A Great Book = A Great Movie, And That’s How It Should Be

10 02 2013

I finally saw ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’, the movie! And I’m sooooo glad I did. It was such a delight.

It’s a great adaptation of the wonderful book. I haven’t seen many movies from that era, so it was nice to see how things looked in those days, in that part of the world.
Everything was so clean and simple. The surroundings and life.  No crowds, no traffic, no skyscrapers. The children could run around wherever they liked, whenever they liked. It all looked so perfect despite the murky goings-on that are present in the story.

Almost all the characters in the movie (the good ones of course) are such lovely people. The world should be full of such people. I don’t know the actors’ names so I’ll just use the character names. Scout looks every inch as described in the book & acts so well. Jem shows his transition form a naughty-ish boy to one growing mature & understanding his father brilliantly. Tom Robbins has a small part but he portrays the frustration, anger & despair amazingly. And Atticus….I almost fell in love with him. Gregory Peck has given an award winning performance I’d say, and he sure did get those. He is strong, gentle, macho, intelligent, handsome, fragile…all facets equally convincing, awesome actor!
Even Boo Radley was pretty much as I had imagined him to be, mysterious, shy & likeable. Robert Duvall’s debut by the way.

My favourite scenes in the movie are the ones where Scout would fly into a rage and beat up her adversaries!

I had a weird sad-in-a-happy-kind-of-way feeling (guess that’s possible) at the end. I wished I could live in those times but realised it was all rosy and pretty as long as you were on the right side of the fence! Guess I’m fine where I am and I’ll just watch the movie again and again to get the feel good factor.

Sad, beautiful, funny, impressive, inspiring…I could use a mix of all kinds of adjectives to describe this movie. Absolutely loved it, as I did the book!


The Most Difficult Book In The World

16 03 2012

It is rare that I give up on a book. It might take me a few pages or chapters to really get into one but give up…never. Except for the one and only ‘Ulysses’!

What on earth was James Joyce thinking? Did he not have enough time to punctuate (considering it took 7 years to pen), did he skip grammar lessons at school or was he just plain lazy. He probably thought the editor would take care of things and guess what…he didn’t!
But seriously, it’s quite a task trying to figure out where a sentence starts or ends, who said what to whom and much more. As chaotic as the book may seem there is (apparently) some structure and order to the madness.
Some say the most interesting chapter is the last one with no punctuation whatsoever. Maybe one should read it backwards, last chapter first.

I truly admire the brave souls who have actually finished Ulysses and understood it to top it all!

This is one book I don’t see myself writing a review on for quite some time to come although I will make another attempt to conquer it. Simply because the deadly combination of a mile long novel about one single day combined with unimaginable literary liberties is a challenge in itself to self-proclaimed book lovers like myself. Wish me luck!

Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins And Now Lord Shiva

17 02 2012

What do they all have in common? Sequels, sequels and more sequels.
Saw it in the papers today. Karan Johar of the various tear-jerkers fame is planning to make a movie on the book, the Immortals of Meluha by Amish. In a very recent post I had written about the fact that this trilogy would make for a good movie series, the only difference being, I felt Hollywood was more likely to get it right.

Hrithik Roshan as Shiva and Priyanka Chopra as Parvati, I can still digest to a certain extent. But I seriously doubt the treatment Karan Johar would give to the movie. Shiva-Parvati in Manish Malhotra costumes with Switzerland’s Jungfrau passing off as Mt Kailash, that should be interesting.

I love all the offbeat cinema happening in India today but 2 genres, not happening. Science fiction and history/mythology aren’t really Bollywood’s cup of tea yet. Despite the fact that they both give unlimited scope for imagination, creativity and melodrama, which we Indians are (supposedly) great at; Bollywood fails at execution. I can only see Farhan Akhtar doing some sort of justice to this one but still not at the level of LOR, Harry Potter or the Star Wars series.

As it is, making a movie out of a book is a great challenge. I believe one needs way too many skills for that. You cant fit in everything, the details, descriptions, odd characters, emotions, etc. I don’t think I have seen a movie yet which is a better version of the book its based on. I love watching movies almost as much as reading books but the depths possible in a book are hard to capture on-screen.

But all of that might change with the Shiva trilogy movies, especially because I didnt find the books that great, maybe the movies will be much better. Good luck to Karan Johar, let us see if he can do it without making ‘chikni chameli’ take a dip in the Indus river!

Please Share Your Book Reviews With Me

25 01 2012

90% of the books I’ve read have been suggestions from friends. Only 10% are because someone in the papers said its good or the cover looked nice or thats all I could afford at that point of time. As you can see I rely heavily on reviews from friends.

I would like to widen this circle and get fresh opinions on all kinds of books. So if you happen to stumble upon my tiny little blog it would be great if you could share a review or two on some of the wonderful books you have read. I’m game for fiction, history, thrillers, mysteries, autobiographies….just about anything. Now romance novels are not really my thing but hey, I don’t mind trying those out too if you strongly recommend them.
And if you don’t mind, I’ll put your reviews on my blog with your name. Sharing only increases joy!

Or if you like, just leave a comment on what I’ve been writing. If you like what you read feel free to follow the blog. I’m not that regular at writing so you don’t have to worry about being bombarded with tons of e-mails.

And finally, if you’ve reached this far on this post, tell me what’s the last book you read?

So Much To Read Such Little Time

24 01 2012

I have recently got back into my habit of reading. Time just went by raising 2 kids, there was hardly any scope to pick up a book without one scream or another making you put it right back down. I still managed to read a few (very few actually) page by page, even line by line. While feeding the little one, playing with the older one or putting both to bed. But they’re a bit older now, mind you, the screaming continues. So my reading has increased drastically because now, I put the book down only after I finish a page or even a chapter.

I am now devouring books like crazy. Like I just got off the Survivor islands, having had no proper food for months!
Most of the books I’ve been reading have been latest releases, new authors and new stories. I have gone back to a few classics as well and some I’ve already read before. The constant tussle is between choosing to read a new book over a classic or something you’ve read twice (if I’ve read it more than 2 times there’s no confusion). If I choose a classic/already read book, I feel like I am wasting my time and should be reading the new books. But something tells me its not about how many books I’ve read but how many books I’ve enjoyed, no matter how many times. But somehow the new ones always win.

Maybe the solution is to read 2 books at a time. One old and one new, keep everyone happy. There are just way to many books in this world and no, I’m certainly not complaining.