A Suitable Boy is a teenage romantic drama set in post partition north India. It is directed by Mira Nair and adapted by Andrew Davies from Vikram Seth’s 1993 novel “A Suitable Boy”. It is set in northern India after the partition of India. It was set when India was preparing for its first election. The show features Tanya Maniktala, Ishaan Khattar, Tabu and Ram Kapoor. The show is streaming on Netflix.
Set in 1951, Seth is a newly independent India. He investigates the relationships between four families, the Mehras, the Chatterjis, the Kapoors and the Khans. And like the fresh feeling of independence of the country, the religious and cultural divisions within the country that persist and yet the love and harmony that persists is reflected in these human connections.
The story takes place in 1950 and revolves around the protagonist Lata (Tanya Maniktala), who grapples with just one wish. That is, to choose her own husband. Torn between family and a new romance, she begins a journey of love and heartbreak as three different men try to win her heart. Then Maan Kapoor (Ishaan Khatter) comes in, accompanied by many romantic entanglements.
Tensions between Muslims and Hindus are high, with the latter leaning towards nationalist tendencies. In such a situation Lata falls in love with a Muslim schoolmate, resulting in heartbreak and as a result of changing cities and being forced to meet suitors by her mother. There is Maan, who is madly in love with the local courtesan, Saeeda Bai (Tabu). their search for love and they themselves run parallel. The book as well the series explore whether their life will ever get interwined.
- Tabu as Saeeda Bai
- Ishaan Khatter as Maan Kapoor
- Tanya Maniktala as Lata Mehra
- Rasika Dugal as Savita Kapoor
- Mahira Kakkar as Rupa Mehra
- Ram Kapoor as Mahesh Kapoor (State Minister of Revenue)
- Gagan Dev Riar as Pran Kapoor
- Vivek Gomber as Arun Mehra
- Vivaan Shah as Varun Mehra
- Shahana Goswami as Meenakshi Mehra
- Mikhail Sen as Amit Chatterji
- Thomas Weinhappel as Hans
The show got some mixed reactions from critics. For Hindustan Times, Rohan Nahhar wrote: “An astonishing cast, led by Ishaan Khatter, Tabu and Tanya Maniktala, struggles to make the most of minimal screentime and a mediocre script in Mira Nair’s unsuitable adaptation of Vikram Seth’s novel.” It’s rare to see a series produced in the West that has such a keen interest in the myriad of opinions. Some critics said ‘The adaptation keeps it simple and simplifies it even further, as if cutting back on the spice so the British public can enjoy Indian food. Tasty to them, perhaps, but tasteless to us’. In November 2020, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) filed an FIR in Madhya Pradesh against two Netflix executives for allegedly insulting Hindu religious sentiments and breaking it’s norms by depicting a kissing scene inside a temple. IMDb rated it 5.8 out of 10.