Brenda Blethyn takes some liberties in making Mrs. It's pitched at a very much less modern and grown-up level than a film like Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding - and it will be interesting to compare this with Nair's forthcoming version of Thackeray's Vanity Fair, which boldly proposes a vivid new Indian aspect. Aishwarya ash-waar-e-ah Rai exudes not the frightening seriousness of a woman who thinks she is being sexy, but the grace and ease of a woman who knows she is fun to look at and be around. It was the worst case of incongruous exposition in the piece. She would have done well to actually read the novel before attempting to portray Elizabeth and to do research on the behavior of women of the period. Threading Austen's serious themes on class, family, and gender equality through a colorful Bollywood spectacle isn't such an awful idea, since the lightness and wide-reaching generosity of her work seems perfectly suited to the musical form.
Actually, many Indian families these days use spoon rather than their fingers. This is a pampered woman - they have servants remember the book scene with the servant dressing the hair, etc? All the subtlety, all the light and shade, all the dark undercurrents of loneliness and helplessness have been merrily chucked overboard, as if Chadha can't see a nuance without giving it the heave-ho. The rest of the characters do not interact with the celebrity but rather are seen in the crowd enjoying the show. The fact that it has no place in a work by Austen is apparently irrelevant. And apparently it is Caroline not Miss Bingley. And Mr Bingley happily wanders into Jane's bedroom.
Her beauty is so apparent that it almost detracts from the fact that this is a very good actress who can hold her own in any room. And she employs the Bollywood strategy for using color, which comes down to: If it's a color, use it. The first proposal he looks like a nervous schoolboy rather than a man overcoming his pride to make a proposal beneath his station. If he wants bucolic, he should try Tess. Lalita is played by Aishwarya Rai, Miss World of 1994, recently described by at least one film critic me as not only the first but also the second most beautiful woman in the world. Elizabeth couldn't have come up with the £10k figure. MacFadyen is very weak in the part and seems to be doing some kind of Pride by numbers acting.
This Darcy never gets wet in the Colin Firth style, incidentally, although Rai is seen swimming in one of his fancy hotel pools, her person decorously submerged up to the neck. In her trendy movie version of Mansfield Park five years ago, director Patricia Rozema took up this interpretative challenge and had her Fanny Price fully aware of Sir Thomas Bertram's plantation in foreign parts and the exploitative foundation of his massive wealth. Although Western exhibitors aren't crazy about a movie they can only show twice a night, instead of three times, Bollywood has developed a healthy audience in London, where the Bollywood Oscars were held a year ago. Kiera Knightly is a ravishing revelation. It could be any unremarkable Bollywood picture. Will Darcy Martin Henderson is a rich young New York hotel man, visiting India because his old friend from London, Balraj Naveen Andrews is the best man at a wedding. The material seems to be full proof.
This movie, however, did not show anyone smoking pot in Goa. Most of his lines, he could as well be reading a shopping list. Those were very different sorts of films, of course, but it's difficult to escape the uncomfortable suspicion that just as emigrant Indian bachelors in this movie condescendingly return to the old country, prospecting for wives who are simple and unsophisticated, so this successful, savvy director has paid a high-spirited, if slightly obtuse visit to India's classic entertainment genre, and come up with something too saccharine. Punjab is one of the well-developed states of India, mind you. Also, most Indian middle-class families and other too would, for sure, offer a spoon to a guest, especially one who had lived abroad for long, and with whom almost the entire family was so fascinated! Darcy and the unmarried sisters and their family are plugged into a modern plot that spans London, New York, Bombay and Goa. The best thing that can be said about this film is that it contains many pretty scenes of the English countryside.
And, finally, Keira Knightly is a jewel. When two nations come together in a Chadha film, both stand to lose something. Written by Trivia According to , 's appearance in the film is meant as a homage to a tradition in Bollywood films where a celebrity would make a cameo appearance to sing a song that has no direct involvement in the plot. Bennet dies their house will be inherited by a distant cousin whom they have never met, so the family's future happiness and security is dependent on the daughters making good marriages. It is one of many fraught encounters which Lalita concludes with a haughty and head-tossing exit. This was a delight and I only wish that it could have been 6 hours long.
Austen's novel is only superficially a story of the development of true love between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Bride and Prejudice is appreciably less warmly convincing than Chadha's earlier, realist British-set pictures like Bhaji on the Beach and Bend It Like Beckham. Pride and Prejudice is a humorous story of love and life among English gentility during the Georgian era. The other big surprise is Joe Wright, the director, in his feature film debut which is more than promising, it's extraordinary. 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.
Darcy and Lalita meet cute at a wedding party that kick-starts the film, for which Chadha stages a boisterous and exuberant song-and-dance number. The latter should set up the prejudice side of things. This movie does not show that, which seems like an absolute mistake to me! Note: if I can believe what my friends told me, she can not get a dependent Visa, or Green card or whatever. Yet in the next scene, her parents smile and laugh and openly signal permission when Darcy looks to them for permission to embrace Lalita. What is possibly worse was the sad pathetic need of the chick lit lovers to need the 'I love you, I love yous' all over the place so they can sigh and get off on it. A complex adult novel has been used as the pretext for a low-octane and glassy-eyed Bollywood romp, at a shorter length than usual and without balancing the romcom jollity with any of the genre's usual heartfelt and ingenuous moments of seriousness.
Indeed, Knightley plays Elizabeth more like the giggling inane character Lydia actually is in the book, at times. Matthew MacFadeyn's portrayal of Darcy is flat. Colin Firth's Darcy, in many ways, is the Darcy I've always imagined. Sure, Malik steals left and right, but he also can fuse very well. Then there's the deplorable Wickham, the handsome Brit who lives in a houseboat in London's Little Venice and winds up running off with Lalita's impressionable younger sister, Lahki. Bakshi Nadira Babbar hopes her four daughters can meet eligible husbands at the event. Chadha, who was born in Kenya, raised in London, and is married to a Japanese-American, seems attracted to ethnic multi-tasking.