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Books Revisited: It Takes a Murder by Anu Kumar

Reviewed by Shikhandin

It Takes a Murder

It Takes a Murder
Author: Anu Kumar
Publisher: Hatchette India (2013)
Pages: Paperback, 281
Buy: Available on Amazon and in book stores

 

It seems like years since I first read Anu Kumar’s It Takes a Murder. In reality, it has been only five. A recent news item reminded me of her book — it has been long listed in this year’s MAMI (Mumbai Academy of Moving Image) Words to Screen Awards. This certainly is interesting and goes to show that reposeful books have lives of their own. I remember that I had enjoyed it – its literary, ruminative, lyrical prose. Now, spending the summer in the unlikeliest of places, a city that everybody tries to escape during this season, I thought of browsing through it, re-reading parts with care while glossing over other bits. At the end of it, I found, unsurprisingly, that my original reactions had remained the same, except for a heightened awareness of Kumar’s prose. It felt like walking down a place I had visited before, only noticing more details the second time round. It’s a good feeling, comforting, I must add, when impressions first formed have no cause to change. It reiterates my feeling of the quiet timelessness of Kumar’s It Takes a Murder.

The book involves a murder (obvious from the title) — that of a prominent resident of Brooks Town. But Kumar’s book is no ordinary murder mystery. It is not a literary thriller or a suspense story, but a literary novel – a dark one, with layered characters that demand closer scrutiny, events that need to be re-looked against a larger historical backdrop.

The narrative, innocuous like a sluggish river, is nevertheless punctuated with suspenseful and hold-your-breath passages, even as it deals with the most basic of all human relations – love. The story is narrated in flashback by an unreliable witness, one who keeps the reader guessing about everything, including the true inclination of her heart. She keeps feeding morsels of information in every chapter, just enough to whet the appetite (or should I say to keep the starved from dropping off?), and sometimes a little more. It’s a device that serves more to throw one off the track than reveal the truth. Finally, towards the end of the novel, she reels the reader in and actually confides, laying bare the whole web of intricacies.

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Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng’s ‘Garden of Evening Mists’ gets movie deal

Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng’s award-winning novel The Garden Of Evening Mists is getting a feature film adaptation, reports Variety.

Jointly produced by HBO Asia and Astro Shaw, the movie will star Malaysian actress Lee Sin-je (The Eye), Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe (Godzilla 2000) and veteran Taiwanese actress-director Sylvia Chang in the lead, along with British actors David Oakes (Victoria) and John Hannah (Agents Of SHIELD).

The film will be directed by Taiwan’s Tom Lin (Starry Starry Night, Zinnia Flower).

The Garden Of Evening Mists is a profound novel, showcasing such beautiful cultural complexities which captivate the heart of its readers,” head of Astro Shaw Najwa Abu Bakar said in the Variety piece.

The publication also reports that principal photography will begin at the end of this month, and that the movie is supported by the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS).

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‘Rang De Basanti’ deserved to be a book: Rakeysh Mehra

RDB_book20140815Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who has brought out a book about his personal journey while making Rang De Basanti eight years after its release, feels the national impact of the cult film compelled him to write about it.

The book, titled Rang De Basanti: The Shooting Script, is penned down by the director, writer Kamlesh Pandey and screenplay writer Rensil D’Silva. Continue reading


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Meet the Japanese author behind Tom Cruise’s new sci-fi smash

You might be surprised to hear that the latest Tom Cruise science-fiction epic, “Edge of Tomorrow,” which hit theaters here recently, has a Japanese pedigree. It is based on the short novel “All You Need is Kill” by award-winning author Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Continue reading


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Haider: An Indian adaption of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet

haiderAcclaimed Indian filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj has a fetish for Shakespeare.  Earlier, he had adapted Macbeth as Maqbool and Othello as Omkara. Both were box office hits as well as critically acclaimed.

This year, the director is back with a new adaptation, Haider. The film is an adaptation of Hamlet, written by Basharat Peer and Bhardwaj. Basharat Peer is an Indian journalist of Kashmiri ethnicity, based in New York. He is also an author and political commentator.

The film stars actors Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Tabu, Irrfan Khan and Kay Kay Menon. Co-produced by Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Haider is slated to hit the screens on October 2 this year. You can watch the trailer here.