Beloved Works Of Literature We’d Like To See Adapted Into Bollywood films – Part IV
After Wuthering Heights, The Age Of Innocence and King Lear guest columnist Sal continues fantasy casting for notable works of literature, in our ongoing feature, which has, understandably, proven to be quite popular.
Most of these books are in the public domain, which means happy producers don’t have to pay for the rights!) and Sal feels they'd make for terrific Bollywood films. (Sal's read very little classic Indian literature, alas, but find them on Twitter, for any suggestions you may have!)
This week's fantasy casting is for:
Book: Persuasion by Jane Austen
Plot: Beautiful, sweet upper-crust girl is convinced to reject her handsome but poor lover by her snobbish family. Years later, she runs into him, but he is rich and successful, and she is poorer and saddled with care. Will they or won’t they?
What it’d look like: Both Aisha and Bride and Prejudice have their virtues, but the time has come for a truly great Austen adaptation in Bollywood. Austen’s work is about love, money, family, and female agency (or the absence thereof), all of which are excellent themes for an Indian film. My top choice for director would be Rajeev Menon, who made the excellent Sense and Sensibility adaptation, Kandukondain Kandukondain, but if making Hindi films aren’t a priority for him, I think Gauri Shinde would do a fabulous job with this one. The film would be set at a hill-station in the present day, and desi Anne Elliott’s journey to a happy ending would also include taking up a job (as a teacher, perhaps, or a singer, thus making way for some lovely Amit Trivedi numbers), something that her snotty father and sister would originally object to, and becoming independent on her own terms.
Cast: Sonam Kapoor has both the sheltered sweetness and the plucky, forthrightness that would serve Anne well. She also can look startlingly young, and could convincingly do both teenage Anne and older, wiser Anne. Parineeti Chopra would also be a suitable choice. Aditya Roy Kapur has the romance-novel good looks and projects the kind of niceness that this part requires. Fawad Khan would also be a great fit. (The logistics of shooting with him would be a little trickier, given that political zealots often make trouble about Pakistani actors filming or doing publicity in India, but his performance would be stronger, and he has fantastic chemistry with Kapoor.) Rishi Kapoor would play the self-satisfied father, and Juhi Chawla would play Lady Russell.
You can read the other parts of this series here. The final 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!