‘A Suitable Boy’ is probably one of the best, longest and well written novels written in English. Meera Nair has directed this series based on Vikram Seth’s bestselling book ‘A Suitable Boy’. Andrew Davies has written a six-episode web series on the novel. Andrew has previously written screenplays on the previously discussed novels ‘War and Peace’ and ‘Les Miserables’, which is also his writing here. The web series ‘A Suitable Boy’ is not a document of history, but in the time immediately after the new constitution comes into force, to build a temple of a Dhannaseth in front of a mosque just because if he turns to the Kaaba during the Namaz, then he is in front of Shivalinga. Seen as it is the undercurrent of this series.
The story of the series dates back to the year 1951, when India was liberated only a few years. The series is divided into several parts. Its story is about a literature student Lata (Tanya Manikatla) and her mother, who are looking for a boy for her marriage. Between her responsibilities towards her family and the eagerness of romance, Lata comes out on a journey of emotions, where there is a prick of breaking up with the joining of hearts. Three men come into her life, who try to win her heart. In this country, why the whole significance of a girl’s life has been in getting married, hardly anyone can find the question of this Yaksha question. He has to find a suitable boy. In this search, he finds Kabir Durrani, but if he is a Muslim, the housemates do not allow it. Then meets Haresh Khanna who takes him to his tannery on the first date. And the third is Amit Chatterjee. The book contains important social commentary on land politics and social norms. However, the show is like a high school stage show with a half-baked character and no depth. In the six episodes of the web series ‘A Suitable Boy’, you will see more than a hundred characters. These characters of Mehra, Kapoor, Chatterjee and Khan families join the story from anywhere.
Show: ‘A Suitable Boy’
Cast: Tabu, Ishaan Khatter, Tanya Maniktala, Namita Das, Rasika Duggal, Ram Kapoor, Mikel Sen, Danes Rajvi, Shahana Goswami, Randeep Hooda, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Vinay Pathak, Manoj Pashwa, Vivaan Shah, Mahira Kakkar
Director: Meera Nair
Rating: 3 Stars
This show is full of talented Indian actors. An Englishman experiences an Indian to speak English and pronounce meticulously. Dialogues of English have been made in strange Hindi. From this, it is difficult to ascertain whether the choice of language was to stay close to the book or was in accordance with the perception of western audiences of India. It can be argued by the makers that the medium was chosen because of Seth’s book. It is clear from the beginning that the series caters to a white audience and Indian people may have trouble recognizing it or persuading it. This is an India that foreigners want to see. Old havelis, designer clothes, physical relationships flourishing behind the scenes, homegrown diplomacy, etc.
Tanya Maniktala as Lata looks fabulous. His smile makes it difficult to understand his troubles and emotions. His smile takes away the depth of his character. Mahira Kakkar as Lata’s mother is brilliant. At the same time, the story goes, drawn from the tension of the politics of religion, on this canvas, two young hearts are searching for the purpose of their existence in the moving brush with the colors of life. Surmai eyed Maan gets the name from Saida, the stain of Saab. And, this stain of Saab Saab is divided into so many parts that efforts to divide this country have been going on from the beginning. Ishaan Khatter as Man Kapoor looks fabulous. The chemistry between Tabu and Ishaan is worth seeing. There is a scene where Mann saves his friend Firoz from the hands of a blood-soaked mob during a Hindu-Muslim riot, told because there is some homo-sexual tension in their friendship, in Mann’s story from the Nawab’s son The scriptwriters have also tried to give a gay nod to their friendship, but its extension was later found missing. Makers ignore that.
This novel, in its boldness, which weaves romance, nerdiness and characterization well, but the series is based only on boldness, ‘A Suitable Boy’ is a diamond in the acting of three actors in terms of acting. The first Tabu, after seeing Saeeda’s character, it is difficult to think of any other artist here. In the character of an aged tawaif, Tabu has formed a spiritual and physical relationship with a boy half his age. His performance speaks through his eyes and Ishaan Khatter has done the work of shingles in terms of telling everything by his eyes. Tanya Maniktala has given the series a different tone as Lata as well as an essential mildness. Tanya has won the complex character very easily on screen.
‘A suitable boy’ does not get that number in the technical review. Yes, but the series features magnificently created sets, costumes and the grandeur of the locations and post-independence cities, havelis and official buildings. The series is vibrant, colorful and engaging, but for a white audience. To an Indian audience social realities, customs some misinterpretations can be found, because it is not really prevalent in the country. Indian viewers may find it difficult to connect with this series. However, bringing such a book to the screen is a huge task and Meera Nair definitely deserves credit for it.