While I was sick we rented a few movies to watch. One of them I got just because I love Jane Austin books and movies, even though I thought it was going to be stupid. So, with extremely low expectations I put the movie into the DVD player. Dave refused to watch it; waiting for my critique of it.
It sounded so stupid. Why did they title it the way they did? I’m not sure how well it did in the theaters but I doubt it was good just because the title was so awful. Do I have you curious? Another thing, I didn’t recognize the actors and I thought it was some hip-hop teenybopper film. I had NO IDEA.
The movie? Bride & Prejudice starring Martin Henderson and Aishwarya Rai. Have you ever heard of Bollywood? I sure hadn’t! It is the Indian version of Hollywood only it has a totally different flavor, very much like the spicy India itself.
What a wonderful surprise I had! The color! The outfits! The songs! The dances! The humor! I had so misjudged this film. Anyway, let me tell you a little about it…some of these things I discovered after watching it again and again. (I never want to return it!)
It starts off in India where a pre-arranged wedding party is celebrating the engagement of one of Lalita (Lizzie character) and Jaya’s (Jane’s character) best friends. An American (Darcy) is best friends with the best man (Bingley’s character now called Balraj who is a British Indian) and comes with Balraj and Balraj’s sister to India for the wedding.
The plot is very much the same as Pride and Prejudice but it has some hilarious differences as well as the wonder of cultural differences.
Instead of Darcy being a pompous jerk, he is ‘stand-offish’ to Lalita because his Indian outfit’s pants keep falling down and he needs to leave and fix them. (During his initial dance with Lalita, he has to pull his hands away twice in order to hike up his pants. It looks like he is just wiping his hands like they are sweaty but later you find out that the string of his pants kept getting loose.) Then as he speaks with the Bakshi (Bennet) family to formally meet them his face looks more and more uncomfortable as his pants slide further and further down. He refuses to ask Lalita for another dance because at that moment his pants are at his ankles but his long shirt covers his modesty. (I didn’t catch that until my third viewing!) As he leaves the Bakshi (Bennet) family he quickly lifts his leg while grabbing the fallen pants with his hand. Now, Lalita and her family think he is being prejudice…that this rich white American is too good for a middle class Indian girl.
Egads but I laughed so hard with this movie!
Also, Bollywood films are rich with song and dance numbers, sort of how Hollywood was in the 50’s with Singing in the Rain. At first this fact kind of startled me and I wasn’t sure what to think but after watching it a few times, I love them. The songs are toe-tapping fun and some are just beautifully melodic. They have great traditional Indian dances as well as fun and innovative ones. One number was made as a tribute to Grease. It is when all four of the sisters do this great song and dance in their pajamas. It is HILARIOUS too. They are making fun of the Mr. Collins Character, Mr. Kohli, a green-card holding Indian who has made it big in the U.S. and has come back to India to his relatives for a wife.
Martin Henderson plays a great Darcy in such a new way. I couldn’t help feeling sorry for his character being so misjudged and misunderstood.
Aishwarya Rai is just plain gorgeous. She looks strikingly like Angelina Jolie but even more beautiful if that is possible! She is one of the most famous Bollywood actresses and she is AWESOME! I love her treatment of Lalita, she plays her strong and smart. Just like Lizzie.
The sure way to find out if a film is good is to see if your husband and kids like it. They ALL loved it. Keegan and Evan keep asking to see the songs over and over…especially the ‘No Life Without Wife’ song that the girls sang in an almost pajama party manner. They also love the wedding dance where Darcy and Lalita as well as Balraj and Jaya first meet.
The special features are great too. They explain Bollywood and the differences between them and British and American filmmaking. As there were all three: Indian, British, and Americans in the film, it made for one great movie.
So, I recommend that you watch this great film; but keep in mind that it is very different than most movies you will or have ever watched.
Oh, and put the subtitles on because the accents are strong and you might miss some of the hilarious dialogue.