Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. United Kingdom/USA, 2004. Pathé Pictures International, UK Film Council, Kintop Pictures, Bend It Films, Inside Track Films, Media. Screenplay by Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha, based on the novel Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen. Cinematography by Santosh Sivan. Produced by Gurinder Chadha, Deepak Nayar. Music by Anu Malik, Craig Pruess. Production Design by Nick Ellis. Costume Design by Eduardo Castro, Savinder Kmahil, Ralph Wheeler-Holes. Film Editing by Justin Krish.
Jane Austen has never looked lovelier than when draped in the rich colours and delicacies of exotic India in this delightful adaptation of Pride And Prejudice by director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham). Will Darcy (Martin Henderson), an American millionaire, comes to Amritsar, India for the wedding of a friend and ends up meeting feisty, headstrong Lalita (Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai), the two of them irresistibly attracted to each other but unable to connect without some kind of ethical argument ensuing. Complicating things is the arrival of sexy Johnny Wickham (Daniel Gillies), Darcy’s sworn archenemy and a seemingly perfect match for our heroine. Lalita’s three sisters, equally individual in their own ways, are also out and about looking for love and romance, while their ridiculous but loving mother does her best to find them suitable matches with serious cash. Austen’s loopy characters have no problem moving to the modern era, and giving the story a cultural shift only adds to the fun, particularly with a host of bouncy musical numbers that make the experience that much more pleasant. It’s a vapid pleasure of a movie, a candied concoction with a hollow centre, but it’s also irresistible and completely involving.