I wasn’t that fond of Kandukondain Kandukondain but I love Bride and Prejudice! I suppose it’s easier for me not only because it’s all in English but because it’s made for a Western audience? The movie follows P&P pretty closely but obviously changes things to modernize it. The “Bennet” family dynamics are much the same. A friend is getting married and at her engagement party, the family meets the friends of the groom- the Bingleys (Indians from the UK) and their American friend Darcy. There is no Kitty, Mr. and Mrs. Hurst, or Colonel Fitzwilliam character. The scene of “Lady Catherine” trying to tell Lizzy not to get engaged to Darcy did not make the final cut but was included on the DVD as a deleted scene. The DVD itself is great. Along with the deleted scenes, there is a “Making of”, commentary, and full musical numbers. And possibly something else that I don’t remember…
The movie is all fun. It’s got great funny musical sequences, bright colors, and good-looking actors and actresses. Some of the acting is really good. Only one characterization really bothered me, which I’ll get into…
Aishwarya Rai as Lalita Bakshi (Lizzy)
My biggest problem with the movie! Her character was just plain NASTY to Darcy. I don’t know what he saw in her, besides her good looks. He was a little uncomfortable in the beginning but was trying his best and she just snapped at everything he said. I read on IMDB that Rai did not read the book so as not to be influenced by Elizabeth. Bad move, for sure. And the writing and directing was off for her too. Elizabeth Bennet is not a bitch! Why did they make Lalita one?
Martin Henderson as William Darcy
His family owns a lot of fancy hotels. He is not really a proud snob at all. He’s just quite ignorant about India in the beginning and going through culture shock. I felt bad for the guy, really. I don’t know why he wasted his time trying to win over the beeyotch.
Namrata Shirodkar as Jaya Bakshi (Jane)
No complaints here. Everyone looks on the plain side next to Aishwarya Rai but she was still beautiful and sweet. I liked her a lot more than Lalita!
Naveen Andrews as Balraj Bingley
A barrister from a well-off family. Thankfully he was not the oafish Bingley that some adaptations make the character. He was good-looking and easy-going and still managed to have a brain!
Anupam Kher as Mr. Bakshi
His character is again made more sympathetic than in the book. He’s a bit exasperated by he’s not rude to her and he’s a kind father to all his daughters.
Nadira Babbar as Mrs. Bakshi
She was a hoot!
Meghna Kothari as Maya Bakshi (Mary)
Rather than being pedantic like Mary in the book, here she mostly is the “proper” sister to the wild younger one. Rather than a horrible singing performance, she does a hilarious (and still horrible) “Cobra Dance.”
Peeya Rai Chowdhary as Lakhi Bakshi (Lydia)
She likes to flirt with boys and acts even more “western” than the rest of her family. She flirts constantly with Wickham even in front of Lalita who seems to be oblivious or doesn’t think it will lead to anything. Can’t Lalita see that Lakhi was really attached to him? She didn’t even try to hide it!! She is not as bad as Lydia in the book. She runs off to spend the day with Wickham but just goes sightseeing. Darcy and Lalita find them together and she goes back with them and gets mad at Wickham for saying Lalita was always really the one for him!
Daniel Gillies as Johnny Wickham
His mother was the Darcy family’s nanny in England and he caddied for Darcy’s father. He’s pretty much the same character in the book. I kind of wanted Lalita to just be with him so Darcy could find someone nicer, actually!
Indira Varma as Kiran Bingley (Caroline)
She didn’t seem to be really interested in Darcy but I thought she was a good rich snob. She was not as bad as in the book, however, and seemed to come around and be happy for both couples in the end.
Nitin Ganatra as Mr. Kohli (Mr. Collins)
He is almost related to the Bakshis by marriage. (A cousin of a cousin or something like that). He has a green card and I think works for/with the Darcys. He is obsessed with being American. He is quite obnoxious and annoying but he’s a good guy underneath.
Sonali Kulkarni as Chandra Lamba (Charlotte Lucas)
She is still Lalita’s best friend and marries Mr. Kohli but they seem to be happy. Her personality is quite the same as Charlotte’s but she’s so pretty I’m sure she could have her pick of men!
Marsha Mason as Catherine Darcy (Lady Catherine)
She is Darcy’s mother here which works better than just being his aunt in a modern adaptation, I suppose. She tries to set him up with a rich woman named Anne, rather than her daughter (obviously!).
Alexis Bledel as Georgina “Georgie” Darcy
She is still a shy girl who has a past with Wickham. He actually got her pregnant when she was 16, but no clue what happened to the baby. I don’t know how old she is supposed to be in this but although she is shy, she seems pretty well adjusted for being seduced, impregnated, and abandoned, so I’m guessing a few years have passed.
I don’t have much else to say about this. Other than Lalita, this is a really fun film. If you’re hesitant about watching Bollywood or other Indian films this is a good compromise.
My Rating: 8/10