Thursday, August 05, 2010

Em(Oui)ma!

Of all the Jane Austen’s novels Emma was the last one I read and it is the only one I have read twice. Of course, at different points of time. Of all JA’s heros I like Mr.Knightley the best. Yes. He is preferred over even Mr.Darcy. You see, he's got Knight in his name! So I have got interested in ‘Aisha’, the Bollywood adaptation of Emma which has a man with a dimple portraying that much admired character. I don’t have anything against Abhay Deol. In fact I liked him very much as an alcoholic, emotionally raped, confused boy-man in Dev D. A dimpled man can become a poster boy for cuteness but I doubt whether he can depict Mr. Knightley, a man of good sense and reason who commands respect, high regard. Its not a comforting thought, at least to me.
Bollywood adaptation of Shakespeare or any classics are not universally appreciated. They have not held much charm for me. I could not make much of Omkara or Maqbool or Kaminey. Its no fun. Language was not the only problem. One is always watching out for any deviations from the original. The effort is tedious. Its tough. Adapting the work to Indian ethos, to cater to the fancies of Indian viewer. And when they do, they keep the storyline close to the original, but just change the settings, milieu and do some tinkering with the characters. It has not worked for me. I mean I liked Angoor starring Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Varma which was said to be ‘inspired’ by Shakespeare’s ‘The Comedy of Errors’. I don't know whether Bollywood has adapted any other English classic apart from Shakespeare and Jane Austen. Hindi Adaptatations of JA as short films on TV or full length movies have not been that good.
I prefer to watch BBC adaptations. But its nice when Bollywood tries doing something different. Because one will learn to appreciate the original even more.

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