raabta! you could have chapters alternating between the past and present.
    And for some reason i’m also thinking KKHH, since we’re talking about getting in the characters heads-you could see into his thought processes a little more as he wrestles with the guilt of moving on from Tina idk

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    • Oh oh! What about Raabta as a graphic novel? Wouldn’t that be fun?

      On Fri, Jun 19, 2020 at 9:54 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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