Friday, 24 February 2017

Bride and Prejudice (2004)

Yes, this is another adaptation of Pride and Prejudice - this time giving it a Bollywood-style makeover.  By this point you may be wondering how many versions of this story I'm going to review, and the answer is ... well, pretty much all of them, really.  I have at least two more to come, though neither is likely to happen for a while as I haven't actually purchased those movies yet.

So we're transported here to Amritsar, India, where the Bakshi family has four beautiful daughters, but not much in the way of dowries to offer with them.  Their mother is desperate to find them wealthy, respectable husbands, and soon sets her targets on British-Indian barrister Balraj, who has recently come to town with his American friend Will Darcy.

Balraj and eldest daughter Jaya immediately hit it off, but the sparks that fly between second daughter Lalilta and Mr Darcy are of the rather more adversarial kind.  She finds him arrogant and intolerant of Indian culture.

And from there, we're basically onto the standard narrative of the book, albeit with numerous musical numbers added - it is a Bollywood style film after all - and with suitable adjustments for the change in setting and time period.  The result is a pleasantly engaging film with a charming cast (I particularly liked the unusually sympathetic Mr Collins-expy), though it is perhaps a bit slight in substance when it comes to resolving the Wickham storyline (which is shame, because it did quite a good job of setting it up).

If you want a feel good diversion and don't mind musicals as a format, this is a sound choice.

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