She’s sweet yet vain and lives in a bubble of her own making. Over the decades, the 21 year-old Victorian heroine of Jane Austen’s Emma has infallibly amused us with her brand of misguided idealism and endearing naivete. Often said to be one of Austen’s personal favourites, the light-hearted pages of Emma revolve around an affluent young lady and her penchant for creating happily-ever afters.
Indulged by her father, Henry Woodhouse and best friend, George Knightley, Emma finds herself in a rather awkward spot after her challenge to find a match for the gullible Harriet Smith misfires badly. Not to mention her own misadventures with a couple of suitors — Frank Churchill, Philip Elton — before she realises what and who she truly wants.
Now the matchmaker is back. And this time, it’s Bollywood that’s caught her fancy. While official announcements are still underway, it is widely reported Sonam Kapoor will don a desi albeit stylish avatar of Emma Woodhouse for dad Anil Kapoor’s home production, namely Ayesha, along with Abhay Deol, Cyrus Sahukar and newcomer Arunodoy Singh under the direction of US-based filmmaker Rajshri Ojha.
Sounds promising, right? Here’s a look at the previous adaptations of Jane Austen’s trouble-inviting heroine on screen.