Wednesday, May 18, 2005

On Bride & Prejudice, the movie

This weekend I saw Bride & Prejudice, the Bollywood-and-Austen-inspired new movie by the director of Bend It Like Beckam. It's light and cheery and full of gorgeous sounds and colors, exactly what I needed after a week of gray, rainy days (it hasn't been paradise in the tropics lately!). While this is not a cerebral interpretation, it is a lot of fun -- a celebration of over-the-top Bollywood song-and-dance numbers infused with the spirit of Jane Austen. And most of the actors and actresses in the movie are uncommonly beautiful, so that it seems quite fitting that they spend a lot of time prancing around decked out in colorful clothing...

The beautiful Aishwarya Rai, former Miss India and current Bollywood star, plays Lalita, a 21st century Indian Elizabeth Bennet, who is destined to be momentarily charmed by the wicked Wickham (here a nomadic backpacker), ogled by Mr. Kholi (Austen's Mr. Collins has been turned into an ingratiating accountant who emigrated to California and has returned --green card in hand-- to shop for a proper Indian wife), and ultimately landed by Darcy, a white-bread (and bred) American hotelier.

Of course we all know what happens, but it's so much fun to watch anyway. And how cool is it to see Lalita and her Mr. Darcy riding an elephant that is sporting a "Just Married" sign with its bejewelled finery?

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