. Thanks for your responses!
You took the time to read through them, and I had a good time thinking about them! Thanks for asking! More long replies for you...I really had to set aside time to think about them, and I will continue to do so so now that you've brought these topics up!
I just thought of a couple more questions for you:
- Since you mentioned period dramas, which ones have you seen and which one did you like the most?
Pakeezah and the 1981 Umrao Jaan are the films coming to mind most clearly right now. A lot of the Hindi films of the '70s had characters who were courtesans and/or tawaifs, depending on the time period, and that character depiction has been pretty enduring...Plus the music automatically draws me to those sorts of films...I remember seeing the 2002 Devdas and not understanding much about it when I saw it for the first time, even though I loved Madhuri's portrayal of Chandramukhi - I do remember a lot of older people in my community being quite unhappy about it for various reasons, while the younger crowd who only cared about particular actors loved the film, lavish sets, dances, and all. I suspect that the discontent had to do with the adaptation process and the liberties taken. That said, the same older audience seemed generally happier with the adaptation of Parineeta that came out in 2005. That sort of feeds into your next question, too...
Other Hindi historical/period films I've seen: Asoka, Lagaan, Pinjar, Mangal Pandey, bits and pieces of Jodhaa-Akbar...I've also wanted to see Mughal-e-Azam, Amrapali, and Shatranj Ke Khiladi for quite a while. I am also determined to watch Contiloe's Jhansi Ki Rani to see how they handled turning it into a daily soap with its trappings, creative liberties, and all. All these films and shows are fine for background and performances...The creative liberties I can live with, since I'm not an authority on those historical accounts in any case. If anything, watching those dramatized accounts ignites an interest to learn more about the actual time/place/person/event. And that is a good thing, in my opinion, if it sends a person to do research or to actually go read the books, in the case of literature.
- What is your take on famous literary works being made into films? For example, The Great Gatsby just released today and there is so much hype around it. Which films did you actually watch that were based on books and which one did you like the most?
Sticky issue! It is always tricky translating a literary work into film - I understand that better now than I did before...If I have read the books before watching the adaptations (like in the case of the Harry Potter series - I haven't read Jane Austen's novels closely, so I can't comment on those adaptations) then my first instinct is to lean toward the book. But given the differences in the two media and what I have learned about cinema over this past semester, I am trying to be more conscious of what directors do stylistically that may enhance or detract from the essence of the book. I bet I have watched a fair number of adaptations over the years but since I haven't read the books that inspired them, I won't be able to comment on that...You mentioned The Great Gatsby, though...I would have to read the book again if I wanted to watch it, but since that reminded me of Revolutionary Road...That was quite an exhilarating yet difficult film to watch. I bet the book would have been hard to get through for someone like me...
Edited to add: I was just reminded of how I would like to watch the Hindi adaptation of The Guide since I did read that book and it is regarded as a classic of Hindi cinema...I would be up for reading all the famous Bengali novels/novellas that led to a rage of adapting those works into films, both Bengali and Hindi, too. If only I had the time to familiarize myself with them!