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Monday, August 10, 2020

A Suitable Boy review round-up: Mira Nair’s BBC series premieres to glowing reception

Mira Nair's A Suitable Boy is a miniseries adaptation of Vikram Seth's eponymous hefty novel. The show has received positive critical reviews.

Written by Kshitij Rawat | New Delhi | Updated: July 27, 2020 6:53:06 pm
a suitable boy reviews, a suitable boy, ishaan khatter, tabu In India, A Suitable Boy will stream on Netflix. (Photo: Lookout Point TV/Twitter)

The reviews of the first episode of BBC One’s A Suitable Boy are out. And they are quite positive, though a few critics think that its setting (the series was shot in Lucknow and other places in the Hindi heartland) is overly romanticised.

The Mira Nair directed miniseries is an adaptation of Vikram Seth’s eponymous hefty novel that tells a sprawling story of four families which is set a few years after Indian Independence and the Partition.

The original story dealt with modernity and traditions, family values, familial oppression, generational conflict, prejudice based on religion, among more.

The six-parter miniseries is written by Welsh screenwriter Andrew Davies, who has earlier adapted works of fiction like Pride and Prejudice and War & Peace for the BBC.

Tabu, Ishaan Khatter, Tanya Maniktala, Rasika Dugal, and Ram Kapoor play lead roles in A Suitable Boy.

Chitra Ramaswamy of The Guardian wrote, “The production values are high, the performances poised and the locations stunning, from the dusty markets of Calcutta to the fictional university town of Brahmpur. But The Crown is permitted to move at a stately pace. A Suitable Boy has to run to keep up. It deserved at least 12 episodes. After all, Seth’s sprawling and deeply humane novel is one of the longest books in English.”

The Independent’s Ed Cumming noted, “For all its good intentions, this is still an orange-filtered fantasy version of India, where the characters speak English with the same mannered Indian accents and nobody can do anything without a sitar twanging.”

Also Read | It is a massive yet intimate saga: Mira Nair ahead of A Suitable Boy premiere

In her review, Radiotimes’ Flora Carr mentioned, “Already I’m in awe at the show’s creators for distilling Vikram Seth’s sprawling novel into six tight episodes – I was lost in the story, and the characters. And not once did I feel I needed to glance at SparkNotes.”

Susannah Butter wrote in Evening Standard, “Nair has succeeded in creating a world with charm and drama. There are six episodes and I am looking forward to an Indian summer.”

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