By Yana Jokyani
It’s always been Books VS Movies. But honestly, we’re just happy to be able to consume both of them – changing every day, to bestow upon us their newer versions and contemporary interpretations. Seems like OTT has taken upon itself to deliver us that. And whenever it does, let me tell you, it serves! Here’s a list of 5 such adaptations that blew up this year, that are set in the yearnful yesteryears.
Novel: My Policeman by Bethan Roberts | Where to Watch: Prime Video
‘My Policeman’, is a movie set in the 1950s Brighton, that came out in the fall of 2022. The novel of the same name was published exactly 10 years ago. It’s a beautiful LGBTQ story, that revolves around Tom Burgess (Harry Styles), a policeman, who is gay. The other two characters are Marion Taylor (Emma Corrin) and Patrick Hazlewood (David Dawson). It’s a tale of two characters whose lives forever change after they obsessively fall for the same man, Tom. The critically acclaimed novel that got adapted into a film, is directed by award-winning director Michael Grandage. It’s a Prime Video production, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was released in selected theatres before premiering on the streaming service.
Novel: Bridgerton Novel Series by Julia Quinn | Where to Watch: Netflix
This eight-installment book series, written by Julia Quinn is a Regency romance novel set between 1813 and 1827. The books were released in early 2000s, while the show first saw daylight on Netflix, in 2020. The pandemic-stuck population soon got obsessed with the elaborate sets, fashion, and good-looking cast. The story follows the noble Bridgerton family steering through the high society of London, in presence of a judgemental queen and a gossip ghost-writer columnist that reveals everyone’s secrets in the upper-class society. It’s basically Gossip Girl, but set in the early 19th century, instead of early 2010s and based in London instead of New York. The star cast consists of Regé-Jean Page, Phoebe Dynevor, Jonathan Bailey, Simone Ashley, Charithra Chandran and many others.
CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY
Novel: Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman | Where to Watch: Prime Video
‘Catherine Called Birdy’ is a 1994 classic. Karen Cushman, who’s known for her historical fiction tried her hand at children’s books, for the first time, with ‘Catherine Called Birdy’. The book is a Newbery Honor and Golden Kite Award winner. Set in the September of the13th century England, and adapted by Lena Dunham for a Prime Video original film, the movie premiered in the September of 2022. The film was as well-received from critics and audiences worldwide, as the book was. A hilariously crafted tale, it focuses on old-world problems, and new-world attitude. The exceptional star cast includes Bella Ramsay, Andrew Scott, Joe Alwyn, and Billie Piper in pivotal roles.
Novel: Empire of the Moghul by Alex Rutherford | Where to Watch: Disney+ Hotstar
An Indian production makes it to the list! Alex Rutherford’s novel is a fantastical historical fiction book series consisting of 6 volumes. It follows the rise and fall of the Mughal Empire in medieval times. Adapted into an embellished period drama show, ‘The Empire’ premiered on Disney+ Hotstar on August 27, 2021. The show is created by Nikkhil Advani and directed by Mitakshara Kumar. It stars Drashti Dhami, Dino Mario, Kunal Kapoor, Aditya Seal and others.
Novel: Persuasion by Jane Austen | Where to Watch: Netflix
The last ever novel written by Jane Austen holds a special place in our hearts. Published posthumously, along with Jane’s first-ever novel Northanger Abbey, Persuasion was well-received in the early 19th century, but blew up only recently, in the late 20th and 21st centuries. Netflix adapted the revered book into a film, which was released in the summer of 2022. It stars Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Harvis, and Henry Golding as the main leads. The film largely received negative feedback, due to its modernization of the source material and the main protagonist Anne Elliott (Dakota Johnson) breaking the fourth wall by interacting with the audience. Although, we have been seeing that increasing these days – with films like Enola Holmes. Seems like period dramas and dramatically breaking the fourth wall is in now.