"bride and prejudice"

bride and prejudice
if you've never seen a "bollywood" movie before, this is a good one to start expanding your foreign film horizon. it is a funny, modern, california dreamin'-meets-calcutta curry (or as the movie poster boasts, "bollywood meets hollyood"), bollywood version of jane austen's classic that made mr. darcy a name to swoon for.

personally, this is my first bollywood movie--and i'm glad to have chosen it. directed by gurinder chadha (director of "bend it like beckham"), the film at first makes you cringe at seeing people dance in a manner akin to morphing into an "indian MC hammer", as one character accurately describes it. but then, i found myself being amused by the witty dialogue and even the song lyrics that accompanied each song-and-dance number that would erupt every five minutes or so. instantly, i recognized that that's what makes bollywood films distinct: their funky and colorful dance scenes. it's an essential ingredient. it's as predictable as how most wholesome, GP-rated films in the philippines always end with a song ensemble, usually in a beach scene. but bollywood is far more elaborate and entertaining.

the original heroine's family, the bennets, are replaced here by the bakshis who live in rural india (amritsar). the movie explores the indian practice of arranged marriages, with a foreign flavor. elizabeth bennet becomes the beautiful and smart lalita, who meets an american mr. darcy. their hate-love-hate-love relationship takes root in india, stops over in england, connects in los angeles, reroutes to the land of "her majesty", then finally lands back in india with a happy ending, a very musical one, of course.

the best scene would have to be the "snake dance" scene performed by lalita's sister to entertain their family's guests. you must see this for yourself!

"bride and prejudice" is a cultural treat and a refreshing update on a jane austen classic. aside from the expected mushiness that comes with its being a romantic comedy, the comedy part of it will truly make you laugh.

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