02 September 2013

Bride & Prejudice film: August P&P Pick

While I have a particular weakness for Indian RomComs, I'd never actually seen a Bollywood production, and since I didn't have time to read any P&P JAFF I thought I'd watch some.

A little about Bollywood:

These films are HUGE productions with large budgets, lots of colorful costumes, and many many so many frickin' musical numbers. Like every five minutes for the first half of the almost three hour film.

Bride & Prejudice is a modern and interesting interpretation of Jane Austen's classic love story; if you're going to choose a present-day culture to set a story about a "Mama" trying to find four (Kitty was left out of the movie) daughters excellent marriages, India makes sense.

William Darcy is a rich American hotel mogul whose come to India with Balraj (Bingley) and his sister Kiran-- played by the amazing Indira Varma from Luther and Rome)-- for a huge wedding in which Balraj is best man. Balraj and Kiran are wealthy, well-connected, career driven Londoners. While in India, Darcy hopes to take a side trip in order to purchase a hotel. At the wedding, two of the bride's attendants are Lalita (Elizabeth) and Jaya (Jane) Bakshi. The men see the women, and BOOM, love makin' MAGIC.

Many of the plot points in Bride & Prejudice remain the same: Johnny Wickham shows up, Mr. Kohli (Collins) from LA gets rejected, and Jaya's heart is broken. You and I both know how it ends, but there are plenty of differences: Wickham actually got Georgiana pregnant, the character of Lady Catherine takes the form of Darcy's mother, and Kiran has no real interest in Darcy other than friendship.

If I'm being blunt (and I usually am), skip Bride & Prejudice. The film was far too long, the amount of musical numbers began to grate on my nerves, and the acting by New Zealander Martin Henderson playing Darcy was bad. It was frustrating seeing Literature's sexiest 18th century hero as a subpar, boring character with absolutely no chemistry between him and Lalita. I would've been more interested in a Bollywood adaptation with no Western influences. There's still plenty of Pomp and Circumstance, the music is good when not inhibiting the progression of the story, and the film is in English if you're not a fan of subtitles. However, I'd suggest subtitles anyway because many of the actors have thick accents and talk fast, plus the songs are in Hindi.

Not my cup of tea but if you happen to love Jane Austen and Bollywood, this one's for you.

Rating: 2 out of 5 Ribbons

1 comment:

  1. I will skip this then! Thanks for the review. I love the idea of it and that Jane Austen is alive and well in India.