Bride and Prejudice is a stale Indian movie rehashing the plot of an East meets West marriage with glossy sets and breathtaking Ash doing her song and dance numbers. While the movie does have its humorous moments it is merely another feel good Indian movie trying to encash into a culture which leaves parents in massive debts and wanting sons instead of daughters due to high marriage costs and dowry.
It is as the Indian audience puts it ‘a good time pass movie’.
The photography seems lavish, but is in fact amateurish and shoddy – aimed at pleasing the front-benchers. Gurinder Chadha could learn a lesson or two from Deepa Mehta who tried to show the plight of women in parochial India where even in urban centers women are still fighting for social equality despite economic freedom.
Deepa Mehta’s movie Earth was well received but Fire raised the hackles of Indian society and of women’s organizations by dealing with the subject of lesbian relationships hidden amidst genteel social protocols, however it was the third part of her trilogy, Water, which suffered an ill fated death due to destruction of the sets and senseless controversy.George Lucas took out a full-page ad in “Variety” to support Deepa Mehta in her struggle to make this film when Indian authorities made clear their intentions to shut the production down. It is still in production, although IMDB marks it as ‘completed’
While the movie received the ire of the Hindu society for showing the plight of widows in India, its actress Shabana Azmi was served with a fatwa for her role in Water by elements of the Muslim community for shaving her head. From the fatwa ruling,
The Darul Uloom Sabil-ul-Islam declared that it was unlawful for Muslims to act in films. If a Muslim, while sticking to his religious faith, still acts in a film, it would amount to transgression.
In a country which has a rich culture ridden with ancient evils still prevailing in modern times there are definitely enough intriguing aspects to be reflected upon and shown rather than re-enacting the same old lame formula of rich western boy meets gorgeous village girl and despite grave cultural differences they have a glossy marriage and live happily ever after.
I would rather watch an old Satyajit Ray film which is more realistic than baloney Bride and Crappy Prejudice. For an alternative take on the film, check out Triniman’s review
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