[(essay date November 2011) In the following essay, Shinde evaluates the film adaptation of Lahiri's novel The Namesake.]
Novel is defined as a long narrative in prose and can be treated as a 'Word'. Film is also a narrative that combines both theatrical and dramatic elements and can be treated as an 'Image'. The novel and the film imitate human life. The novel and the film are complementary to each other because they are the works of fiction. However, both are independent art forms. Hence, the adaptation of the novel to the film is a multidisciplinary process.
Film adaptation is based on a story, novel or any other work of art. (Bandi 2009: 11) Most of the films are based on novels. Novels offer ready plots and stories for filmmakers. Adapting novels for films is a well-known phenomenon in film industry.
Both Hollywood and Bollywood have adopted many novels for their film scripts. To name a few: Gone with the Wind (1939: George Cukor), Pather Panchali (1955: Satyajit Ray), Godan (1963: Trilok Jetley), Samskara (1970: Pattabhi Rama Reddy), The Godfather (1972: Francis Coppola), Train to Pakistan (1997: Pamela Rooks), The Namesake (2007: Mira Nair) and so on.
Recently, Christian Colson has adopted the novel Q & A (2005) by Vikas Swarup for the film Slumdog Millionaire (2008). This film adaptation has won eight Oscar Awards.
The film adaptation process is the study of 'Word to Image'.