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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.79%
Worth A Look: 24.56%
Pretty Bad: 5.26%
Total Crap: 26.32%

4 reviews, 33 user ratings

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Bride & Prejudice
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by EricDSnider

"Worth a look ONLY for the musical numbers."
4 stars

We Americans are only partially aware of India's Bollywood films, the ones with the lavish costumes and random song-and-dance numbers that you see parodied or referenced here and there. So Gurinder Chadha, a Kenya-born, London-raised woman of Indian descent, has followed her modest hits "What's Cooking?" and "Bend It Like Beckham" with "Bride & Prejudice," a romantic comedy that combines Jane Austen and Bollywood musicals cutely, if not especially effectively.

It does not lack for color or energy, though, and all of the Indian cast members are instantly likable. (Curiously, all of the Western actors are flat, but more on that later.) It is set in the town of Amritsar, where the Bakshi family has four daughters, three of whom are of marriageable age and thus are the objects of Mom's (Nadira Babbar) ceaseless matchmaking.

At a wedding party for some friends, the oldest girls, Jaya (Namrata Shirodkar) and Lalita (Aishwarya Rai), meet men who will soon change their lives. Jaya meets Balraj (Naveen Andrews), the groom's best man and a well-to-do Indian; Lalita, meanwhile, meets and clashes with Will Darcy (Martin Henderson), a millionaire American whose family owns hotels around the world and who is considering buying a beach-front resort elsewhere in India.

Darcy is condescending toward India, finding it simple and provincial. Lalita, a smart, motivated woman who loves her traditional culture, bristles at Darcy's implications, and thus are the two set on a path for love.

There can be, of course, few surprises in a film based on a Jane Austen novel that, if no one has actually read, has at least been internalized by people who have seen one of the movies based on it. Lalita and Darcy's relationship will be on-again, off-again, and love will eventually be found by all parties. There is a brief interruption by Darcy's nemesis Johnny Wickham (Daniel Gillies), but that is dismissed almost as soon as it's introduced, allowing us to get back on track quickly.

Along the way, Chadha (who co-wrote the screenplay with her husband and writing partner Paul Mayeda Berges) stages several delightful musical numbers, filled with lively dancing and rhythmic, drum-based accompaniment. Her weakness is with the non-musical scenes, which are pretty unremarkable. Martin Henderson plays Darcy not as aloof or cold, but simply dull, making his and Lalita's story profoundly ineffective. In fact, nearly everyone's dialogue is mediocre at best, with no particularly good exchanges, one-liners or scenes standing out as memorable.

Still, those musical numbers. The film is worth seeing just for their exuberance, whimsy and occasional silliness. If the movie were always as footloose and creative as it is during those moments, it would be brilliant, rather than pedestrian.

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originally posted: 03/01/05 17:04:45
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/24/15 jemyfsmkl USA 3 stars
2/25/13 daniel rice(mumbai) It was entertaning loved each minitue of it ending cud hav been better ash u wer superb. 4 stars
4/04/12 undocumented alien "Green card baby" 4 stars
1/03/12 joy music?great!!!storyline?ordinary!aishwara?stunningly beautiful!!!! 4 stars
10/30/10 chris occasionally entertaining twaddle. 2 stars
11/10/09 green I loved the movie 5 stars
8/18/08 Jinx Worst ending to a movie I have ever seen 2 stars
4/25/08 Debaser KILL ME 1 stars
1/20/08 Dave I agree with the reviewer. This movie is shit. 1 stars
6/18/06 jean aishwara was so great 5 stars
5/03/06 Ashley Hinz I enjoyed this film. I would like to buy it. 4 stars
4/14/06 jazz vibrant & affection - great adaptation 5 stars
2/03/06 Vega Aish is in blowjob state for the West 1 stars
11/27/05 ods great musical, colorful, optimistic 5 stars
10/25/05 Green Gremlin Well, at least it's entertaining. Loved that gospel choir !!! 4 stars
10/22/05 Candida Vittini Awsome 5 stars
9/27/05 John J. Aishwarya cannot act! 1 stars
9/02/05 aneeqa tariq its a nice movie i guess 'cause its somthing practical abt indian society n people. 4 stars
8/30/05 vinita bhatnagar The film is good because it effectively adapts jane austen's novel into an Indian context.y 4 stars
8/26/05 shishira overrated film overrated actress 1 stars
8/20/05 Kay H. Pretty Good Movie. 4 stars
8/06/05 anonomous didnt like it 2 stars
7/19/05 Popatbhai Patel Incredibly cliched, Aishwarya irritates beyond belief, unadulterated garbage 1 stars
7/05/05 Annoymous Very good movie but there should be more added in the ending 5 stars
3/21/05 Elizabeth S Not a romcom fan, but pretty entertaining. 3 stars
3/02/05 Darren Aishwarya Rai annoys in every movie. Worst actress, overrated 1 stars
2/22/05 Mohan S. Grewal Musical;without a message 3 stars
2/21/05 fiona If you can manage to get past the first 40 minutes of crap, then you'll enjoy it! 3 stars
2/18/05 Kelly Morab great girl, great colors. 5 stars
2/16/05 muskan best film mannnnnnnn 5 stars
2/10/05 dbx horrible, lame, overprocessed crap. Ick. 1 stars
2/02/05 Mark McConnell useless unoffensive crap 1 stars
11/16/04 Ranjit Kumar A clever feel-gooder. Worth the money. 5 stars
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  11-Feb-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 05-Jul-2005



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