Bride and Prejudice
Director Gurinder Chadha and her co-writer, Paul Mayeda Berges, update Jane Austen’s Regency comedy of manners Pride and Prejudice as a modern-day Bollywood musical, and the fact that the transition is so seamless is a tribute to Austen’s insight as much as it is to Chada and Berges’ creativity. The Bennets of Netherfield become the Bakshis of Amritsar, whose spirited daughter Lalita (Aishwarya Rai) falls into a contentious flirtation with the tactless American hotel magnate Will Darcy (Martin Henderson). It’s a joyous, irresistible riot of romance, comedy and the songs of composer Anu Malik—some sung in English, and others in Hindi, and all danced with infectious brio. In keeping with Bollywood custom, there’s not so much as a single kiss on the lips, yet the film fairly throbs with erotic tension.