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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2004!
A Bollywood update of Jane Austen's classic tale, in which Mrs. Bakshi is eager to find suitable husbands for her four unmarried daughters. When the rich single gentlemen Balraj and Darcy come to visit, the Bakshis have high hopes, though circumstance and boorish opinions threaten to get in the way of romance.
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Gurinder Chadha’s offering is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s most popular novel Pride and Prejudice. Relocated from early 1800s England to modern day India, the film is a flawed attempt to update the classic within the conventions of a traditional Bollywood movie.
Mrs Bakshi (Nadira Babbar) is eager to find husbands for her four daughters; however, the intelligent and determined Lalita (Aishwarya Rai) declares that she will only marry for love. When she meets the rich American Will Darcy (Martin Henderson) they experience a certain frisson. Nonetheless, wires cross and Lalita deems Darcy to be an arrogant Californian full of self-importance, whilst he confesses that beauty is his only attraction for her. What follows is an energetic and gaudy comedy of mismatches.
Two prospective romances for Lalita prevent the unquestionable affection between her and Darcy from revealing itself. This is, of course, until the inevitable paint-the-town-red and marriage-atop-elephants climax.
Incorporating some identifying features of the classic Bollywood style, the film exhibits sudden, inexplicable dance sequences and swift, unsystematic location changes. Some of the cast even try to overplay their characters in the exaggerated manner recurrent in Bollywood pictures.
Chadha’s previous films, such as Bhaji on the Beach (1993) have strived to capture some of the fears and troubles of Asian communities in contemporary England. This latest contribution struggles to deal with similar issues such as arranged marriage and tradition in India. It represents a second-rate homage to Bollywood, and a naïve view of Indian values.
Convoluted with both stereotypes and lifeless efforts at realism, it is an over-bearing take on a Bollywood format, which fails to be anything other than an elaborate joke. The mortified gaze of Martin Henderson as he leads an Indian percussion band at the finale is all too genuine, representing an embarrassing two hours for both the audience and, quite conceivably, the cast.