Over the years we have seen countless movies being remade into Tamil and most of them have worked surprisingly well. Interestingly, there are also a bunch of Tamil films that have been based on novels, books and short stories containing enough source material to deliver a fantastic visual representation of the written medium. Let us look at some of these films that have been successfully adapted from written texts (in no particular order):


Starring Kamal Haasan in dual roles, the film revolves around brothers Nandhu and Vijay, who were abused by their stepmother during their younger days. Nandhu, a paranoidal schizophrenic, decides to kill Vijay's fiancé as he visualizes her as his stepmother. The film is an adaptation of the novel Dhayam that was written by Kamal Haasan himself in 1984 for the journal Idhayam Pesugiradhu.


Partly based on Uma Chandran's novel of the same name, the film revolves around a labourer, Kaali, whose boss suspends him for dereliction of duty. Enraged, he gets drunk and gets into an accident that leaves him jobless. He soon gets his chance to get even by rejecting his boss' marriage proposal for his sister.


This movie is loosely based on the short story White Nights written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It tells the tale of Marudhu, an orphaned ship mechanic and sailor, who lands in the Rameshwaram port and decides to give up his sailing life and settle down. He develops a liking for Nancy, who sells fruits and other items to sailors arriving at the port. But, she turns down all his advances initially as she continues waiting for Mukundan, the captain of a ship that had docked three years ago, although he had promised he would return in a year.

4) KUTTRAM 23:

Based on the novel Enni Ettavathu Naal by Rajesh Kumar, the story is about ACP Vetrimaaran, an upright and dedicated policeman posted in Chennai. While working on a simple missing case of a woman, he stumbles upon a large crime racket involving medical professionals.


Adapted from Subha's (writing duo D. Suresh and A. N. Balakrishnan) novel of the same name, Yatchan is about two people with dreams accidentally swap places by fate and their common key to get back to their lost life and defeat the antagonist through the girl whom he wants dead since she can foresee the future.


This movie is based on the book Amuthavum Avanum by Sujatha. The film is about a 9-year-old girl Amudha who after learning that she was adopted, resolves to find her birth mother. Her parents Thiruchelvan and Indra insist on accompanying her, and so together they leave the comfort of their home in India to venture into the war-ridden zones of Sri Lanka, where they witness the violence and brutality of civil war. Eventually, they discover Shyama (Nandita Das), who explains that she gave up her daughter to fight for the separatist cause.


It tells the story of two girls, Sowmya and Meenakshi, who are of marriageable age. But Sowmya is branded "unlucky" after her fiancé decides to commit suicide. Meenakshi, however, appears to find love in the form of a poetry-loving businessman. Still, many hurdles remain as both girls struggle to find the right man and keep the family's finances in order. The movie is based on Jane Austen's 1811 novel Sense and Sensibility and features an ensemble cast of Mammootty, Ajith Kumar, Tabu, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abbas.


Based on the 1969 English novel Red Tea by Paul Harris Daniel and inspired from real-life incidents that took place before independence in the 1930s, it revolves around a group of villagers who are lured to work on a tea plantation run by British officers. Little do they know that there is no chance of homecoming.


The film is based on the Tamil novel Yezhaam Ulagam by Jeyamohan, who also penned the dialogues for the film. The gist of the story is- Rudran's family abandons him as a child in Kashi for 14 years citing astrological reasons and he grows up to become an Aghori or a fierce ascetic. Even after his family comes to look for him, he refuses to accept them.


The film deals with a group of immigrants who are tortured to plead guilty for a crime they didn't commit. When a policeman from their hometown helps to set them free, they agree to do him a favour in return, unaware of the trouble they are getting themselves into. The first half of the film is based on the novel Lock Up by M. Chandrakumar with the second half completely penned by Vetrimaaran himself.


Based on Simply Fly: A Deccan Odyssey by G. R. Gopinath, the movie is about Maara, a young man from a remote village, who dreams of launching his own airline service that is affordable for people from all classes. However, he must overcome several obstacles and challenges in order to be successful in his quest.


The film based on Poomani's novel Vekkai, tells the story of a farmer, Sivasaami, who lives with his wife and children in a remote place with a smallholding, growing crops. When a greedy, rich baron in the nearby town wants to take his land, he goes on the run with his family as he is compelled to protect his son, who has murdered the wealthy magnate in a fit of vengeance.


Two of the highly anticipated films coming out in the upcoming years have also depended on novels as their source materials. Ponniyin Selvan, the epic historical fiction from Mani Ratnam is adapted from Kalki Krishnamurthy's novel of the same name while Vetrimaaran's Vaadivaasal is based on Vaadivasal, a novel by late writer C.S. Chellappa.