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3-min read

12 Indian films that would make great books

We'd love to read 'Golmaal', a Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic starring Amol Palekar, as a book. Wouldn't everyone?


Updated:February 12, 2014, 2:49 PM IST
12 Indian films that would make great books
We'd love to read 'Golmaal', a Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic starring Amol Palekar, as a book. Wouldn't everyone?

'Deewar' and 'Special 26' have both been launched as books. Haven't you had a moment when you are watching a film and thinking 'I'd love to read this script as a book?' Saytajit Ray's 'Nayak', Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Golmaal' and Umesh Kulkarni's 'Deool' would be fascinating to read. We compiled 12 Indian classics that could and should be made into books.


Aval Appadithan (1978): Made at a time when awareness of feminist issues in India was still nascent, ‘Aval Appadithan’ directed by C Rudhraiya was way ahead of its time. This Tamil film portrays a young, single woman in urban India and her quest for a meaningful relationship.

Deool (2011): Directed by Umesh Kulkarni and with a star cast like Nana Patekar, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Sonali Kulkarni and a cameo by Naseeruddin Shah, ‘Deool’ received a tremendous response from audiences. The Marathi film highlights the story of a tiny village caught in the complexities of development and the aspirations of the local youth. ‘Deool’ was screened at Rotterdam and Abu Dhabi film festivals as well as the MAMI festival in Mumbai

Gol Maal (1979): Hrishikesh Mukherjee was a filmmaker who always preferred to showcase the paradoxes of the Indian middle class in a lighter manner, and Hindi film ‘Gol Maal’ was the perfect demonstration of his thought process. Ram Prasad, Laxman Prasad (Amol Palekar) and Bhawani Shankar (Utpal Dutt) created such an engaging triangle that the audience couldn’t stop grinning.

Mayabazar (1957): Almost every big name of Telugu, Tamil and Kannada film industry was associated with Kadri Venkata Reddy’s film. Be it cinematography or be it music, this film was a pioneer in every sense. Once again NT Rama Rao proved his calibre as a method actor. The subject of the film threw a new light on the events of Mahabharata.

Mr India (1987): Later, Shekhar Kapur did acclaimed international projects like ‘Bandit Queen’ and ‘Elizabeth’, but ‘Mr India’ was the first film which gave glimpses of his latent potential. The Hindi film starring Anil Kapoor, Sridevi and Amrish Puri was ahead of its time and formed a base for sci-fi films in India.

Nayagan (1987): This film clearly described Mani Ratnam’s leaning towards popular filmmaking. He blended the story of a kind hearted gangster with that of the slum dwellers of Mumbai. The Karma completes a full circle when Velu gets killed in the end. Tamil film ‘Nayagan’ was India’s official entry to the Oscars in 1988.

Nayak (1966): A matinee idol, on the course of a train journey, meets several characters, including a keen journalist, interested in knowing about his past and his rise to stardom. The Bengali film was written and directed by Satyajit Ray and starred Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore.

Ranganayaki (1981): Very few films in Indian cinema have explored the Oedipus complex. This Kannada film, directed by Puttanna Kanagal, explored the story of an actress who unknowingly falls in love with her own son.

Satya (1998): For the first time, the Indian audience saw a Hindi film which made them think about the issues which create an underworld don. Ram Gopal Varma established a world where gangsters were living a more miserable life than the people they ruled.

Shiva (1989): Though Ram Gopal Varma went on to make films such as ‘Rangeela’, ‘Satya’ and ‘Company’ later in his career, but this Telugu film announced his arrival as a unique filmmaker. On the outset, it was about the personal rivalry between Nagarjuna and Raghuvaran, but it was a completely new take on student politics and the ideologies driving it. The clear cut notions propagated in ‘Shiva’ found a reflection in many university elections during a later stage.

Shriman Prithviraj (1973): The romantic Bengali film starring Ayan Banerjee and Mahua Roy Choudhury featured for the first time the angst of teenage love. Directed by Tarun Majumdar, this is now a cult classic and is known for its humorous screenplay

Zanjeer (1973): Who can forget Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Angry Young Man’ avatar in the Hindi film which made him an overnight star. The film brings to notice the underlying frustrations of the common man who is subjected to wrath of corruption and how a policeman comes to fight against all the wrongs. Directed by Prakash Mehra, the film is memorable for its powerful dialogues and performances.

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