Battle of the Female Novelists! Who is More Indian Filmi, Alcott or Austen????

So I’m watching the Pakistani show Heer and thinking about how much it is like Alcott’s An Old-Fashioned Girl. Which brings up the question, is Alcott or Austen more Indian filmi?

Let’s set these ladies against each other!

Louisa May Alcott

Wrote books about large families, doing fun family things together (very Rajshri). Also had strong social, and socialist, messages (very Raj Kapoor). And she included cousin-cousin romances (very Southern).

Some potential movie Alcott plots:

An Old-Fashioned Girl

A young rich girl invites her new friend who she met while visiting the country to stay with them in their city house. The young friend feels awkward and dressed wrong and out of place, but also has strength in her convictions about the importance of hard work, the value of love, and so on. She ends up teaching the wealthy family a lesson and their friendship is stronger than ever. A few years later, she moves to the city to work and send money home to her farm and re-establishes the friendship. She has an unspoken crush on the handsome charming young man of the house but disapproves of his drinking and wild ways instead of buckling down and working. Her friend has grown up to be a bit shallow and wealth obsessed, but also sincerely in love with a good noble hardworking man who thinks she is “cute” but doesn’t take her seriously. The rich family loses all their money and our heroine helps them learn how to be “poor” and slowly changes them to be better people.

an old-fashioned girl alcott girl-1 – mirabile dictu

Eight Cousins/Rose in Bloom

Our young heroine was raised by her loving father estranged from his family. At 13, her father dies and she moves to be close to her aunts and uncles and 8 male cousins. They fight and play as children and all the boy cousins (of course) get slight crushes on her. Years later, she returns from some time abroad to find her cousins grown up. She is torn between the thoughtful scholarly shy sensitive one, and the “bad” one who seems to need her. Also, her best friend is an impovershed maid that she has taken in and hired as a companion, who starts up a thing with the serious mature responsible oldest of all the male cousins.

PDF] Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott | Download Rose in Bloom Ebook

Little Women

4 sisters growing up and making friends with the rich boy next door, lots of outdoor sports and funny indoor family games and all that. You all know the plot.

Little Women - Kindle edition by Alcott, Louisa May. Humor ...

Now, Austen!

Austen is all about the engagements and broken engagements and social shame and class and money, so very Indian movie! Also, most of her famous movies have already been remade, so that tells us something.

Sense and Sensibility

A stepmother and her two daughters are thrown out of the family home by her stepson after the death of her husband. They find a place to stay with another relative and the oldest daughter falls in love with a young priest in training related to the family, while the younger daughter falls in love with a charming handsome dangerous man. Both love stories end up going nowhere and the youngest daughter is scarred by the rumors of the neighborhood. While the oldest is heartbroken when she learns her young priest is secretly engaged to another woman. It works out when the young priest is freed from his engagement thanks to the other woman finding a richer prospect, and when the youngest daughter learns to love and appreciate the older man of the neighborhood who loves her.

Kandukondain Kandukondain - Alchetron, the free social encyclopedia

Pride and Prejudice

A man of land and good family but not much money has 5 daughters and no sons. The family despairs, because they have no money for dowry and all the daughters have to be married off. Two new men come to the area and the family with 5 daughters immediately starts trying to throw them all together. Misunderstandings, forced marriages to save the family honor, a cousin marriage that is supported by the family but ultimately turned down, all kinds of very familiar themes.

Zindagi Gulzar Hai- Episode 17 Review | DRAMA PAKISTANI®


Our heroine is an old woman of 27 who had a passionate love 10 years earlier, ended when she gave in to family pressure and sent him away. Now the old love has returned but seems to not even remember or acknowledge her and instead is pursuing a younger woman. Our heroine has an alternative option with a cousin who she has recently re-met and who is pursuing her. But of course, First Love is True Love.

Was Jane Austen a Feminist? | Austen Authors

Okay, which one is more Indian filmi???? I know your first instinct is Austen, all those dowries and engagements, but Alcott has all that socialism and stuff. Can’t you just see the Malayalam version of An Old-Fashioned Girl?

