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With: Aishwarya Rai, Martin Henderson, Alexis Bledel, Ashanti
Written by: Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges, based loosely on a novel by Jane Austen
Directed by: Gurinder Chadha
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexual references
Language: English
Running Time: 112
Date: 10/06/2004
IMDB

Bride and Prejudice (2005)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Austen-tatious

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Like Monsoon Weddingbefore it, Bride and Prejudicetries to incorporate some of the Bollywood style of filmmaking to mainstreamAmerican. But unlike the previous effort, the new film, directed by GurinderChadha (Bend It Like Beckham), isfar more American than Indian. It feels as utterly clueless as the Americantourist whose vulgar behavior pushes everyone away. Based loosely on JaneAusten's "Pride and Prejudice," the film concerns a family ofbeautiful Indian sisters, all of whom are preoccupied with marriage. The actionfocuses on the astonishingly gorgeous Lalita (Aishwarya Rai), who meets theAmerican lout (Martin Henderson) in the very first scene. They argue and fightand watch a few lean subplots go by before falling in love and getting married.The boring Henderson is one of the film's main problems, but his British rival(Daniel Gilles) is equally unmemorable; the two are easily interchangeable and there's nostake as to which one Lalita chooses. Breaking up the scenes are even worsemusical numbers that look and sound more like insipid "American Idol"numbers than anything from Bollywood. Chadha's previous film, the formulaic Beckham, had spunk and spirit to it, but Bride andPrejudice is a complete misfire.

DVD Details: I tried to watch this disaster a second time, and found it almost totally intolerable. I can't believe how kind I was the first time around. It should be nominated for several Razzie awards at the end of 2005, including Henderson for his deer-in-the-headlights performance, and all of its horrible songs, especially "No Life Without Wife." Miramax's new DVD comes with deleted scenes, extended songs, Ashanti's song, a "making of" featurette, interviews, a commentary track, an optional French language track and optional Spanish subtitles.

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