I don’t like to watch movies made from books that have moved me. The most recent one I can think of is “The life of Pi”. I know. Ang Lee is a revered director and the movie won four Academy Awards. But the movie could not hold a torch to the book. To me, reading the book was like an awakening. I felt it in my nerves and read through it’s pages up until the spine tingling finish with wide open interest and often, laughter swirling through me. I don’t know whether the laughter was intended by the author, but to me, it was an integral part of my joyous experience of the book. The movie left me feeling hollow, unexcited, heavily dissatisfied. Before anyone starts telling me that it would have been a different experience in the theatre, let me say this much. I know. Audio visually it would have been a thrilling experience, but the beauty of Pi’s life was not in its scenery. I have written about my impressions about the book, which you may want to read. I am reading a book right now, that is encased within spectacular views as well, and if it was made into a movie, there would be a similar danger of it being converted into a visual feast, with the story being lost in adaptation.
I don’t think a movie will be made from this book, though. Firstly it is written by Deepak Chopra. Too much controversy. The scientific world seems to hate him and his philosophy. There is a tendency to laugh at his rhinestone encrusted glasses. There must be a spiritual law somewhere, “Thou shalst not wear rhinestone encrusted glasses if thou wisheth to be taken seriously”. In my experience, those who like his books whisper it to people who they are sure would not laugh at them. Perhaps because other people lump the message together with the messenger.
Secondly, this book is “Muhammad – A Story of the Last Prophet”, and there is not much sympathy in the world for his declared, or self professed followers right now. The book is a fictional outpouring of the man that was Muhammad, and the words of God he spoke. There is an intermingling of history and story in the book, which to me is not important. How much of the history do we really know, anyway? Do we care? Again, is the message important, or is the messenger? There may be value in understanding the messenger, as that would put the message into context. It may also help decode the imagery of the era and person into words which can be understood by masses a couple of thousand years down the track. . But in the case of this book, as well as “Buddha – A Story of Enlightenment”, and “Jesus – A Story of Enlightenment”, Chopra has sought to create a man behind the myth, who is part history, part folk lore, part fiction. “Jesus” was an easy read, though soul seeking, and “Muhammad” is building up the same vibes in it. I look forward to finishing it.
If they do make a movie, (will they?) I would love to watch it, because I love the desert scenery. Only three chapters into the book, the evocative desert scenes are making me wish to see it in spectacular panoramic extreme screen and sound, and not just in a small sphere in my head. I would probably even be minded to forgive the director if they strayed from Muhammad and concentrated on showing the beautiful Arabic sands.
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