Alternative question, which of these 6 plots do you most want to be a film and who should be in it? (Shahrukh as either Professor Bier or Captain Wentworth, I would DIE!)

25 thoughts on “Battle of the Female Novelists! Who is More Indian Filmi, Alcott or Austen????

  1. Austen is the Last Augustan, all about reason and measure and restraint, steeped to the gills in 18th century values. Not a good fit at all, I think. You’re better off going for a silver fork novelist or a Gothic novel, if you want something from the same era. Or a social novelist from slightly later.

    Have you ever read Alcott’s pulp stories? They are absolutely insane and 100% already filmi. Everyone needs to make films of those, but especially in India.


    • What you need to do, is read the new fanfic we’ve got started, all the drama you could want.

      I know about Alcott’s pulp’s but I’ve never read them. I’ve just got Gabriel Byrne Prof. Bier in my head making fun of them (which was kind of mean and negging, now that I think of it).

      If we restrict it to Alcott-Austen only (no Bronte), which is more filmi? Alcott meaning her mainstream stuff only?

      On Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 6:34 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Still Alcott, I think, just because it’s (in theory, I know she didn’t like them and may not have meant them that way for herself) sincere, not satirical. There’s satire in Indian film but not like Austen’s.

        Bhaer is honestly kind of terrible to mansplain literature to Jo, but who cares when he looks like Gabriel Byrne.

        The only sad thing about her pulp books is they’re kind of hard to get hold of, but totally worth it.


        • My Mom had a collection of pulp Alcotts she bought in like the 70s or 80s which I always saw on the shelf and ignored. So long as I am staying at my parents, might as well take advantage of the family library and maybe finally check them out.

          Prof. Bhaer is all about the mansplaining all the time, I can only justify it by thinking of it as him being afraid to admit he is in love with this younger woman so he keeps creating distance. Versus the reality, Alcott wrote in her own father as her love interest and had a hard time figuring out how to make them interact as equals.


          • Do! They’re insane and go at a steep pace so they’re easy reads.

            Yeah, it makes sense from Alcott’s perspective. And from Jo’s when he looks like Gabriel Byrne.


  2. You know what would be perfect for a Malayalam film – The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Sad past, alcoholism, the flashback, people judging the woman.

    More filmi?


    • clearly I need to do a Bronte post. Only problem is, the only Bronte I’ve read is Jane Eyre.

      On Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 8:42 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • No Wuthering Heights?
        I have read Jane Eyre, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Wuthering Heights and few chapters of Shirley (I really should return to this book).
        Wuthering Heights is the worst I hated it, don’t even know why, but there is something sinister in this novel.


        • Nope, just Jane Eyre. I read it when I was like 12 (which is the perfect age) and completely fell in love with it, and then reread it over and over again. Never felt the urge to try any other Bronte.


  3. I love Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights equally for totally different reasons. Heathcliff and Catherine in WH are meant for each other, because they are both horrible, horrible people. It is a book with a very dim view of human nature, but not an incorrect one, in many ways.

    I don’t think I’ve read enough Alcott to have an opinion. Just Little Women and Little Men. I’ll just say I’d love to see a Zoya Akhtar take on Austen, and a Gauri Shinde take on Alcott. What book of either would best fit with Anjali Menon’s oeuvre?

    Yes to Shah Rukh as Professor Baehr, obvs, or Colonel Brandon, or Edward Rochester, or Heathcliff. He would relish the dark obsessiveness, manipulation, and brutality of Heathcliff.


