8:00 PM, 13th August, 2005
This movie brings Jane Austen's classic "Pride & Prejudice" into a modern setting with a Bollywood twist. By the director of Bend it Like Beckham, the film closely follows the original storyline of Austen's novel, with Mrs. Bakshi, aka Mrs. Bennet (Babbar) desperate to marry off her four daughters. The second eldest of these is the headstrong Lalita (Rai) who is determined to marry for love despite the advances of the wealthy Mr. Kholi (Nitin Ganatra), charming Mr. Wickham (Daniel Gillies) and of course, the handsome but arrogant Mr. Darcy (Henderson). Meanwhile, she is busy watching out for her friends and sisters, and their subsequent romances.
Being set mainly in India, the film has many Bollywood moments, especially in regard to the song and dance sequences that are as amusing as they are colorful. There are also elements of traditional Hollywood thrown in to capture a western audience. On the whole it is a fun and sweet take on a story that many people already know, and while some parts may seem a little strange if you're new to Bollywood, there is certainly plenty of humour, and, as mentioned before, lots and lots of color, music, and incidentally, weddings.
10:00 PM, 13th August, 2005
Jane Austen's book is about the following: (1) pride, and (2) prejudice. Darcy is - with good reason, but not good enough reason to justify him - proud; Elizabeth is, for this reason (and again, it's not reason enough to justify her) takes a dislike to him, and remains prejudiced. We sense the two of them are far better suited to each other than either realises; we watch them attentively and hope they'll stop misunderstanding one another. This is the core of the book - and it's conveyed admirably by the film. The only important difference is that the world this story takes place in is really nothing like Jane Austen's. The film's setting is glossier and zippier: an entertaining, easy-on-the-eye and easy-on-the-brain 19th Century that never existed except in Hollywood. But after all: why not set the story in a lavish MGM neverland? Later film versions (like the one we're screening immediately before this) have moved the action to present-day India or Blair-era Britain and it's worked well enough there. What really matters is for the two lead actors to be (or seem) intelligent enough for their roles, strong enough to carry the film, sympathetic and forceful at the same time. And they are.