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Prejudiced Against Brides

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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

Aishwarya Rai

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About Deepti Lamba

  • I enjoyed the movie, although it was not nearly as deep as I thought it could have been. I did look at is as a sort of “safe” introduction to Bollywood type productions for Westerners who may be unfamiliar with the style, of which I am one of them. It has piqued my interest and will seek out other examples to try.

  • Chris, compared to the trash that is out there it is a light entertainer but for depth and direction/photography check out Chokhar bali and the re-make of Devdas.

  • My plate is overflowing at the moment, but I will definitely keep an eye out! Thanks!

  • Wow, she has pretty eyes.

    For those who don’t know, that picture above is the so-called Most Beautiful Woman alive, Ashwaryia Rai (sp?) that was discussed on the other thread.

    That is all.

  • She is breathtaking, and has an incredibly charismatic screen presence.

  • Another sultry pic of the femme in my Chokher Bali review and read her perspective on the AIDS problem with another awesome pic

  • Now, why in the world compare a “nice” Indian flick that your mother would like and was released by Disney to one that comes out of off-off-off Bollywood and deals with Lesbians?

    It is two totally different worlds and audiences. And I suspect, like many of the flicks that trickle out of the East and Europe, more liked by egghead foreign critics abroad than by the audiences at home. Some of the J-horror being rereleased/rebranded here the big exception.

    On the other hand, from what lil I know about Indian flicks, they sound pretty boring. I hate musicals with a passion and have no desire whatsoever to see a long drawn out repressed romantic comedy.

    And if you are trying to steer people away from the junk, and into what you call good, OK, I dig that.

    But it comes off like you are blaming this movie for being exactly what it attempts to be.

    It would be like me being mad at J-drama tear jerker Beautiful Life tv-series for not being more like a Miike flick.

    Does it succeed at being a musical romantic rendition of Pride and Prejudice? I can’t tell from this article.

  • Gurinder Chadha has made better films like “Bend It Like Beckham” and “Bhaji On The Beach” – so one expects more than cliched crap, which even the Indian audiences found cloying and boring. Films like this are a dime a dozen in Bollywood.

  • Todd, this is posted as an ‘Opinion’ rather than a ‘Review’, thus the writer is postulating that better films, more representative of the culture and of good Bollywood film-making exist. I submit her best film is the Tamil Kandukondain Kandukondain, and then Devdas, and finally Chokher Bali.

    IMHO, This barely measures up as an adaptation or as good film-making.

  • I still liked it….

  • Then you’ll love “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” – an absolute entertainer

  • I enjoyed Deepa Mehta’s Earth and Fire but was not impressed by Bollywood/ Hollywood.

    While I’m not a connoisseur of Bollywood films, all the subtitled ones that I’ve seen (in other words, not really aimed at Western audiences) tend to follow the same formula: boys meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl in the end. Stale yet for the masses, crowd pleasing. I could be wrong, but I would postulate that Bollywood audiences actually love cliched crap, just like most western audiences do, as well. This is the main reason why I don’t sit around and watch Indian films with my parents, when they are visiting! Maybe there are a lot of really imaginative, creative, Indian films out there, but I haven’t noticed them.

    The only Gurinder Chadha films that have played theatrically in my area have been this one and Bend It Like Beckham, which I thoroughly loved and found to be better than Bride.

    I beleive that this film was trying to be exactly what it turned out to be: a safe, mainstream, formulaic, English-language vehicle to introduce Ashwaryia Rai to Western audiences. We’ll see if she shows up in any Hollywood movies. I know I would love to see Rai in more “western” films, but I wonder if she would ever take on anything other than the typical “boy meets girl” films? If she already made films like this for the Indian market, I wouldn’t be aware since I don’t follow what goes on over there.

    I do look forward to tracking down the films both Aaman and Swingpuss have suggested.

  • They do sound pretty bland, which is another reason why I stay away, but perhaps they might be of interest to religionists fleeing Hollywood and its (ussually) pointless and tacky flaughting of what we used to call “morality?”

    I wonder if it is possible that Asian TV dramas and Bollywood films might end up on the DVD players of the traditionalists….

    I think there just might be a market calling.

    Sorry if I came off obnoxious, but I got my gander up cause it seemed like you were judging this movie on political lines. My bad, it is an Opinion.

  • Look at those eyes!

  • Eric Olsen

    and lips and whatnot: she is smoking hot, no doubt about it

  • JR

    Don’t dig those eyes at all. I don’t care for light-colored eyes on dark-haired women. Somebody else can have her.

  • Are you kidding, JR? I’ll take it.

    If you think she’s hot to look at, you should hear her talk when she’s interviewed. I think I love her. She’s one of the most impressive interviews I’ve ever seen — so confident, self-possessed, intelligent. I can see why people worship her like a goddess whenever she’s out in public in India.

    That’s a woman you’d have to respect and couldn’t degrade or objectify, as much fun as that is with skanks like Christina.

    That is all.