Mira Nair’s adaptation of A Suitable Boy is not just a sumptuous-looking drama. It is also a detailed love story set against a political backdrop. What sets it apart from many others in its genre is the filmmaker’s treatment of the subject and its ethnic setting. Though set in a post-partition India, there are several themes of the series which ring true even in 2020. If you enjoyed watching the adaptation of the Vikram Seth novel, you might connect with these movies and shows.
There are multiple parallels between Deepa Mehta directorial Midnight’s Children and Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy. A woman of Indian origin has directed both the films, the narratives have been adapted from well-received novels, and love and politics are the central themes of both the works. Based on Salman Rushdie’s book of the same name, Midnight’s Children is a rich tapestry of drama, magic realism, politics and love. It revolves around Saleem Sinai, who is born at the exact moment of India’s independence and wields special powers. The film features Siddharth, Shriya Saran, Shabana Azmi, Anupam Kher, Rahul Bose, Vinay Pathak, Shahana Goswami, Darsheel Safary, Satya Bhabha, Charles Dance, Rajat Kapoor, Soha Ali Khan, Ranvir Shorey and Ronit Roy.
You can watch Midnight’s Children on Disney Plus Hotstar.
A Death in the Gunj
Love and its angst are depicted so beautifully by Vikrant Massey’s character Shutu in the Konkona Sen Sharma film. Its period setting, the character layering and the stunning cinematography are a few other features that stand out. It is also a melancholic, moody movie that highlights issues of isolation and mental health in a non-preachy, subtle yet effective manner. A Death in the Gunj stars Vikrant Massey, Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin, Gulshan Devaiah, Tillotama Shome, Tanuja, Om Puri and Jim Sarbh.
A Death in the Gunj is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Based on Bapsi Siddhwa’s novel Cracking India, the partition drama is helmed by Deepa Mehta. A wealthy woman recounts the tale of her childhood in which her beautiful Hindu caretaker Shanta (Nandita Das) and her two Muslim friends (Aamir Khan and Rahul Khanna), who are besotted with her, take the lead. What happens to the relationship of these three people as conflicts begin to gain momentum is the basic premise upon which the entire plot hinges. But be warned, this one is a slow-burner.
A personal favourite, Mira Nair’s 2002 movie is a dramedy in the truest sense of the term. Revolving around a Punjabi family wedding, Monsoon Wedding is an excitable blend of Bollywood and Hollywood. It is robust in setting and characterisation, but is also oozing masala at every other step. Secrets are unravelled as are relationships in this roller-coaster ride of a film. The movie stars Naseeruddin Shah, Lilette Dubey, Shefali Shah, Vasundhara Das, Vijay Raaz, Tillotama Shome, Parvin Dabas and Kulbhushan Kharbanda.
Made in Heaven
Yes, it is modern. But it is also relevant to this listicle for the various subjects which crop up over the course of the nine episodes. Despite being extremely binge-worthy, the makers of Made in Heaven don’t compromise on storytelling, which is the USP of the show. From homophobia, marriage to issues of self-worth, the drama tries to juggle a lot of balls in the air, and mostly succeeds. It features Arjun Mathur, Sobhita Dhulipala, Kalki Koechlin, Jim Sarbh, Shashank Arora and Shivani Raghuvanshi.
Created by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, Made in Heaven is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Jacobite Risings, magic, history and drama unfurl in this TV adaptation of Diana Gabaldon novel series. It is the Second World War, and a married, former nurse suddenly finds herself transported from 1945 to 1743 Scotland. There she meets a highland warrior Jamie Fraser. What follows next is a whirlwind romance amid rising political tension. Well-directed and well-acted, watch Outlander now if you haven’t already. Oh, and Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan’s electric chemistry is a big bonus.
You can stream Outlander on Netflix.
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