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The Bakshis of Amritsar have four lovely daughters, and Mrs Bakshi (Nadira Babbar) is determined to get them all married off into the right hands and right family. Her first target is the expatriate Balraj (Naveen Andrews) who jets home for a wedding - someone else's. Mrs Bakshir reckons he'd be ideal for her eldest, Jaya (Namrata Shiorodkar). Balraj has brought his sister Kiran (Indira Varma) and best friend, US hotel chain heir Darcy (Martin Hendesron). Darcy immediately notices second eldest daughter, Lalita (Aishwarya Rai), but she snubs his apparently arrogant and snobbish approach. And when Lalita meets the footloose Johnny Wickham (Daniel Gillies), the love triangle is complete - except the secrets that surprise Lalita and confuse her as to which is the right man for her.

Review by Louise Keller:
A colourful collision of cultures and attitudes, Bride and Prejudice is an energetically vibrant reworking of Jane Austen's story about love and marriage. There are four weddings and no funerals in this uplifting and entertaining musical, and that's not counting the marriage between Bollywood and Hollywood. In Bend It Like Beckham, it is the soccer stud with the diamond earring who is writer/director Gurinder Chadha's inspiration; this time it's Austen's characters, whose corsets have been unlaced and replaced by saris, and conservatism abandoned for song and dance.

Irrespective of the time shift when the story is set, the theme of finding the perfect match is timeless. And while the notion of arranged marriages may have changed, it is not too hard too imagine a maniacally scheming mother who wants to see her daughters married. The story line? Boy meets girl and although the chemistry sizzles, there are misunderstanding, complications that traverse three continents before a happily-ever-after ending. Of course the film's poetic licence is as liberal as its zest for life. After all, a Bollywood musical, at times reminiscent of Grease, dictates that happiness is found in all shades of hot pink, purple, red, green, yellow and blue. No excuse is needed to break out in song, and the routines with their kaleidoscope of colours, textures and rhythms that include an amusing cobra-dance, are exuberant and highly enjoyable

From the first time we spy the ravishing former Miss World Aishwariya Rai (Devdas) as Lalita, the book-loving beauty with a mind of her own, we are smitten. As is Martin Henderson's insensitive Darcy, who starts off rather blandly, but does warm up by the time we get to his five star Hollywood hotel. The humour comes from a wicked turn by Nitin Ganatra as the vulgar Mr Kholi who makes hilarious attempts to impress in his desperation to find himself a wife. Nadira Babbar is wonderful as the matchmaking mum who will stop at nothing to make sure her daughters are properly married.

Appropriately enough, romance heads in the right direction somewhere between London and LA, when Darcy swaps his first class airline seat with Lalita's mother, allowing 10 hours of conversational opportunity with the girl of his dreams. The cast is as diverse as the culture and locations, and although the course of love is never smooth, this Bollywood style musical assures us of never a dull moment.

There's plenty on the DVD, including an audio commentary, behind the scenes features, deleted scenes, outtakes plus various features on the stars and production.

Published May 5, 2005

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CAST: Aishwarya Rai. Martin Henderson, Daniel Gillies, Naveen Andrews, Indira Varma, Namrata Shirodkar, Peeya Rai Chodhuri, Maghnaa, Nadira Babbar, Anupam Kher, Nitin Ganatra, Marsha Mason, Alexis Bledel, Sonali Kulkarni

PRODUCER: Deepak Nayar, Gurinder Chadha

DIRECTOR: Gurinder Chadha

SCRIPT: Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha (novel Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen)


EDITOR: Justin Krish

MUSIC: Vraig Pruess


RUNNING TIME: 111 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 10, 2005


SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentary; trailers; making of feature; Aishwarya Rai featurette; Martin Henderson featurette; production design featurette; make up featurette; choreography featurette; crew does the songs; deleted song; extended Ashanti song; deleted scenes & outtakes; photo gallery; production notes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: May 5, 2005

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