Bride & Prejudice

"Bad"

Bride & Prejudice Review


If nothing else, "Bride and Prejudice" proves that the silly, ingenuous charm of Bollywood musicals becomes tedious andeven downright dumb in English.

A cross-cultural adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" set in modern-day Bombay, London and Los Angeles, thisis a trite, flimsy, groundless romance of shallow character stereotypes, ethnic hypocrisy, and horrible songs. But it does have one saving gracein talented, stunningly beautiful Indian superstar Aishwarya Rai.

As Lalita, the most independent and worldly of five sisterswhose largely traditional parents have begun trying to marry them off,Rai has a radiant screen presence as she stands in for Austen's heroineElizabeth Bennet. But she doesn't have much to work with except personalitycontradictions that betray a one-dimensional script -- and a suitor whois nothing short of insufferable, played by an actor without the chopsto reveal his unsuspected depth.

Despite her many lectures about appreciating the Indianlifestyle (and songs with inane lyrics like "India's the place forme/India sets you free"), Lalita spends much of her time going to"Gidget"-like beach parties (where American pop singers makeunmotivated cameos) and to discos that play Euro-techno dance music. She'salso the only one in her family without an Indian accent.

In the course of the film, she's also attracted exclusivelyto Western men, including uppity Will Darcy (Martin Henderson, "TheRing") a culturally ignorant, wealthy andarrogant surfer-cum-yuppie from California, who is such an unmitigatedjerk that the only way he can become her inevitable love interest is byway of an arbitrary personality transplant half way through the movie.

Director Gurinder Chadha ("BendIt Like Beckham") intends the initial animositybetween these two to be endearing, but she makes only a cursory attemptto show what draws them to each other in spite of their mutual animosity.

Even when given the perfect opportunity to delve into characterdevelopment with flirting and banter as they're forced to sit togetheron an intercontinental airline flight, Chadha skips straight to the plane'slanding 12 hours later and opts instead for a hackneyed musical montagesequence of the couple on a series of set-piece dates.

"Bride and Prejudice" is the kind of musicalthat doesn't integrate its songs, but stops dead in its tracks for them-- even though they don't advance the story and just reiterate what's alreadypatently obvious. It's the kind of comedy that hinges on miscommunicationsthat could be easily cleared up if the characters would just take 30 secondsto level with one another. And it comes up short as an adaptation as well,reducing most of Austen's witty characters to little more than witlesscliches.

The one thing Chadha does do well is infuse the colorfuldance numbers with a genuine Bollywood effervescence -- well, at leastthe ones without dumb lyrics dragging them down.

I'm all for introducing the spirit of Bollywood's bettermovies to American audiences (see 2002's spectacular, absolutely infectious"Lagaan"),and I'm equally keen on updating Jane Austen stories (see "Clueless"or seek out last year's little-seen but creatively modernized version of"Pride and Prejudice"). But this painfully ill-conceivedoverproduction isn't the way to win fans to either one.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 122 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th February 2005

Box Office USA: $6.5M

Budget: $7M

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Fresh: 85 Rotten: 47

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Lalita Bakshi, as William Darcy, as Balraj, as Johnny Wickham, as Kiran, as Catherine Darcy, as Manorama Bakshi, as Chaman Bakshi, Namrata Shirodkar as Jaya Bakshi, Sonali Kulkarni as Chandra Lamba, as Mr. Kohli, as Maya Bakshi, as Lakhi Bakshi, as Georgina 'Georgie' Darcy, as Herself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.