A Suitable Boy is an Indian Web series which is now streaming on Netflix India. This is an adaptation from Vikram Seth’s book, 1993. He also wrote The Golden Gate, which was a remarkable book. Thankfully, A Suitable Boy was able to match up to my expectations as it was exquisite too. The novel is precise in its comprehensive characters, dialogues, the book demands our full awareness and involvement. I remember a lot of elements, a few characters, but what has managed to stay with me is the amazing feeling of arriving and residing in our country. It takes you to Uttar Pradesh, India in the 1950s.
About the show
The main plot revolves around getting a suitable boy for Lata Mehra (Tanya Maniktala). Mira Nair’s directorial project stars Ishan Khattar, Tabu, Ram Kapoor in the lead characters. While numerous extraordinary actors also feature in the series. These actors include Vijay Raz, Rasika Dugal, Namit Das, Vijay Varma among others. The series is gathering critical acclaim as well as appreciation from the audience. Like most of Mira’s films, this series is also in the English language. That eliminates the barrier of language and makes the Indian web series accessible to the worldwide audience.
The series takes on complicated yet bold subjects, one of them includes a young boy, Maan (Ishan Khattar) falling in love with a considerably older woman who is a courtesan (Tabu). This was especially frowned upon in the 50s. There are family feuds between father and son, which is interesting to watch. A Suitable Boy is a BBC web series, now it is available on Netflix India. In A Suitable Boy review, we will discuss the various fascinating factors in detail. We will also mention the things that fails to come through engagingly.
The story of A Suitable Boy is established in India recently after independence and it tells the story of Lata (Tanya Maniktala). She is a youthful student who is studying English Literature in the fictitious village of Brahmpur. Lata is from an ordinary North-Indian family. She must decide between numerous suitors put forth by her mother (Mahira Kakkar). The name of the web series suggests to this frantic persistence of the mother. Mrs Rupa Mehra, who’s looking for a ‘suitable boy’ for Lata. It is the stress handled by an initial 1950s girl trying to run away from these societal restraints that form the main plot of the story.
Vikram Seth’s story also consists of numerous plots, these plots are, Mahesh Kapoor (Ram Kapoor) who is a minister and battles inside the Congress party, whereas his son Maan (Ishaan Khatter) falls for a courtesan who is known as Saeeda Bai (Tabu); his companionships with Firoz Khan (Shubham Saraf) and Rasheed (Vijay Varma), and a few more.
Staggering Cast and Brilliant
Ever Since it was announced that Mira Nair is making a Web Series on Vikram Seth’s 1993 novel, I have been looking forward to the actors who will be playing the parts. Fortunately, Mira Nair’s cast included names of one of the most talented actors in the country. This line included Tabu, Ishaan Khattar, Vijay Varma, Ram Kapoor, Tanya Maniklata, Shubham Saraf, Mahira Kakkar, Namit Das among others. Numerous actors can be seen in the web series. The performances by every cast member are incredible. There are a few moments in the series when actors are trying to put too much effort into delivering their lines. Conversations in English just doesn’t seem natural. However, the rare Urdu/Punjabi/Hindi conversations that occur sometimes are smooth and soothing.
While writing A Suitable Boy review, the first thing that I want to mention is how unnatural the dialogues felt. The story is set in 1950s India but, all the characters converse in English. Understandably it’s a BBC web series. The Indian web series is for an English speaking audience, chiefly. But, I think there was room for more Hindi/Urdu/Punjabi language. Also, the dialogues are not natural. The characters in the web series use complex English words. It’s difficult to believe that an Indian person was using those words in the 50s.
Another aspect of the show was that Vikram Seth’s book emphasizes on human relationships. Unfortunately, Nair’s adaptation fails to do that, frequently. Only a few friendships depicted in the web series impresses. The relationship between Maan and Firoz carries a soft and non-hypermasculine connection among the guys. I would say the same about the camaraderie among their fathers too. Lata’s friendship with her university friend Malati, is excellent to watch. They were two women celebrating and assisting each other.
A Suitable Boy review: The studded cast delivers power-packed performances. Maan (Ishaan Khattar) and Saeda’s (Tabu) chemistry and relationship is refreshing. The friendships and human relationships in the web series are heartfelt. Keeping aside the unnatural dialogues and fictional India, A Suitable Boy is a good watch. You can stream Mira Nair’s adaptation of Vikram Seth’s novel on Netflix India.