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Sat, 18 Jan 2020

Northeast Today

From Pages to Screens, or Not!

From Pages to Screens, or Not!
January 28
14:28 2019

NET Bureau, Amlan Jyoti Das

Fantasy, horror, adventure, classics, detective novels have always been my go-to a zone for refreshments. I remember acutely that it’s not TV or Video Games which drew my rapt attention; it’s always been the books and novels that I hoard in my room. From the Classics of Oscar Wilde to the 221 Baker Street of Sherlock Holmes in London, from the Camp Half-Blood of Percy Jackson to the Shrieking Shack of Harry Potter; I have been to it all. Or in my mind’s eye at the very least.

Seeing the remakes of my favourite books and novels into various series and movies is like actualizing what I felt with my mind’s eye. Nothing makes me happier than seeing proper justice meted out to all the favourite characters, plots, places of fantasy etc in the big screens. However here lies the keyword; “proper”.

One of the most heart-wrenching parts of an avid reader is when a certain big screen movie totally alters the reality of the novel that it is based upon, creating an entirely new plot of its own. And then when the realization dawns that the people who have never read the book or the novel before will never have any idea of what the novel actually depicts, how the story actually spins, how the characters actually gain their identity so on and so forth.

Being a student with a good grasp of the videography and direction aspect I too know that not all can be replicated in the movie screens. But with the evolution of various CGI and Virtual realities we are taking a new step ahead every day in making this impossible dream a reality. However, changing the entire plot just so that it can be fit into the given 2-3 hrs of screen time is like committing a crime against the author and their creations.

So here are two novels (series) which I personally feel that must not be made or transformed to the cinematic universe. Here I like to throw in a caution which is that these are all my personal opinions ready to be debated by all readers and that since I am much more into the fantasy fiction that’s where my prime focus would be, also a disclaimer to look out for spoilers.



The Rozabal Line by Ashwin Sanghi: This theological thriller sets a new boundary for any other books of this genre. This book spans across different countries’, different ideologies, different religions, different theologies, different cults and secret agencies and different timelines from the AD-BC to the present times. These are all spun together to give us a perfect web of chronological plots leading to the buildup of the entire story. Bringing the provocative aspect of Jesus not dying in the cross but was buried in India many years later and that his bloodline continued to the formation of an Islamic Antichrist (or not) influenced by the ever so dodgy and controversial organizations like Illuminati, Skull and Bones. Also the fact that Jesus was actually influenced by Buddhist philosophies from India and that the central dogma of Christianity on the topic of rebirth being utter nonsense, is proven to be false and that the cult of Mary Magdalene has its true inspiration in the trinity of Indian sacred feminine was brought up which was both thought-provoking and is most definitely not for the faint-hearted. This shows how deep the novelist went to create this masterpiece. He dove deep into various major theologies and found the common element which is almost like finding a needle in a haystack. Such epic work is sure to fail if it is made into a movie. Various crucial elements are bound to be omitted, to package it into the time limit of a movie.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: This series of six novels made for young adult fantasy lovers spin around a tale of a civilization of Nephilims. Mortal human beings with a drop of Angel blood in their human DNA which makes them able to bear the marks of the runes which in turn gives them the ability to fight the creatures of the night lurking in the shadows. In this series, one sees a confluence of various supernatural beings, Vampires, Werewolves, Warlocks and Witches (with daemon blood in their otherwise human biology) and Seelies also known as faeries, or the Fair Folk. Pixies, nixies, and elves (They cannot lie; though they use evasive and distraction tactics to avoid directly answering questions they do not want to), and of course demons. Various attempts have been made to convert this fantasy series into movies and series. The first example of it being the movie “The Mortal Instruments” directed by Harald Zwart leading to a poor quality direction, video effects and some bad of choice of actors for specific roles, to a point that it diminished a fan favourite character Isabelle Lightwood to the sidelines. Another attempt was made to convert it into a series by the freeform network which led to a total subversion in the innate and crucial plot of the entire storyline. Although the series is cancelled in the third season due to budget cuts (the last episode airs in the spring of 2019), it did give us some really interesting actors who did justice by the characters they portrayed.



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