6 March 2005 | sue-terry
Entertaining but uneven
Well, it's pretty hard, isn't it, to write a spoiler for a film which is based on such a well-known, well-loved novel! I will show my hand here and say that I am a Janeite. However, I am not a purist and I like many Jane Austen adaptations that many Janeites don't (for example I like 'Mansfield Park'). I enjoyed 'Bride and prejudice' for its colour and fun. The attempt to update 'P&P' to a contemporary Indian setting worked well most of the time, with the translation to India being effective because it is a society where arranged marriages are still an accepted way to go. The script did a pretty good job of capturing the essence of the story whilst playing around with some of the details eg cutting out the fifth daughter whose role in the story is pretty minimal, and making the 'tyrant' in Darcy's life his mother not his aunt (a more realistic situation in its modern setting). I loved the 'no life without a wife' song and dance routine though it reminded me at times of the 'Matchmaker' song in 'Fiddler on the roof'. However, the film suffered a little, for a number of reasons, the main ones being that it left the Bollywood- style when it went to Hollywood (which changed the tone of the film), it didn't really find a good way to make Wickham as wicked as he is in the original, and there did not seem to be the same desperate need to be married as there was for the Bennet sisters in 'P&P'. These modern Indian women had jobs and could, it appeared, be independent without having husbands, removing the urgency that drives its 'P&P' original. Despite this, though, it does manage to incorporate some of the satire against pomposity and the arrogance of the moneyed class that makes 'P&P' more than a simple romance. Overall, then, I found it a fun film and an entertaining take on my favourite novel.