Filmmaker Mira Nair, in a career spanning three decades, has often turned to books for inspiration. There’s her beloved adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, and also the misfire in William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair. So, when it came to adapting Vikram Seth’s mammoth novel, A Suitable Boy, Nair knew a two-hour feature won’t do justice to the saga that follows four families. “It deserves the unfolding pace of a marathon,” says Nair. “It is gruelling but also gorgeous.” The six-episode series released on Netflix on October 23.
For Nair, there was no city better than Lucknow to represent Brahmpur, a fictional town by the Ganga. Nair and her crew shot on real locations, moving from old havelis to crumbling forts. “We were going into places and refurbishing them to make them look as they did in 1951,” she says. “It also amazed me that there wasn’t a single Muslim elected city official.”
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November 02, 2020