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This review is from: Bride & Prejudice [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
If you are looking to get a feel for what a Bollywood movie might be like, this will give you a taste, while still being grounded in the more familiar English and American styles. Filmed mostly in England, there were exterior scenes filmed in India and the United States as well. "Bride & Prejudice" was first released in the United Arab Emirates on October 6th of 2004, which was shortly followed by its release in India, the United Kingdom and France on October 8th. One interesting fact mentioned in the commentary, is that it was the number one film in both India and the United Kingdom when it opened, which no other film has ever done. The film was not released in the United States until February 11th of 2005.
As one might easily guess, this is an adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice", adding in the Bollywood musical numbers, and updating the story to be about a wealthy American, William Darcy (Martin Henderson), and a poor Indian woman, Lalita Bakshi (Aishwarya Rai), who is one of four daughters that her mother is trying to marry off. This movie is at times hilariously funny, and at other times cheesily romantic. The movie was directed by Gurinder Chadha, who also directed "Bend It like Beckham" (2002).
The best moments of the movie for me were the songs "Marriage Song", and "No Life without Wife", and the hilarious snake dance scene. The weaknesses were in some of the acting, in particular for the role of William Darcy. I am not very familiar with Martin Henderson, so I am not sure if the problem was acting or direction, but I thought the performance was very wooden overall. I think the movie also suffered from being based on a fairly long book, so they had to cut it down a lot, especially to fit in the long elaborate musical numbers.
The DVD has a nice set of features, including deleted scenes, extended versions of the songs, Ashanti's song, a featurette on the making of "Bride & Prejudice", interviews with Aishwarya Rai and Martin Henderson, and a feature length commentary by Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges. I would not call this a great movie, but I certainly was entertained by it. Overall, I would like to give it 3 ½ stars because this is clearly above average, however Amazon doesn't allow reviewers to do that. So in choosing between 3 and 4 stars, I would have to say it is closer to a 3 star item than a 4 star one.