Thursday, September 01, 2005

Bride & Prejudice


Bride & Prejudice is a Hindi movie where everybody speaks in English. And that didn’t work for me. Most movies are fantasies and require suspension of disbelief. But I just couldn’t get over that one big, basic incongruity in this one and as a result, didn’t enjoy it. On the other hand, my wife did get over it and thought it was a good film. So just one thumb up for this one :-)

I have not read Pride and Prejudice nor seen earlier movie adaptations and so can’t comment on the similarity of the story. Aishwarya plays one of three sisters here. Her older sister Namrata Shirodkar is in love with Naveen Andrews, who lives in England. Naveen has come down to attend the wedding of a friend and with him is Martin Henderson, an American. Aish and Martin feel an attraction but he rubs her the wrong way with his comments about India. So she gravitates towards another American while her mom tries to fix up her marriage with a NRP(Non-resident Punjabi).

The film is a bundle of contradictions. It has a Punjabi family having day-to-day conversations in English. It has the sisters singing an English song while teasing Aishwarya. I understand that this is necessary since it is an international film but that didn’t make it any less weird for me. I was turned off in the first scene where Anupham Kher and Aishwarya talk in English in the middle of a field. And I was never turned back on! And then there are the contradictions in characters like the old-fashioned mom agreeing to send her daughters off to Goa with a couple of guys.

The movie is visually very appealing. It is bright and colorful throughout and has some nice locations and scenic shots. The song sequences are vibrant and energetic though the songs themselves weren’t too appealing. The lyrics were too simplistic and sounded like everyday conversations rather than poetry. It was almost like they were composed in Hindi and literally translated to English.

The film has all characteristics of a Hindi chick-flick. There are stereotypical characters like the mother whose only aim is to see her daughters married, the father who is on his daughters’ side, the idiot suitor, etc. All these are caricatures rather than characters and exhibit extreme characteristics. There are artificial conflicts between the pairs (there’s more than one). And worst of all, the techniques used to create/extend these conflicts are lame and artificial and involves people not talking or saying something important even when its perfectly clear that they should.

Aish looks good as expected but just doesn’t come off as a natural actress. She is too stiff and her expressions, body language, etc. all look completely tutored. Namrata is more believable whether she is happy about her love or sad about the breakup. Martin Henderson is adequate but Naveen Andrews is quite convincing as the NRI. Naveen and Namrata make a more believable and likeable pair that Martin and Aish. The guy acting as Aish’s suitor is quite funny.

33 Comments:

At 11:07 PM, Anonymous ram said...

bb, did you write the review in haste? didnt have ur usual flow...?

yep, i didnt think it was a particularly impressive movie..."Aish looks good as expected"-aa...yaen ivlo kanjathanam?!

 
At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Maverick said...

I just hated this movie. After the success of Bend it like Beckham, Gurinder Chaddha made this one for the British and American audiences. Thats why those english dialogues. Ash didn't look natural at all in this movie. I just feel she puts up a fake accent and everything from her body language to her dialogue delivery looks fake. I don't think she suited that role. And btw, there was a Hindi version titled as 'Balle Balle, Amritsar to L.A.'.

 
At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Maverick said...

I haven't seen all the movie adaptations of this Jane Austen story. But I thought Rajeev Menon's 'Kandukondein Kandukondein' was a better effort than this one.

 
At 1:09 AM, Blogger Zero said...

Maverick,
Kandukondaen was based on "Sense and Sensibility" and B&P based on "Pride and Prejudice".
Only that you may find similar 19th century English setup similar in both the novels (for obv reasons).

 
At 1:33 AM, Anonymous Jagz said...

I agree, Kandukonden's adaptation of sense & sensibility was much better as a film, By contrast I found B&P so immature! Balaji, I'm surprised you've never read Pride & Prejudice! Didn't they make you read it at school for English class? I consider it one of the MUST READS. Although Jane Austen wrote about women belonging to the middle and upper classe in England during the early nineteenth century, it is very much relatable to indian society now. Their pre-occupation with class & society, status & wealth and obtaining a "good" marraige. The great thing about her novels are the keen observations on her characters and her wit - pride & prejudice is an effortless read. It should be on your next to read list!

 
At 4:35 AM, Anonymous Maverick said...

My mistake !! I meant adaptations of all Jane Austen's stories and not especially this P&P alone.
I feel that KK was a better adapatation of S&S than Bride and Prejudice being from Sense & Sensibility.

 
At 4:38 AM, Anonymous Maverick said...

My mistake again :)

Read as

'I feel that Kandukonden Kandukonden was a better adapatation of Sense & Sensibility than Bride and Prejudice being from Pride & Prejudice.'

ore kanpeesan baa.

 
At 4:39 AM, Anonymous Gopi said...

I never had any plans for watching B&P anyway :) You have got to be an outsider looking in to possibly enjoy a movie like this...'cause your instinct to see it as an Indian production would be very strong (y'know, subjective review and all that). Ash must have been pretty desperate to get into the international playing field to accept a role in a vehicle like this.

