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RK Narayan’s Works That Enchanted On Film

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RK Narayan’s Works That Enchanted On Film

MUMBAI (ANI) – Celebrated author RK Narayan has left an unforgettable impression on the literary world with his poignant tales of small-town India. His works have been adapted for the screen several times, each adaptation bringing a unique perspective to his rich tapestry of characters and their lives. From the classic Bollywood film “Guide” starring Dev Anand to the television series “Malgudi Days” and the Kannada award-winning film “Banker Margayya”, Narayan’s literary universe has been brought to life by talented filmmakers and actors.

On his death anniversary on May 13, here are five screen adaptations of Narayan’s work that have enchanted audiences and continue to inspire readers.


The film ‘Guide,’ directed by Vijay Anand and starring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman, became a cult classic and received numerous awards. It was based on RK Narayan’s 1958 novel The Guide. It follows Raju, played by Dev Anand, from his days as a tour guide to his final enlightenment. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 38th Academy Awards for the story and its adaptation. However, it was not accepted as a nominee.

Malgudi Days

Based on the 1943 short story collection by R K Narayan, ‘Malgudi Days’ is a TV series that premiered in 1986 and was shot in both Hindi and English. Shankar Nag, a Kannada actor and director, directed the series. The score was composed by Carnatic musician L. Vaidyanathan, and the sketches were drawn by R. K. Narayan’s younger brother, famed cartoonist R. K. Laxman.

Miss Malini

RK Narayan officially created the script for Miss Malini, which was the first and only movie for which he did so. The screenplay for this cult film was written by Tamil author and director Kothamangalam Subbu, who also directed the film. The film follows the narrative of Malini ((Pushpavalli), a woman who joins a theatre group to aid her family financially but is tempted by success and falls for the charms of a charlatan (Kothamangalam Subbu). Subbu co-starred with Pushpavalli and M. S. Sundari Bai in the film.

Mr. Sampat

Director S.S. Vasan’s Hindi-language satirical film was inspired by the 1949 novel Mr Sampath – The Printer of Malgudi by RK Narayan and the movie Miss Malini. The plot centres around the titular con artist (Motilal), who uses an actress (Padmini) and a shopkeeper (Kanhaiyalal) to his advantage. Mr. Sampath, another film based on Narayan’s story, was released in 1952.

Banker Margayya

This Kannada-language film won a National Award for adapting Narayan’s 1952 novel, The Financial Expert, another work set in Malgudi. ‘Banker Margayya’, directed by T.S. Nagabharana, is about a money lender who experiences a sequence of disastrous financial and social misfortunes that teach him vital life lessons. The film’s lead actor Lokesh was awarded the best actor.

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