in post

29 October, 2020

Hubzilla acting up

For some reason, Hubzilla has begun to regurgitate and re-distribute old posts, which would be all right, except that I'm not sure when I wrote them, and sometimes it may happen that they are out of whack with the times.

A Suitable Boy

We watched the six part mini-series and enjoyed it. It is sumptuously made, with a cast of first class actors and captures the broad outline of Seth's 1500 page novel. I was not able to find many expert reviews on IMDB. It was fairly well received except on two main counts. The first was that it tries to compress the book into too short a time span. Well, I read the book a really long time ago, so I don't even want to try to compare it with the series. I think the series has to be judged on its own merits. I think that broadly it works as a piece of storytelling. It is true that there are too many characters for such a short series, and that their behaviour is sometimes exaggerated almost to the level of stereotypes or caricatures in order to overcome the brevity of their performances.

The second issue was that there were problems around the use of language. The reviewers said that it often sounded forced and unrealistic. It isn't just that the characters are speaking English, but more about the kind of English being spoken. These were Indian reviewers saying that. I felt something similar, but, on the other hand, I remember having similar feelings about the book. It was so clear that the dialogue was that of a writer, and not the way that ordinary people speak - in India or any other English speaking milieu. In a way, the series improved on this, because we were able to hear people occasionally speaking Indian languages, which I assume were mainly Hindi and Urdu. (I don't know if Bengali and the Bhojpuri dialect were included in the mix.)

In the early episodes I felt a slight embarrassment in general about the presentation, as if this were a series made to appeal to exotic-India lovers. I got over it as the series proceeded.


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