"Bollywood Meets Hollywood"
What You Need To Know:
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.
(Ro, B, PC, AP, FR, O, C, L, S, A, M) Romantic worldview in which characters connect despite objections from their respective worlds, with moral element in which the nuclear family is the building block of society, and some politically correct talk about American imperialism, which is later negated somewhat, as well as non-Christian practices and marriage ceremonies but no talk about religion, character has her palm read, and Indian character dreams of a traditionally Christian wedding inside a church; three obscenities, four profanities, and one crude term for a body part; no violence; some sexual references; no nudity; alcohol; no smoking; and, man lies to women to seduce them (rebuked), and teenager runs away with boy (rebuked).
GENRE: Musical Comedy
BRIDE AND PREJUDICE aims to merge so-called Bollywood movies from India with Hollywood filmmaking values, while (approximately) retelling the famed story by Jane Austin in her classic novel PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. That’s a lot to accomplish in one musical comedy, but the movie succeeds in being surprisingly entertaining and clean, even though it gets bogged down in international politics and light anti-American sentiment for a few moments.
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.