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Updated: January 17, 2012 20:12 IST

On the big screen

Sohini Chakravorty
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BOOKS TO MOVIES Amish Tripathi will explore the life of Akbar after the Shiva trilogy
BOOKS TO MOVIES Amish Tripathi will explore the life of Akbar after the Shiva trilogy

Amish Tripathi is excited about taking Shiva and the world of Meluha to celluloid

The twitterattis and social networks have been buzzing with speculations, crazy theories and endless discussions ever since Karan Johar's Dharma Production acquired the movie rights of Amish Tripathi's bestselling The Immortals of Meluha, first of the Shiva Trilogy. “I am very happy with the passion and commitment shown by Dharma Productions. It has to be a big budget movie and it cannot be made without passion,” says Amish Tripathi who was in the city to participate at the Hyderabad Literary Fest.

Talking about his involvement with the script and film production, he says, “I have my own interpretation of the Indus Valley Civilisation and would definitely give my creative inputs. But I feel a movie project is like a corporate company where you can have one captain and that is the director of the film. The final decision would be his and I would have to respect that.” As curiosity as to who will be cast as Shiva and Sati increases, he says that once the director is finalised, they will move on to finalising the cast. The author assures that apart from sharing a great personal rapport with the production house, there is a lot of clarity at both ends which will keep disputes at bay.

The author feels that even though books are regularly adapted for the big screen, the interpretation and narration is a different experience as books and films are completely different medium. “If you see classics like Gone With The Wind, both the film and the book has its own place. Personally, I felt Harry Potter books were better than the films but it was different with the Lord of the Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien's imagination was so vivid that at times I felt the movie was better,” says the author. Citing the example of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson portrayed in a Jai-Veeru manner in their recent movie, the author says he is quite open to cinematic interpretation of characters.

The author believes that films cannot be elitist and therefore have a better reach but books have a more lasting impact. “A film needs to keep the audience engaged for two hours straight, whereas a book can be absorbed in segments,” he says.

His love for mythology and history is evident, as post the trilogy, the author wants to explore the life of the Mughal emperor Akbar and stories from the Mahabharata and Ramayana. “I am like a fly on the wall from where I envision the entire story. The story comes to me as a movie and not through words. Only when I see the pictures in my mind, I start writing,” he says.

After The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas, readers are impatient for the last of the Shiva Trilogy. Reluctant to divulge any details of the third book, he leaves only one hint — that is “the evil will be taken out.”

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