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4.5 out of 5 stars
Bride And Prejudice [2004] [DVD]
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2004
Initially a little put off by the bad reviews this film recived in the cinema, I was wonderfully surprised. It's Bollywood and Jane Austen, so if you have a somewhat purist perception of how Jane Austen should be filmed then this is not for you. Otherwise it's a film full of life, colur and music. The trick is not to take it seriously and simply let the exuberance of the actors wash over you. Before you know it you will be singing and dancing along!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
I wasn't sure I wanted to watch this film at first. Both the title and the DVD box image are rather cheesy - but then I saw the trailer, and it convinced me that this would indeed be something worth watching. Thank goodness for that trailer because I absolutely adored this movie. Bride and Prejudice introduced me to a whole new world of cinematic magic. It's an explosion of vibrant colors, exotic settings, incredible music and dancing, and genuine pleasure. The story itself, combining romance, drama, as well as comedy, was also a treat in its own right. If you haven't guessed by the title, this film was inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice - and I hope Austen enthusiasts will give this film a try, despite whatever misgivings they must surely have about it. I prefer to judge the film on its own merits, and I can't find anything not to like here. It's just exquisite.
The film is primarily set in India. Will Darcy (Martin Henderson) has come with his friend Balraj (Lost's Naveen Andrews) to attend a wedding - and what a wedding it is. The whole town is in full celebration mode, and the song and dance numbers that come spinning at you in kaleidoscope fashion entrance you with their beauty and grace. Darcy is immediately taken with a gorgeous young lady named Lalita Bakshi (Aishwarya Rai), who just happens to be the sister of Balraj's object of affection. She comes from a family full of girls and a mother working tirelessly to find husbands for her older daughters - hopefully rich ones. Darcy and Lalita, despite a lot of meaningful eye contact, don't exactly hit it off, but that's largely Darcy's fault. Henderson really isn't very charismatic in the role, and he's not all that eloquent either. Lalita finds him to be a rude, arrogant American who looks down on her and everyone else in India. Darcy's also a bit of a wimp, seemingly incapable of standing up to his domineering mother's influence. She would never approve of an India-born daughter-in-law, of course - but Mrs. Bakshi wouldn't necessarily leap for joy at an American son-in-law, either (no matter how rich he is - and Darcy is filthy rich). Darcy does get to spend a little time with Lalita (but not because she wants to), but then an acquaintance of his shows up in the form of Johnny Wickham (Daniel Gillies) - why the son of Darcy's nanny suddenly shows up there in India is a complete mystery to me, though. Wickham's no good, but the ever-ineffectual Darcy won't tell Lalita why. As for Lalita, she has to fend off a new suitor in the form of an incredibly annoying fellow who has come back from America seeking a bride. It looks like Darcy and Lalita just weren't meant to be, as he returns to London and Lalita finds herself having to fend off a new suitor in the form of an incredibly annoying fellow who has come back from America seeking a bride. The world's a small place, though, and fate brings Darcy and Lalita together again in Los Angeles (where the Bakshi family has come to attend another wedding).
The romance is quite predictable, but it does take interesting twists and turns along the way. I found it pretty compelling, but in many ways the love story is just the excuse to put on an awe-inspiring spectacle of music, dance, and incredible entertainment. I can't adequately describe the lavish nature of this film, except to say that it is a visual and auditory treat. I haven't had this much fun watching a film in a long time. Singing and dancing can start at the drop of a hat, and as often as not it doesn't end until the entire village has joined the fun. Lalita and her sisters are just wonderful, adorable characters (even the one who does the rather unforgettable Cobra Dance) - and Aishwarya Rai, the true star of this film, shines like the heavens on a dark night. I'll eagerly watch any movie she appears in. You won't have to worry about nodding off in the middle of this one - as Bride and Prejudice has the contagious energy to revive even the weariest of souls. Hollywood just doesn't make films like this; until you see this Bride and Prejudice, you probably won't even know what you're missing.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2005
What a wonderful, uplifting, funny heart-warming movie - if you love Jane Austen, musicals, chickflicks, romantic movies - just GO SEE IT!! Big screen if possible - it really deserves it!!
Aishwarya Rai has so much presence and warmth, and charm, no wonder she is such a big star.
Martin Henderson - wow - he is a better Darcy than Colin Firth, all masculine pride and stiffness, but conveys warm tenderhearted feelings so well - they are brilliant together. Also Nitin Chandra Ganatra as Kholi, the vain suitor, he is hilarious.
All the Bakshi family are great, the sisters singing "No Life Without Wife" together is wonderful, The parents are funny and real. I loved the musical numbers, only wish there were more songs.
It does justice to Jane Austen, it's actually quite faithful to the book, with a few sly nods the BBC 1995 mini-series thrown in, it's just warm wonderful fun.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2005
Earlier this year on "60 Minutes" (a news program one of the four major networks here in the US), there was an interview with Bollywood starlet Aishwaraya Rai. In the interview there was a brief plug for "Bride & Prejudice". I was immediately intrigued. The movie was not released until earlier this year. I loved the film so much I saw it twice in the theater and bought the dvd copy of "Bride & Prejudice".
"Bride & Prejudice" is loosely based on the Jane Austen story "Pride & Prejudice". The film focuses on an the Bakshi family in India. By Indian standards, they are pretty much a well to do family. Not terribly rich but not impoverished by all means. Mrs. Bakshi is obsessed with marrying off her four daughters. Her second eldest daughter Lalita, played by the stunning Aishwaraya Rai, declares that she will only marry for love. Lalita is headstrong and stubborn. She does not play by anyone's rules. This does not make Mrs. Bakshi very happy. Lalita's love interest in the film is the wealthy American businessman Will Darcy, played by the handsome Martin Henderson. Will Darcy's family runs a hotel chain around the world. He is in India looking at buying a hotel. Love at first sight it was not. They clash over their cultural differences.
Normally my taste in films are rather dark and depressing but for some bizarre reason, "Bride & Prejudice" really struck a chord with me. I particularly love the musical numbers. The songs were so upbeat and catchy. I especially love "A Marriage Comes to Town" where Lalita and her friends are shopping. The funniest musical number is "No Life Without Wife" where Lalita's sisters playfully tease her about her potential suitor Mr. Kholi, an expatriate who came home to India to see a traditional Indian woman to marry. Mr. Kholi is crude, loud, and obnoxious, the ideal comic foil for the film. I never thought about it until I saw director Gurinder Chadhra say on a brief Bravo special on the film that this particular number was intended to be something like it came out of "Grease". It has that same playful bounce.
The writing on the film was a bit scattered. I don't know if it was really necessary to have the character Johnny Wickman (Daniel Gilles) in the film. It was almost a moot point. Nothing was explained why Will Darcy had fired his former nanny who was Johnny's mother. Then there was the storyline revolving around Lalita's younger sister Lahki and Johnny. Maybe I will have to read "Pride & Prejudice" to see if there were similiar storylines in the book, if not, totally pointless to have in the film.
Despite the flaws in the writing, I am still willing to give the film five stars. I haven't seen a movie that has really captured my heart like "Bride & Prejudice" has. This is one of the most colorful and vibrant films I had seen in a long time. Definitely my favorite film of 2005 (So far).
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on 17 August 2013
Translating Austen to India is a masterful idea - it is a contemporary culture that far better relates to Regency marital mores than modern Britain. (I have often wondered why the West is till so hooked on a story with major plot axis on moral shocks that are long gone.)

