April 18, 2011

Filmi filmi, wizard howl

Two days, two deaths.
March 26th- Diane Wynne Jones
March 27th- H R F Keating

I have read one book by each of them, and seen a movie based on one of their books. Coincidence?

The Perfect Murder was of course, neither perfect, nor a murder. It was a murderous attack on Mr. Perfect, the Parsi secretary at a South Bombay business house. Naseer, fat family tycoons, suspicious wives and daughters in law in low-cut Merchant Ivory type sari blouses, the monsoon... I remembered the movie and the author because Keating had written the initial Inspector Ghote books without ever visiting India.

Years later, the Herr Doktor gifted me Filmi Filmi, Inspector Ghote- a murder mystery on a film-set with movie stars, agents, fat financiers, light boys with ambitions to finance movies, all under suspicion. The set was set in Kamaal Amrohi studios, on JVLR (Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, obviously) which I drove past every single time I visited Mumbai as a chile. The filmy characters even picnic in Powai, where I now live. Knowing an area that a book is set in.. joy! After all, the only thing I liked about The White Tiger was its opening line with the office address of a BPO transport agency near Electronic City, off Hosur Main Road. Ahhh, I thought.. Hosur Road, where the bison freely roam...

And then there was Ms. Wynne Jones, who should be read for her mad photograph alone. Howl's Moving Castle is of course, brilliant. It's funny, charming young adult fantasy fiction with clever bits that make you re-read the book. The movie is beautiful, as behooves young Mr Miyazaki, but it can't help but miss out on the plot twists. So I'd recommend watching it only if you aren't going to read the book. Which would be silly.

Among other series, Wynne Jones also wrote about a school for young wizards (long before she who must not be named). The Chrestomanci series. Wonderful stuff, strongly recommended for young adults. Although.. I haven't read any of them yet- I freely admit.

HRF would have approved.

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