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BOLLYWOOD QUEEN

SYNOPSIS:
Geena's (Preeya Kalidas) tradition-bound rag-trade Indian family disapproves of her new impoverished English boyfriend Jay (James McAvoy) and want her to marry Dillip (Ronny Jhutti) a nice Indian boy with a sports car. Her brothers are over protective and her dreams are in danger, as Geena tries to live a double life between two cultures and two families.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Made in England but true to the traditions of Bollywood musicals, Bollywood Queen is the perfect escape movie. Your escape, that is. Escape your daily grind with a splash of colour, music and romance in this minimalist version of the real thing. It's half the length of most Bollywood spectacles, but that's to appeal to Western audiences. Charming young lovers, annoying families and a touch of crooked business are blended with great leaps of magic realism as several fresh London locations are filled with singers and dancers in production numbers that manage to mix Indian themes with Western rhythms.

The old Romeo + Juliet/West Side Story plot is handled with verve by writer director Jeremy Wooding, making excellent use of the camera and especially of music as the film's engine. Preeya Kalidas (star of Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical, Bombay Dreams) is charming and pretty, while James McAvoy is endearing as the lad with a soft spot.

Humour is both verbal and visual; for example, at one stage when Geena decides to drop Dillip, we her search through her mobile and click him deleted. It shows her modern sensibilities in a cinematically economic style.

Full of fun but with a deft touch of drama, Bollywood Queen achieves exactly what the filmmakers intend, and should be a terrific date movie.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

BOLLYWOOD QUEEN (M)
(UK)

CAST: Preeya Kalidas, James McAvoy, Ian McShane, Ciaran McMenamin, Ray Panthaki, Kat Bhathena, Karen Shenaz David, Amerjit Deu, Ronny Jhutti, Matt Bradock,

PRODUCER: Michael L. Cowan, Jason Piette, Jeremy Wooding

DIRECTOR: Jeremy Wooding

SCRIPT: Neil Spencer, Jeremy Wooding

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jono Smith

EDITOR: Ben Yeates

MUSIC: Steve Beresford (songs sung & co-written by Najma Akhtar)

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jeffr4ey Sheriff

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Arclight Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 1, 2004







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