When Netflix India announced that they were adapting the Spanish drama ‘Elite,’ there was an uproar on social media. Many questioned if the adaptation would be able to live up to the high standards set by the deliciously erotic drama that explored and exposed the class differences in society. Now that ‘Class’ has been released on the streaming platform, it has proved that the adaptation is nothing short of perfect.
While the setup is the same with three students from unfortunate backgrounds entering the best school in the country- Hampton, the rest has been adapted to fit its home ground. The first episode opens with police questioning Dheeraj Kumar Valmiki (Piyush Khati) about his caste and arriving at his own twisted conclusions about how he got into the expensive school. The rest of the show is also brilliantly tailored to fit the social ecosystem of Indian society.
However, fans of ‘Elite’ who are watching the show to find the Spanish version of the characters depicted in the Indian ones won’t be disappointed as well. Almost every character is a 1:1 adaptation of their Spanish counterpart and they have similar backgrounds too. For example, The moment you see Balli Sehrawat (Cwaayal Singh), you will be reminded of Christian Varela and his motormouth. The scenes are also an almost exact copy of the original. Like, Suhani Ahuja (Anjali Sivaraman) is the counterpart of Maria, and anyone who has watched Elite knows what happens to her.
As such, when I was watching I kept wondering if the show will just copy-paste all of the scenes from the original as it is. But they have a desi twist that makes it work rather than making you feel that you are just watching ‘Elite’ in Hindi. Even the title of the show works for this reason. The show has also toned down the sexual and erotic scenes compared to ‘Elite.’ But the change works because it allows the audience to get submerged in the murder mystery rather than focusing on the next sexual encounter of the characters,
Also, I appreciate how the set design for the three working-class students showed the dilapidated and congested nature of their existence. Whether it is Neeraj, Saba Manzoor (Madhyama Segal) or Balli, all of them live in houses and apartments where they are packed like sardines. This is in contrast to the minimalistic and spacious living arrangements of the wealthy characters. This difference was something that the original show didn’t emphasize enough.
The music of the show is the one thing that sets it apart from the original. It’s peppy, modern, and reflects the taste of the country. Also, I was pleasantly surprised by the cinematography. It’s mature and reflects the mature themes the show is handling. Overall, ‘Class’ is a pleasant departure from the kind of Indian shows that generally pepper the catalog of Netflix India. However, it still bears the stamp of the same scandalous show it was adapted from and which was a breakout hit on Netflix. And that’s a good thing.
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