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Bride and Prejudice (2004, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Martin Henderson)

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This full on albeit somewhat westernised Bollywood musical tackles Jane Austen’s 19th century comedy of love and manners and updates it to modern day India (and London and LA), the plot centres around Mrs Bakshi and her attempts to marry off four eligible daughters, however her pre arranged marriage plans go awry when Lalita (Rai) meets American hotelier Will Darcy (Henderson) as well as the charming Johnny Wickham (Gillies)….

Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has proved to be incredibly attractive to modern day film makers, the BBC got the ball rolling in 1994 with their Colin Firth wet t-shirted Mr Darcy in a beautifully recreated period version and of course Bridget Jones is P+P for the modern girl, now Austen goes Bollywood, so intrinsically classic though is the story that you could set Pride and Prejudice in space (hey now there’s an idea!!) and it would still work.

Enough of the comparisons though, in it’s own right Bride is fantastic, great fun and solidly entertaining, director Chadha was also behind Bend It Like Beckham and this movie has a similar flavour, the leads are first rate (this is Aishwarya Rai’s first English language movie but she has been a big Bollywood name for awhile now) and Henderson does well in the Darcy role, there are also familiar names in the supporting cast, Lost’s Naveen Andrews crops up as does Indira Varma as his sarcastic sister.

production details
UK – US | 111 minutes | 2004

Director: Gurinder Chadha
Script: Jane Austen, Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha,

cast
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Lalita Bakshi
Martin Henderson as William Darcy
Naveen Andrews as Balraj
Daniel Gillies as Johnny Wickham
Indira Varma as Kiran
Marsha Mason as Catherine Darcy
Nadira Babbar as Manorama Bakshi
Anupam Kher as Chaman Bakshi
Namrata Shirodkar as Jaya Bakshi
Sonali Kulkarni as Chandra Lamba
Nitin Ganatra as Mr. Kohli
Meghna Kothari as Maya Bakshi
Peeya Rai Chowdhary as Lakhi Bakshi
Alexis Bledel as Georgina ‘Georgie’ Darcy
Ashanti as Herself

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