A Review of Literature and World Cinema, edited by Itishri Sarangi

 Hardcover: 134 pages

Publisher: Authorspress; 1st Edition 2017;  Language: English; ISBN- 978-93-5207-447-1; Price: Rs. 600/-

Reviewed by

Dr. Sandip Kumar Mishra Email:

  Volume 9, Number 4, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n4.r03

Anand Neelakanthan, the writer of Bahubaali, released the book Literature and World Cinema, edited by Itishri Sarangi in the Kalinga Literary Festival, 2017 at Mayfair Convention. The book is an anthology of critical articles written by different contributors on popular literature translated into films. According to the editor, the new book is an attempt to rediscover global cinema based on the literary pieces which later turned to movies. In the preface, Dr. Sarangi writes, “World cinema is no more Hollywood centric. Rather it has moved beyond its geographical area. Bollywood and Hindi film industry are loved by the audience worldwide.  The book speaks about the role of Literature and its contribution to cinema, a popular culture” (Sarangi, 2017). The cinematic representations of the popular novels revive the works and get critically acclaimed by the people who watch them. The movies are easier understood by the audience than the novels and stories. The scriptwriters get attracted to the popular literary pieces for the theme of the movies and the directors are prone to literary texts if they find any cinematic potentiality in literature. It is their professionalism too, which makes famous literary text become successful movies. The book is an attempt to rediscover some eternal texts translated into films.

The present book taken for review has ten distinctive chapters. In the Chapter “Meeting Jim: A Film in the Making” Dr. Chittaranjan Mishra portrays the journey of a man transcending boundaries to unite people and create bonds. The film is about Jim, who for more than four decades has been hosting dinners at his Parisian articles providing opportunities for people from various countries and walks of life to connect with each other. The paper traces Jim’s cultural connections with people and speculates the dimensions of their representations on the basis of the ideas the filmmakers are trying at.

Dr. Gourhari Behera and Mr. Chayan Dutta in the article “Of Children, Witches and the Problematic of Succession: Justine Kurzel’s Macbeth” discuss the legacy of demystifying the works of the literary giant, William Shakespeare. Kruzel’s cinematic adaptation makes the play more relevant to its contemporary audience in the sense that it tries to answer many of the perplexing questions that have hounded Shakespeare’s readers and audience since centuries.

Chapter III is written by Dr. Sonal Srivastava entitled “Aesthetics & Semiotics of Film Language”. It discusses cinema as a powerful medium of expression to a silent audience. The chapter focuses on the fact that films form a connection between the verbal language and the real world, encouraging an establishment of connections. But a film, unlike language, can act without any convention by falling back easily to the real world with the help of natural signs and with all its arbitrariness.

The article in chapter IV is written by Mr. Akaitab Mukherjee named “Rituparno Ghosh’s Antarmahal: Auteurist Adaptation and Authorial Suicide”. It lucidly presents the film adaptation of Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay’s short story Protima (1937). Rituparno Ghosh’s film adaptation Antarmahal (Views of an Inner Chamber, 2005) is based on a popular play by Bandyopadhyay, an eminent Bengali novelist and short story writer. The short story deals with the landlord family where the bohemian landlord tortures on his wife and the issue of domestic violence has been expanded in Ghosh’s film. Ghosh’s appreciation distances itself from Bandyopadhyay’s text and tries to imagine the world of women in landlord family in late 19th century. The article explicates that Antarmahal seems like, to use Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan’s term, “authorial suicide” of Bandyopadhyay.

The article “Literature Adapted into Film: An Ecocritical Analysis of Chander Pahar (The Mountain of the Moon)” by S. Mishra, offers an ecocritical approach to the film adaptation of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s novel. Bibhutibhushan’s forte is his portrayal of the man in the midst of nature. The article seeks to delve deep into Chander Pahar to find out Ecocritical implications in the film based on the original adventure novel by the great nature novelist.

In the Chapter VI, “Movies: An Effective Tool to Interpret Soft Skills” Mitashree Tripathy and the editor herself link usability of soft skills in the film medium” and interprets how movies contribute significantly in perceiving soft skills. The sole purpose of good movies is not only to entertain but also to teach and educate. The study shows how soft skills through movies enable students, employees in multifarious sectors and even the non-professionals to acknowledge the diverse aspects of soft skills and their weight to reintegrate successful business ventures and interpersonal relationships.

Chapter VII is a study by Ms. Reethi P entitled “Trapping the Marginalised: Reading the movie Ottal”. It discusses cinema as the most popular genre to communicate ideas and feelings in the most proficient manner. The paper discusses the movie Ottal keeping side by side the Russian short story Vanka by Anton Chekov. The objective of the paper is to connect and read the movie Ottal as a narrative of the subaltern in a natural background- where nature itself is marginalized. Ottal, the trap narrates the story of human beings trapped in the complex web of life. The marginalized gets trapped in the web and becomes nameless.

Chapter VIII “Absurdist Flow in Cinema and Art” written by Ms. Bhagyalaxmi Das and the editor Dr. Sarangi discusses the depiction of the ‘absurd’ in world cinema taking into focus, Extremely Loud and Incredibly, one of the finest examples of Absurdist cinema. The war left devastating consequences and propounded the vision that life is meaningless and every human action is absurd worthless. Giant, Albert Camus, the French philosopher coined the term ‘Absurd’ and formulated a new school of thought known as ‘Absurdism’. Artists portrayed this meaninglessness through abstract representations in their works. Cinema is the most popular and powerful medium to present the ‘Absurd’ in its myriad shades as expressed in the paper.

In the Chapter IX “Adaptation: Healthy Process for Intellectual Growth of Film Industry” Ms. Surabhi Yadav talks about adaptations in Bollywood films. While the practice of adaptation is termed as cheating, Yadav’s paper peels out the accusations and outlines the positivity in being inspired by great works. Adaptation is often confused with stealing but according to her, there is nothing wrong in getting inspired by someone’s work and then producing something new with the local flavour that is an original piece of one’s own creativity.

The final chapter “A journey from Eerie to Effervescent” by Ms. Minushree Patnaik in collaboration with the editor Dr. Sarangi, gives essence to the film adaptation of the literary works of black women writers and showcases films as a powerful medium of demonstrating such atrocities. The writers of this chapter have explored the movies like Beloved, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Color Purple to give essence to the literary works of black women writers and voice to the voiceless Afro-Americans.

To conclude, the book is an excellent collection of literature as translated into world cinema. It is not fixed to a concrete boundary of a particular area. It explores the movies without frontiers and tries to analyze culture, people, and way of life and opens a pathway to understanding globalization. The new book offers an extensive appreciation of the literary classics to shape the concept of film studies from the critical approach. The articles in the book give focus to the parallel cinema, the absurdist flow in film, the subaltern, the ecocritical approach, the soft skills, the black literature etc. The readers will get varied flavour of literary taste within the short compass of a single book.



Authorspress. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2017, from

I., Sarangi (Ed.). (n.d.). Literature and World Cinema. Retrieved December 10, 2017, from

Literature and Cinema. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2017, from

Sarangi, I. (Ed.). (2017). Literature and World Cinema. New Delhi: Authors Press.


Dr. Sandip Kumar Mishra is an Assistant Teacher of a Govt. Aided High School in West Bengal. His doctoral thesis explores the ecocritical praxis of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s select novels. He has already presented papers in two National and two International Conferences held in Vidyasagar University, St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College, Maharshi Markandeswar University, and Berhampur University respectively. His articles have been published in books and international journals listed by UGC.

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