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  • Bride and Prejudice - Director Gurinder Chadha
    by Zettel at 01:22 on 18 October 2004
    Bride and Prejudice

    For once I'm at a complete loss. I need guidance. Cinematically this film is a cross between Blue Hawaii and an execrable advert for my local Indian restaurant. I loved Bend It Like Beckham which really seemed to explore with humour and perceptiveness the boundaries of assimilated or at least merging cultures. I am not sure whether B and P is just good, frothy, harmless fun or stereotypically offensive. Perhaps I can't get the film right because I haven't seen much Bollywood. However it just seems to me that the appalling Mrs Bennett character in the original P and P plays because she is appalling to other members of the English culture to which she belongs because she is crass by reference to their mores. It seems to me there is something unwise at least in casting this character as a member of a different culture in that it tends to reinforce stereotypical assumptions.

    My wife and daughter have told me to lighten up on the whole thing which I am more than happy to do. But I would like to hear other views.

    See this and other posts at:
  • Re: Bride and Prejudice - Director Gurinder Chadha
    by darkstar at 10:26 on 18 October 2004
    I went to see this movie on Saturday and really enjoyed it. I've seen quite a few Bollywood movies and this was an absolute classic with all the hoary cliches. I can see why some of the characters were British/American, (attract the international audience) although I agree it might have been better if they had all been Indian, but I don't know that in the end it detracted particularly. You say the Mrs Bennet character, don't you mean Mrs Darcy? She was the one that was American. I thought she was hideous to everybody regardless of ethnic origin.
  • Re: Bride and Prejudice - Director Gurinder Chadha
    by Zettel at 18:17 on 18 October 2004

    Thanks for the comment. I'm very open to the idea that I've got this one wrong. And after all, humour in particular is delightfully diverse and what cracks one person up leaves another cold. I only posted a review for this one because some things about it perplexed me. And as I'd Liked Bend it Like Beckham was a bit disappointed I guess.

    As for the Mrs Bennett character: I mean the mother of the girls that was the Mrs Bennett character in P and P - hence my point.


  • Re: Bride and Prejudice - Director Gurinder Chadha
    by scoops at 18:18 on 19 October 2004
    I went to see B&P with a pensioner and a ten-year-old and we all felt it was a let-down. The idea was great, but the script was weak. Not enough thought (if any at all) had been put into how the twists of the original novel could be translated onto the screen. Films necessarily tell stories differently, but the changes in B&P were a result of laziness, not the limitations of the medium or the expectations of the audience. That said: hats off to Gurinder for bridging film cultures and getting big budget backing for a mainly Asian cast. Let's hope it makes enough money for her to do it again, but this time with a little more circumspection and diligence. Shyama.
  • Re: Bride and Prejudice - Director Gurinder Chadha
    by Zettel at 01:05 on 20 October 2004
    Hi Shyama

    But did she bridge film cultures; or even cultures at all? She did in BILB. Here, the relevance of the reference to 'Blue Hawaii' was that in that film every Hawaiian was portrayed as Holywood's stereotypical idea of what a 'Hawaiian' would be, always in grass skirts and grinning inanely with half coconuts providing the most excruciatingly painful bikini tops imaginable. Yet the story line had an ostensibly pro-Hawaiian versus American theme however laughably trite as in all Presley movies.

    If this was the price Chadha had to pay for American money then maybe it was a few $million too far.


  • Re: Bride and Prejudice - Director Gurinder Chadha
    by scoops at 11:41 on 20 October 2004
    Zettel: I take your point, but when stereotypes are used positively, I can forgive them. What I can't forgive is that they're used so crassly and given lines that wouldn't hack it in am-dram... It's a long time since I've seen a Bollywood extravaganza, but in the broadest terms I do think B&P bridges film cultures - it's like reading - you have to learn the alphabet before you can read even Enid Blyton. Later, hopefully, we can expect a level of sophistication in this new genre!! Shyama
  • Re: Bride and Prejudice - Director Gurinder Chadha
    by Zettel at 23:42 on 20 October 2004

    I'll defer to you on this. What you say makes sense. It's a curious situation that the ethic context for this one makes one careful what one says. It's just that I have seen films where if I were say Irish or Scot, I would feel insulted and patronised by the way I was being portrayed. This is even more true of native Americans, where I have special interest. In this case I feel that if I were Indian, I would feel the same way. But feeling indignant on behalf of someone else is very strange territory. I only commented on this one because I felt the patronising, Hollywood, stereotypical assumptions as with those in Blue Hawaii towards Hawaiians, had been imported into the film along with the money in a vain effort to make the film more commercially successful. BILB succeeded on its own terms without becoming stereotypical.

    My family are probably right - just treat it as the bit of fun it is.

    I've valued your comments though.