Published: 27th July 2020
Meet the man who knows what books your favourite movie character reads
Abhisek Suman finds out the books that movie characters read and documents them on Instagram and Twitter
The memories of certain characters get engraved in your memory. Eternally. Maybe at unexpected hours, dreamers like you and I catch ourselves pondering over a fictional character in a movie. There is an unexplainable inquisitiveness which would make you want to know more about them, their life, the kind of places they'd travel to, the people they talk to, the films they watch, the books they read. Except, sometimes, you were so close to knowing what they read or liked to read. You just did not pay a lot of attention.
This is why you must check out Abhisek Suman's Instagram handle books_in_movies and Twitter handle of the same name. The page documents screenshots from popular films across languages, where a character is reading a book. Until now, Abhisek has documented over 1,000 such screenshots. Some of them will surprise you, add depth and new dimensions to the characters that you thought you knew. For instance, Ranbir Kapoopr's Sid from Wake Up Sid reads Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, Parvathy's Sophie from Koode reads I know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and Chitrangada Singh's Geeta from Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi reads the english translation of a poetry collection by Cesare Pavese.
Abhisek admits to having collected Murakami, after watching Wake Up Sid
A trivia buff, Abhisek tells us that reading an article by Diptakirti Chaudhuri titled ‘Books People Read in Hindi Films’ was what inspired him to start the page. Incidentally, he also got in touch with blogger Pankaj Sachdeva, who’s also interested in such trivia at around the same time. "I initially started tweeting from my personal Twitter account, and later decided to create a separate account, in April 2017," he says. Abhisek is an accountant from Delhi, who loves to read, watch films and eat good food.
He tells us that since the page's inception, he started watching films more attentively. "Whenever I notice books in any scene, I pause it, take a screenshot and then research about it. It’s really fun to dig out scenes of characters reading books," he says. "I never watch a movie solely for the purpose of finding books in it. But since I watch one movie almost every day, I keep getting my data frequently," he adds.
The Poems of Dylan Thomas in The Namesake
However, sometimes fellow film enthusiasts help him as well. "I received wonderful responses from fellow movie buffs and it was such a satisfying feeling to know that they have started noticing books in movies because of this account and it is inspiring them to do their own research. A lot of people have since contributed too. Sanjay Desai from Gandhinagar (Gujarat) is one frequent contributor," Abhisek signs off, to watch another movie, to find out where to pause, to discover new books.
Check it out here: https://twitter.com/books_in_movies