Bride & Prejudice

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(2004) ★★½

Film4: Friday 11 December, 4.35pm

Radiant Aishwarya Rai (a former Miss World) as a headstrong beauty resisting her mother’s attempts to marry her off, along with her sisters. And she takes an instant dislike to visiting wealthy American Will Darcy (ring any bells? this Mr Darcy is Ring remake star Martin Henderson). Crowd-pleasing Bend it Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha takes Jane Austen’s proud comedy to the Punjab.

It’s her chapati and she’ll laugh and cry if she wants to. In a swirl of colourful song and dance, it both sends up and serenades Bollywood conventions. A sweet tooth is necessary and not everyone will find its coarse tone palatable. Which is apparent right from the start.

Austen’s immortal opening line is “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” The transcription given to Miss Rai sounds somehow different: “Anyone who’s got big bucks is shopping for a wife.”

Certificate: 12
Duration: 106min

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