But this makes a rather hurried, silly adaptation. Much of the problem is that Pride and Prejudice is too long to fit into a feature film - my bugbear with many book to screen adaptions: many of these need epic length or television series to allow the story to be fully dealt with. I was happy to have discussions pertaining to modern India rather than Regency England, but this did not persuade me that an arranged marriage - love comes later - model is desirable or better, as I think it was kind of meant to.

Having an American Darcy - that kind of American at that - really was the deal breaker. British Indian Bingleys worked well - but Naveen is more interesting than his supposedly more attractive friend, though we see little of 'Bingley'. Wickham is also not convincingly cast or portrayed. The Bridget Jones style man fight was as crap as at was unlikely - I am surprised the National Film theatre (now BFI) allowed it to be shot there, as I'm sure that's the least likely cinema in Britain to put up with latecomers scrapping! Whereas in Austen, Darcy has discreetly put himself out to make Lydia honourable after a major crisis, this Darcy does very little.

Even the Mary equivalent's snake dance is no longer funny after the first viewing.

Perhaps see it once for amusement and curiosity, but it is not something I would recommend repays second viewing (though also I have done so, unwittingly. And those songs are frightening effective chronic earworms!)

I've written more about Austen and how I feel about her now - see my profile for links
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2010
From day one seeing this Indian love story, based on Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, with gorgeous Martin Henderson and exotic beauty, Aishwarya Rai across the Eastern & Western divide, I enjoyed the colour, music & songs (some to hum or sing along with). The story and whole experience a place for me to unwind, after a day in the real world. Nice having the innocence of Bollywood in my home, to enjoy whenever I want uplifting. Good price too, makes this great shelf filler.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2005
Exellent, adorable, funny, bright, funky, re-working of Jane Austins classic, Bride and prejudice.
I would have never thought of going to this film, it was just another low budget, poorly done fil. But I was wrong.
I ended up seeing it anyway and it was all of things I said above.
Martin Henderson is hot, Ashwrayi Rai is stunning. The dancing is amazing and has a faboulus opening scene.
Costumes are bang on!
You've got to see this. But if your apprehensive rent it first. But I recommend that this be one, in your dvd collection.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2005
This is a colourful Indian version of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. When I started watching it, I was very surprised when they all suddenly started singing and dancing but found I quite enjoyed it. It was hilarious in most parts! Especially when they were at the beach towards the end with the Gospel Choir and the Baywatch team came running, singing and dancing as well. Some of the storyline did not make sense to me. I mean why was Wickham secretly seeing Lalita's sister, when he really liked Lalita? But I decided not to try and make sense of it all and just enjoy the ride!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2006
This is a fantastic mixture of both bollywood and hollywood with colour, music and a solid storyline. The remake of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice stars Aishwarya Rai as Lalita Bakshi and Martin Henderson as William Darcy with a funny supporting cast (especially the man that plays Mr Kohli). This is a well-directed film and is a definite recommended film for anyone (not just a chick-flick).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2014
This is a really fun film. And I think captures the essence of Austen's Novel. I use it in my GCSE classes to show the relevance of Austen in today's society. And students love the happy feelyness of this production. I feel the characters are well cast, especially Mr Collins. Well worth watching.
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