Beloved Works Of Literature We’d Like To See Adapted Into Bollywood films – Part II
Following on from last week, since fantasy-casting my favorite books is one of my favorite pastimes, I thought of a few notable books (most of them in the public domain, which means happy producers don’t have to pay for the rights!) that would make for terrific Bollywood films. (I’ve read very little classic Indian literature, alas, but I welcome suggestions in the comments section or on Twitter!)
This week's fantasy casting is for:
Book: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Plot: Rich, upper-crust lawyer is about to make a suitable marriage when his fiancee’s older, scandalous cousin appears on the scene and catches his fancy.
What it’d look like: Zoya Akhtar can do more than rich-people-on-holiday movies, excellent as they are. Why not make a rich-people-in-period-clothing movie? In all seriousness, Akhtar has a coolly ironic way with exploring the dissonance between societal hypocrisy and individual desire, and this one would allow her to mine the lives of the rich and beautiful for understated humor and tragedy while giving her a heftier, more dramatic narrative to work with. She could set it in Mumbai right after the end of the British Raj; for the period glamour, natch, but also because the social mores of a newly Independent India would make for a fascinating contrast to those of late-Eighteenth-century New York City.
Cast: My ideal cast for this would be Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as the beautiful, tragic Countess Olenska and Ranbir Kapoor as uptight Newland Archer, but since they’re already playing opposite each other in Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, I’ll take Rai opposite Sushant Singh Rajput, who always finds interesting ways to humanize slightly unlikable characters. Jaya Bachchan, rarely playing anyone less than perfectly virtuous and likable, would make for a surprising and effective Mrs. Manson Mingott, the wily, powerful matriarch, while Kriti Sanon would make for a sweet, winsome May Archer, Archer’s fiancee.
You can read the first part of this series here. The third part of this series lands next week, but meanwhile, what are books you’d like to see Bolly adaptations of? Tweet at me @salandthebadpun or comment below!