BRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Bollywood Meets Hollywood
Release Date: December 25, 2004
Starring: Aishwarya Rai, Martin
Henderson, Naveen Andrews,
Alexis Biedel, and Marsha
Genre: Musical Comedy
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 105 minutes
Distributor: Miramax Films
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha and Deepak
Producer: Gurinder Chadha and Deepak
Nayar EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:
François Ivernel and Cameron
Writer: Paul Mayeda Berges and
Gurinder Chadha BASED ON THE
NOVEL: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by
Address Comments To:Bob and Harvey Weinstein
375 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (323) 822-4100 and (212) 941-3800
Fax: (212) 941-3846
GENRE: Musical Comedy
Lalita and her sisters live in a small village, “Hickville, India,” with their parents, who are eager to marry off all of them. At a cousin’s wedding, they meet a boy from their village who has moved to America but returned with an American friend. Lalita’s oldest sister falls for the local boy, and the American, Will Darcy, develops a crush on Lalita. Initially, she sees Will as a vain, shallow American who thinks that the world should conform to him.
Circumstances keep pushing Lalita and Will together, and eventually she recognizes that he is more than a stereotype. Likewise, Will sees Indian culture as two-dimensional at first, calling Lalita’s town “primitive,” but he, too, sees that there is more to her than her social status.
Lalita’s family is close-knit and supportive of each other, although her mother is especially eager to see the daughters married. The young people in the movie are focused on marriage, as opposed to simply pairing off, and Lalita even has a fantasy of a traditional Christian wedding in a church.
Early in the movie, when Lalita and Will are antagonizing each other, there are some barbs about American culture blanketing the world and canceling out localized cultures. These statements serve more to shape the characters’ conflict than as political commentary. Native Indian religion is present in the movie, but mostly in the form of dress and decoration. There is no talk of Hindu gods or philosophies.
The song and dance sequences in the movie are fun and intentionally, or at least knowingly, corny. Some of the actors are terrible lip synchers, but somehow that does not detract much from the movie. BRIDE AND PREJUDICE is not as new or creative as it could have been. It might have been nice to see more Bollywood and less American influence on the filmmaking style, but it is still a fresh approach to the traditional musical comedy that people with broad tastes can enjoy.
In this movie, family members are close-knit and supportive of each other, young people are focused on marriage, not merely pairing off, and Lalita even has a fantasy of a traditional Christian wedding in a church. There are some barbs about American culture blanketing the world, as well as some customs from native Indian religions, though there is no specific talk of false gods. BRIDE AND PREJUDICE isn’t suitable for children, but its extraordinary dance sequences might appeal to some audiences.