    • Anjali Menon is all about damaged lonely men. I want to see her do Laurie’s version of Little Women. Lonely broken rich boy who never feels love from his grandfather, or worth by impressing his tutor (probably dyslexic actually, reading between the lines, so smart in talk and play but frustrated by books), finally finds acceptance in the family of women next door and his soulmate best friend, is further broken when the best friend rejects him and he feels he has no right to friendship with her family any more (although they all still love him and would welcome him, it’s just his low self-esteem that keeps him away), seeing no other options before him he decides to live down to his opinion of himself and travel the world wasting his life. When, surprisingly, his past good deeds pay dividends, the little girl he was thoughtlessly kind to simply because he is a kind person tracks him down and shows him the same kindness he showed her, until they fall in love and, for the first time in his sad lonely life, he feels the joy of real true reciprocal love. And finally returns home to his true “home”, the family next door, who welcome him and shower him with love and make him believe that, whether or not he married one of their daughters, he was always their “son” and they always loved him. Prithvi, Parvathy, and Nazriya (obvs). And Revathy as Marmee.

      Zoya and Reema would absolutely kill Pride and Prejudice, that massive cast overwhelms most directors/scriptwriters, but it would be bread and butter for them. They’d probably even humanize Miss Bingley and show how her behavior is just a result of being trapped by The Patriarchy. And their Wickham would be so delightfully hateful in a scarily realistic way. Set the whole thing in Shimla, Bombay, and an old Rajasthani estate, BAM! Done!

      Gauri Shinde and An Old-Fashioned Girl, that I want to see. She would focus it down to just the heroine and her internal struggle between remaining herself with her own values, but also learning to care for these rich people who have values so different from her own. And ARK could play the troubled rich boy who has to grow up and make us all swoon.

      On Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 9:46 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Yes, please to all! Though it would be really tough for me to see Prithvi end up with Nazriya over Parvathy. Maybe Parvathy could play Meg, another actress play Jo, and Nazriya play Amy? Who would be Aunt March? That’s a fun role. Meryl Streep is fun to watch in the new one.


        • But then you would have this weird sexual tension between Meg and Laurie, and that’s weird! I am sticking with Prithvi and Parvathy, so you get that little frisson of “but Laurie and Jo are so perfect! They SHOULD end up together! This is just wrong!” The key is to cast someone as Amy who is so nice and sweet that we don’t mind the change. The only actress I can think of who is that charming, while also distinctly young, is Nazriya. Although I’m also hearing good things about the actress who was the lead in Helen, so we can bring in her instead if we want, I suppose.


  4. Little Women! I’ve always wanted to see a Bollywood version of it. Shriya Pilgaonkar for Meg, Saiyami Kher for Jo, Tripti Dimri for Beth and Alaya F for Amy! Akash Thosar for Laure and Vikrant Massey for John Brooke! Manav Kaul for Professor Bhaer!


    • Oh man, I want your casting too! My only note is with Akash Thokar. Alaya F is great, but she plays more 21 to me than 16, so our Laurie has to play more like 27 and Akash just feels too young. Can we use Harsh Kapoor? Please please please? I know he isn’t a very good actor, but he is so handsome! And Alaya F can act for both of them. Alternatively, make Vikrant Massey into Laurie, and Bhagyashree’s son as John Brooks. Also, I love Manav Kaul as Prof. Bhear, but a little voice keeps shouting at me “Jim Sarbh! Jim Sarbh!”

      On Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 11:00 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • I think Harsh can act, actually, and would make a fine Laurie. But John Brooke is supposed to older than Laurie- and Abhimanyu Dassani is three years younger then Vikrant Massey and “feels” younger to boot, from what I’ve seen of him. John Brooke is supposed to be Laurie’s tutor, so I don’t how that would work out. Jim Sarbh- much as I adore him- keeps getting typecast as characters who’re flat-out evil or slightly off kilter, and I have trouble separating the character from the actor where he’s concerned. I don’t want Bhaer to seem ominous.


          • Oh, yes! He was so good in Thappad, and his face can go old or young depending on how he is styled.

            On Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 12:36 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



        • Jim Sarbh as Grandfather? He’s the only ominious person I can think of. Or, as Aunt Plum. But that takes that role away from some wonderful older character actress, which would be a pity.

          I will accept Harsh as Lauri, and Vikrant Massay as John Brookes.

          On Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 11:59 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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