Book to screen: Here are some series and films based on literary classics and popular books

August 30, 2020 5:00 AM

Films and shows based on literary classics and popular books have always interested bibliophiles as well as cinema buffs.

Emma was adapted for the Bollywood film Aisha as well, which released in 2010.Emma was adapted for the Bollywood film Aisha as well, which released in 2010.

By Reya Mehrotra

Films and shows based on literary classics and popular books have always interested bibliophiles as well as cinema buffs. Here are some such series and films that have been made.

Little Women
Released in 2019, the seventh movie adaptation of the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott stars Saoirse Ronan as Jo March, Emma Watson as Meg, Meryl Streep as the aunt, among others. The coming-of-age drama has been directed by Greta Gerwig and revolves around the lives of the four March sisters in Massachusetts in the 19th century during and after the Civil War. The movie received six Academy Award nominations.

A Suitable Boy
One of the longest novels published in a single volume, the 1993 classic novel by Vikram Seth was adapted into a TV series by BBC. Directed by Mira Nair, it stars Tabu, Ishaan Khatter, Tanya Maniktala, Rasika Dugal and Ram Kapoor. The six-part series got good reviews for its direction, storyline and character portrayals, and is one of the most expensive BBC series ever made. It explores the rich Indian culture through the fortunes of four large families and was filmed in Lucknow and other parts of India.

Based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel, the movie released worldwide in February this year. The British comedy-drama, starring Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma Woodhouse, is directed by Autumn de Wilde. In search of a companion, Emma settles for Harriet Smith after her governess Miss Taylor gets married. She then gets involved in finding the perfect match for Harriet, manipulating her in the process. Emma was adapted for the Bollywood film Aisha as well, which released in 2010.

The Personal History of David Copperfield
The comedy-drama film, based on the 1850 Victorian novel David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, came out in 2019. Written and directed by Armando Lannucci, the movie stars Dev Patel in the lead role. The film, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September last year, follows Copperfield’s life from birth. His widowed mother remarries the cruel Mr Murdstone who abuses a young David and sends him off to work at his factory. He finally escapes after the death of his mother and pursues his dream to become an author.

The Outsider
This mini TV series is based on the horror novel by Stephen King, who is known for supernatural, horror, suspense, crime and fantasy fiction. The American horror-crime-drama, whose first season premiered early this year on HBO, stars Ben Mendelsohn, Bill Camp, Patrick Considine, among others. It follows an investigation, which appears straight and simple at first, but uncovers a gruesome murder of a young boy by a cop. A supernatural force makes its way into the case and leads the investigators to questions their beliefs.

Artemis Fowl
The movie is based on a series of eight fantasy novels published in 2001 by Irish author Eoin Colfer. The film adaptation of the first novel released on Disney’s streaming service in June this year. It follows the adventures of the 12-year-old Artemis Fowl who kidnaps a fairy for a large ransom of gold. The third-person narrative switches from human to fairy characters. The book was appreciated by critics and even awarded. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the movie takes us to the coast of Ireland in the Fowl manor, where a stolen collection of world-famous relics is being linked to businessman Artemis Fowl.

The Woman in the Window
Based on the 2018 novel by AJ Finn, the psychological thriller by Joe Wright stars Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Fred Hechinger, Wyatt Russell, Brian Tyree Henry, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Julianne Moore. The plot revolves around an agoraphobic psychologist whose life turns upside down when her neighbour disappears.

The Goldfinch
The 2019 American drama film by John Crowley was adapted from the 2013 novel by Donna Tart. The life of 13-year-old Theodore Decker changes after his mother dies in an explosion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and a dying man asks him to take a painting called The Goldfinch and his engraved ring away from the museum. The movie premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and stars Oakes Fegley and Ansel Elgort as the young and adult Theo, respectively.

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