Prelude To ‘Lootera’: 5 Must Watch Adaptations


For many who are not aware, ‘Lootera’ directed by Vikramaditya Motwane (Udaan) is not an original story. It’s an adaptation of a short story, ‘The Last Leaf’ by O. Henry. The film has been adapted by the ‘Udaan’ director to suit Indian sensibilities. But this adaptation isn’t the first for Bollywood.

As one gears up for ‘Lootera’, which is set to release tomorrow, 5 July, here are some of the ‘Must Watch’ films that Bollywood has successfully adapted from works of literature.


‘Devdas’ and its numerous versions, is the obvious choice to feature prominently in the list. So for a change, we have kept it out of our list. The other ‘Must Watch’ Adaptations are:

Parineeta (2005): A truly ‘classic’ adaptation of the Bengali novella by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, director Pradeep Sarkar brings alive a canvas of intense relationships on screen. The stunning locales of Calcutta of the 1960’s and some soulful music by Shantanu Moitra takes us back to the lazy yet rebellious Bengal of that era. And the film gave us our ‘modern version’ of Rekha in Vidya Balan.

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Kai Po Che! (2013): Not many will agree to call works of Chetan Bhagat as piece of ‘literature’. Nevertheless, kudos to director Abhishek Kapoor (Rock On) and the writers, to make ‘Kai Po Che!’ a film, which will hopefully be an enduring classic. This tale of friendship mixed with a slice of community politics, is a perfect cocktail. Definitely, better than ‘The Three Mistakes Of My Life’, from where the film is adapted.

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Shanghai (2012): Adapted from French novel ‘Z’ by Vassilis Vassilikos, ‘Shanghai’ exposes the underbelly of the corrupt scenario of the Indian real estate and politics. Unlike many other political thrillers, ‘Shanghai’ was subtle yet hard-hitting. Dibakar Banerjee needs a pat on the back for raising the bar of Indian films with this classic. Emraan Hashmi is truly the surprise package of the film, and Abhay Deol, well watch the film to know more!


Omkara (2006): There is something about director Vishal Bhardwaj and his fancy for adaptations. While few stand out for its sheer magic on screen, the less said the better about the rest. ‘Omkara’ probably is the director’s finest piece of work. The adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ is best reflected through Bhardwaj’s perfect casting and powerful script. Transforming the chocolate boy, Saif Ali Khan into a dreadful, rustic ‘Langda Tyagi’ – Only Vishal Bhardwaj could manage it. Masterpiece!


Guide (1965): Saving the best for the last. An adaptation of R.K. Narayan’s acclaimed novel, ‘The Guide’, the Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman classic story still remains a cult favourite. It’s not about acting alone. One can never get over S.D Burman’s music. Be it Lata Mangeshkar’s golden voice in “Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai” or Kishore Kumar, relaxingly humming, “Gaata rahe mera dil”.


This is our ‘must watch’ list of the classic adaptations. Other notable mentions include, ‘Paheli’, ‘3 Idiots’, ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’ and ‘Pinjar’.