 
At 6:57 AM, Blogger Arvind said...

Songs were horrible, NRP acting was the best.

And i can't agree more with Ash's stiffness - was too artificial.

Nice review !!

 
At 7:21 AM, Blogger Angel said...

The movie didn't work for me either...
Especially that annoying song "take me to love" which is a hindi song with english words!!

After I watched the 'I am Sam' remake 'Main Aisa hi hoon' (which was 0 stars rating from my side, btw)
I thought no movie can make me cringe again.
But B&P proved me wrong...

 
At 8:06 AM, Anonymous Prakash said...

When I first read about the making of the movie, the title itself made me cringe.

As for Aish, I'll probably get flamed for this, but I don't think she's that good looking (and I'm not trying to be contrarian). She looks great in azhuvachi roles, when all she has to do is look all sad and glum. But the moment she starts "acting" or smiling, she isn't good looking.

I don't know if anybody else has observed this, but she looks a lot like Saroja Devi. When my sister first told me, I told her she was seeing things. But keep this thought in the back of mind the next time you watch an Aish movie, and you'll see it too.

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, good catch on the lack of flow. i wouldnt say "wrote it in haste" but i typed it up and posted it all in 1 go. no rewrites or edits or tinkering. u could say this is what the 1st drafts of all my reviews look like :-)

mav, no arguments there :-) btw, do they actually speak hindi(aish and her family) in the hindi version or is it simply dubbed or subtitled?

jagz, no wasn't part of the syllabus in school. but will try and read it after my current read is done :)

mav, ennaba ithini konpeesan?!

gopi, not sure if i was viewing it as an indian production. if the family had simply lived in US or england instead of punjab, i don't think it would've felt all that weird.

angel, wasnt planning on seeing MAHH and your comment made the decision firmer :)

prakash, actually i thot the title was quite clever!
but i do agree with u on aish(ram, now u know why the kanjathanam :-) there's no warmth in her beauty and she's just so stiff. i'd take kajol over her any day!

 
At 10:35 AM, Anonymous ram said...

"there's no warmth in her beauty and she's just so stiff. i'd take kajol over her any day!" --> even my Mum feels that Ash, though drop-dead gorgeous, just dosent have an animated face...andha matter elaam naan, naan paakara ponnunge (in real-life, that is) kitte thaan paapen...but yeah, i can see why the beauty of Kajol and Rani Mukherjee shine even more, thanks to their expressiveness...to me, the Rani of Black is as beautiful as any girl...there was "warmth in her beauty." For once, I concede...:)

BTW, will be on vacation till sept 11th...will miss u all...Marandhudaatheenge...!

 
At 10:40 AM, Anonymous ram said...

and, BB, Advance B'day wishes to u (remember seeing 09/05 as ur b'day on anuba98, when i downloaded Friends) and isnt Kutty-Paaps' b'day sometime in Sept too...my wishes to her....(remember she was born sometime around 9/11)...namma Parthiban style-la oru "kirukkal" sollanum-naa, "Vanmuraiyaall Uyirgall Baliaana Pozhudhil, Ulagirkku Saanthamalikka Vandha Sirumaye, Unakku Pirandha Naall Vaazhthukkall!"

 
At 10:41 AM, Anonymous ram said...

i meant, Sirumiye...

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Munimma said...

I too got this from netflix, and as usual, sitting on my kitchen counter, awaiting the long weekend :-)

Got it only to see Ash and dances :-) I have read and loved P & P and I am prepared to be upset about it. So may be I won't be

 
At 8:34 PM, Blogger Rags said...

After I saw this movie, I got convinced about what westerners think about Bollywood movies...

Marriage, Songs, Dance finally some powerful dialogues by protaganist...Ingredients of All desi movies...

 
At 2:38 AM, Blogger thennavan said...

Saw a little bit of this at Ganesh's place. One thing of course is the plethora of pretty faces but not sure if the story held as much water :-)

 
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At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Prejudice said...

I loved the movie

Hey did you guys know that the chick that played Naveens sister also played his lover in Kama Sutra A Tale Of Love?

well i think it was her!

Well Ash still ROX.. hey Naveen and Aishwarya are in the movie Provoked comming out in feb next year...

 
At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Bride said...

Yeah i heard about that(sorry i suck a spelling)Doesn't naveen like RAPE her??? and beat her up??? ARGH DRUNKS.... Man but in that pic they look SO happy (i saw sorry can find it)... if you go on this website you sould find them... http://www.naveen-andrews.net/roles/naveenprovoked2.jpg
(thats the good one)
http://www.naveen-andrews.net/roles/naveenprovoked3.jpg
(that one makes me cry)

 
At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HELP ME!!!!!!!!!
what does:
ARAY BABA MAIN AISE WAISI LARKI.NAHI
mean?
and:
KASH YE CAMERA NA HOTA
mean?
PLEASE PLEASE I NEED TO KNOW!!!!!

 
At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are a faggot suck who pretends to know what he's talking about. get a new job, you fuck

 
At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

k

 

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