Visually stunning, but boring: Ishaan Khatter's and Tabu's 'A Suitable Boy' opens to mixed reviews in international media


Mira Nair's much-awaited series A Suitable Boy premiered on BBC on Sunday. Featuring Tanya Maniktala, Tabu and Ishaan Khatter in the lead, the six-part series is based on Vikram Seth’s novel that is considered to be one of the longest works. A Suitable Boy will be premiered in India soon and the audience can watch it on Netflix. But before that, the audience who watched the opening episode of the series based in the 1950s gave their verdict on social media. 

Based on the novel A Suitable Boy which was published in 1993 and has over 1,300 pages, the six-part series revolves around Lata (Tanya), whose mother Rupa Mehra is looking for a suitable boy to get her married off early. As the story unfolds against The Partition and Independence, chapters of family, relationship, loss, love and ambition are unveiled. Vikram's novel has been adapted for virtual representation by Andrew Davies. 

Recommended Read: Tanya Maniktala is in search of 'A Suitable Boy' while Ishaan Khatter is smitten by Tabu in the teaser of Mira Nair's BBC drama

While the novel was highly acclaimed, the series featuring Ishaan, Tabu and Tanya opened to mixed reviews. While the the production value of A Suitable Boy was lauded it was criticised for being a slow-burn show. Some critics found the opening episode crunched. 

Take a look at the reactions to the show:

"The production values are high, the performances poised and the locations stunning, from the dusty markets of Calcutta to the fictional university town of Brahmpur. But… It deserved at least 12 episodes. After all, Seth’s sprawling and deeply humane novel is one of the longest books in English" - Chitra Ramaswamy (The Guardian)

"For all its good intentions, this is still an orange-filtered fantasy version of India, where the characters speak English with the same mannered Indian accents and nobody can do anything without a sitar twanging" - Ed Cumming (The Independent)

"The show feels like an amateurish stage play, a high school-quality musical minus the music. This is partly because of the expository and entirely functional nature of the dialogues—“You are the Revenue Minister, I am the Home Minister"- Raja Sen (Livemint)

"Nair has succeeded in creating a world with charm and drama. There are six episodes and I am looking forward to an Indian summer" - Susannah Butler (Evening Standard)

On the other hand, Twitter began buzzing with reviews of A Suitable Boy soon after the first episode premiered. Here's what the micro-blogging site users have to say:


A Suitable Boy also features Shahana Goswami, Rasika Dugal and Ram Kapoor.

(Source: Twitter/ Hindustan Times)

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