March 02, 2005

Bollywood Film Review: Bride and Prejudice (2004)

There's nothing better than a Jane Austen remake. I'm a huge Austen fan - I've read all six of her novels and I've read Pride and Prejudice at least six times. I'm also a huge Aishwarya Rai fan and an insane Bollywood freak, so you can imagine how excited I was when I heard Bride and Prejudice was coming soon to a theater near me.

aish jane.jpg
Aishwarya and Jane - a match made in heaven

When the movie actually came out, I heard that Gurinder Chadha, the director of Bend It Like Beckham, directed it and that Martin Henderson was in it, too, which made me want to see it more. A little over a week ago, I finally got to see it. Did I like it? Well... yes and no...

bride.jpg
Looks like fun to me!

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Comments

kristina,
saw this and thought of you...
http://www.sepiamutiny.com/sepia/archives/001080.html
weird.

Posted by: julia at March 3, 2005 11:39 AM

That is strange. The East Asian Aish is hot, but still not as good as the real thing. I'm sure my little sister will die laughing when she sees the Manga Aish. She's such a Japanese comic book nerd. Hear that Brandy, I called you a nerd!

Posted by: Kristina at March 3, 2005 12:17 PM

that was fun! i really liked myself as mogdilini (sp?) sadly i could not save the stupid picture to show to people.

Posted by: michele at March 3, 2005 12:36 PM

the black version of george bush is probably the most frightening thing I've ever seen.

Posted by: julia at March 3, 2005 03:07 PM

i liked B&P as a hybrid, because i like dual-culture art. i agree it's not super-bollywood. maybe it's a new category? (can it interbreed with others of its kind, that is the question.) you're right though that the english hurt parts of it--i can read ridiculous song subtitles and be happy but hearing them in english kind of ruins them.

Posted by: didofoot at March 3, 2005 04:53 PM

There really haven't been that many hybrids, as far as I know. This movie seems to be the biggest "crossover" thus far (if you don't count how much people loved the Bollywood-esque scenes in Moulin Rouge (check out the original version in China Gate) and Vanity Fair). Bend It Like Beckham and Monsoon Wedding, while both excellent Western-style films giving props to Indian culture, don't really count as "Bollywood" crossovers because there are no song sequences in either one (something that seems to really stand in the way of its popularity in America)... unless you count the part where the one girl does Chunari Chunari (from Biwi No.1) and no one should ever, ever see American Desi. Trust me.

However, I highly recommend Bollywood/Hollywood as a hybrid Bollywood that actually works. Better known for the controversial films "Fire" and "Water", this is Deepa Mehta's only "Bollywood" film since it actually has singing, dancing, very Bollywood plot-line and a comdedic look at love and life for Indians in Canada (Deepa has been a Toronto resident since the early '70's). Half-Indian Lisa Ray stars opposite Rahul Khanna in a silly-yet-engrossing story about being Indian and falling in love in the West. There's a great mix of comedy and drama, a balanced mix of Indian and Western sensibilities and styles, the characters are sufficiently complex to make them interesting, the costumes and sets are beautiful, and the song sequences are fun, groovy and definitely make you want to dance along. The film is in English, but the songs are in Hindi (sadly, no subtitles) and Lisa's big song sequence with Akshaye Khanna (playing himself) is definitely the real deal. The greatest thing (I think about the film) is that it captures what a big part Bollywood itself plays in Indian life. In the film, people are constantly watching, quoting and referring to Bollywood films. As the little brother says, it's so Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam!

Posted by: Kristina at March 3, 2005 09:44 PM

Um, I have the say the manga version of aish is kinda scary....not to mention drawn incorrectly... Since I'm already labeled a manga nerd I guess I shouldn't say more...

Posted by: Brandy at March 4, 2005 09:54 PM

Aww... you know I love you, Boo ;)

Posted by: Kristina at March 4, 2005 10:09 PM
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