BRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Review by Michael Jacobson
Aishwarya Rai, Martin Henderson, Naveen Andrews, Namrata Shirodkar, Nitin
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Features: See Review
Length: 112 Minutes
Release Date: July 5, 2005
did he say to you?"
said...he loved me."
what did you say?"
sensibilities meet Indian heritage in Gurinder Chadha's Bride and Prejudice, a
colorful, rollicking update on the classic story by Jane Austen.
It's musical, romantic, whimsical, and kind of a much-ado-about-nothing
in the margins, but carried off with such splendor, style and humor that you
can't help but love it.
stars international beauty Aishwarya Rai as Lalita Bakshi, one of four daughters
of a middle class family in India whose parents are desperately trying to find
good husbands for them. Her older
sister Jaya (Shirodkar) seems to have made an excellent conquest in Balraj
(Andrews), an Indian expatriate from Britain who comes into their town with an
American college friend, Will Darcy (Henderson).
is the heir to a hotel empire in the United States, and seems an ill fit for the
colorful, earthy traditions of India. But
his eyes light up upon meeting Lalita, though he doesn't have the first clue
about how to romance a girl like her. Lalita in turn finds his pompous rigid ways an affront to
everything she holds dear. Will
these star crossed lovers manage to make their way through colorful boundaries
and find true love?
not before a comic misadventures of lost opportunities and miscommunications
unfolds, one that takes the Bakshi family around the globe from their beloved
India to London, and eventually to California, where another rich expatriate
(the hilarious Ganatra) has embraced American decadence to a truly silly level
and has hopes of scoring a bride of his own.
story is familiar, but the international cast makes the characters seem more
alive than they might have come across on a simple page.
Gurinder Chadha, who captured the world's attention with the ethnically
centered but still extremely accessible Bend it Like Beckham ventures
further into cultural waters here, and manages to come up with a film even more
memorable and audience-friendly.
managed to turn the Austen tale into a film from the annals of Bollywood.
Bride is peppered with energetic musical numbers, lively dancing,
and amusing songs sung by the cast. "No
Life Without Wife" will bring a smile to your face, not so much for the
lyrics, but for the panache the Bakshi girls bring in singing it.
Rai has been called by Roger Ebert the first AND second most beautiful woman in
the world. I didn't quite get it at
first, but seeing this movie convinced me that one spot on the chart wasn't
enough for her loveliness and grace. Already
the biggest movie star in her homeland, I don't doubt that the international
success of this film will open more doors to her, and those of us in the West
won't have to wait long to see her again.
Henderson brings a likeable and somewhat hesitant charm to Will Darcy.
These two stars crossed hemispheres and found a winning chemistry with
one another...it's part of the reason the simple story is as effective as it is.
enjoyed the film and the characters so much, I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel
picking up where they left off. Let's
see...how about Bride and Prejudice II:
Bride Harder? I guess
that's why Chadha makes the movies and I write the reviews...
colors leap off the screen and fill you living room with this knockout
anamorphic transfer from Miramax. Every
frame of the movie is alive and vibrant, and every detail rings through with
crispness and clarity. This is
definitely one of the year's best, and I'm personally VERY grateful that a
hacked-up pan & scan version of this title doesn't exist.
stars in audio for a romantic comedy? Yes,
thanks to the frequently thunderous and rhythmic music of the song and dance
numbers. The hard hitting
percussion booms from the subwoofer, and the singing and dancing will fill all
corners of your home theatre to the point where you're ready to get up and join
in the festivities. Dynamic range
is strong, and spoken words are clean and clear throughout, even with the
in the extras are four deleted scenes and six extended musical numbers to keep
the fun rolling along after the credits have rolled. There is a making-of featurette and two conversation pieces;
one with Aishwarya Rai and one with Martin Henderson. There is a music video by Ashanti and an amusing video piece
that shows members of the crew acting out and singing some of the film's big
musical numbers...funny stuff; it must be great fun to work on a Gurinder Chadha
and there's also a commentary from Chadha and her co-writer Paul Mayeda Berges
that takes you even further into the making of a movie that spanned three
continents and brought together some of the biggest stars of three different
countries. It's a good and often