Friday, March 11, 2005

Bollywood Lite

If you have read this site for a little while now you'll know that I love Bollywood films and spend way too much time watching them. So it was with some interest that I saw the 'Bollywood cross-over' film Bride & Prejudice the other evening. It was... okay.

Some things about the film bugged me. I understand that they used the 'Westerners think India is quaint and backward' cliché to help create dramatic tension and the 'star crossed lovers' situation required by the plot. However, but much of the time I felt it made the Western characters (and the ex-pat Indians) look like idiots and the Indian characters sound defensive and strident. Also, there were the big song & dance productions I love, but in English and sometimes with Western style music and at times they sounded a bit like bad songs from a low-rent musical. Maybe it's because I'm too much a fan of traditional Bollywood films, which this isn't.

Now for the good stuff, so you don't think it's all bad. It's mostly good fun. There are some gorgeous set-pieces in the film which use the beauty of India to great effect, and the early (more traditional) musical numbers are great. The very handsome Martin Henderson* and cutie-pie Daniel Gillies** are correctly attractive as Darcy and Wickham. As in all Bollywood films the women are beautiful, the parents know best and it all works out in the end.

Ultimately, I'd suggest see it and judge for yourself.

[Interesting factoids: * New Zealand actor Martin Henderson is the suited cutie in Britney's 'Toxic' music video, and he originally made his name on a New Zealand soapie called 'Shortland Street', and a short-lived Australian soapie about teenage athletes called 'Sweat'. ** Daniel Gillies is a Canadian by birth, but raised in New Zealand also, and also appeared on New Zealand tv. What is it with all these Kiwis?]

No comments: