Posted on

Finding Happiness, Austen Style: Party with Bride and Prejudice

Bride and Prejudice

Welcome to the third of a multi-part series of posts on how to lift yourself out of the blues, Austen style.

Kindly reproduced here with permission from its author, Laurie Viera Rigler, who is also the author of the popular Jane Austen Addict novels.

 

The days are getting shorter. Winter is coming. A dragon has been turned. But are we sad? No. Because we have the cure, and now so do you.

It’s called Bride and Prejudice, the life-affirming, Bollywood-meets-Hollywood tribute to Pride and Prejudice.

Not only is it a clever, spirited, heart-opening adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, but there are also two other very important reasons for you to watch:

1. Nathan Riggs from Grey’s Anatomy. That’s right, Martin Henderson plays Darcy.

2. Naveen Andrews from Lost. He plays the Bingley role.

Need I say more? I needn’t but I will: There’s the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai in the Elizabeth role; Ellaria Sand, that is, Indira Varma, in the Caroline Bingley role; and the most hilarious portrayal of Mr. Collins (by Nitin Ganatra) since David Bamber’s brilliant work in the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle P&P.

Just watch the trailer and see if you can resist. Come on, grumpypants—I dare you.

This film merits a party. At the very least, invite at least one friend over to watch with you. Or have a party all on your own. You deserve it. To prepare:

  • Be sure to bring in plenty of Indian food.
  • And don’t forget to get some floaty scarves to wave around while you dance along with the various musical numbers. That’s right; dance. You didn’t think you were going to be a couch potato, did you? How would that help the endorphins flow?

Keep the party going long after the credits roll: Download the soundtrack.

  • Play it in your car or while commuting to work.
    Play it while you do otherwise boring stuff like folding laundry.
  • Play it just because.
  • And sing along.

Most important: Keep these immortal words from Pride and Prejudice in mind whenever the blue devils strike:
“But Elizabeth was not formed for ill-humour; and though every prospect of her own was destroyed for the evening, it could not dwell long on her spirits…”

This quote is from the Netherfield Ball scene, when Elizabeth first realizes that the then-object of her affections, Mr. Wickham, is a no-show. Instead, she gets stuck dancing with the odious Mr. Darcy. Remember how that ultimately turned out for her? If that doesn’t cheer you up, I’ll give the next two dances to Mr. Collins.
I don’t know about you, but I feel better already.

(Fun fact: Another hit by Bride and Prejudice director Gurinder Chadha, Bend it Like Beckham, is also super uplifting. Make haste and add it to your cinematherapy arsenal.)

Laurie Viera Rigler is the author of the Jane Austen Addict series.

Visit her at her website www.janeaustenaddict.com

Posted on

Kandukondain Kandukondain: The Indian Film Industry takes on Jane Austen

It is a truth universally acknowledged…that Jane Austen’s works must be popular wherever they are found. While her works have been translated into many languages across the world, it is only the recent films that have made her a household name, with even small children familiar with her characters and plots. It’s no surprise, then, that Bollywood, the nickname given to the Indian film industry (“B” for Bombay) – should begin producing it’s own Austen inspired films.

The Indian film industry is huge, producing up to 800 movies a year – twice as many as Hollywood – important since about 14 million Indian people go to the cinema everyday. With that kind of demand, English language films are often the inspiration for these grand musicals. Yes, musicals. Packed with color, comedy (though sometimes inadvertant) and lavish musical numbers, these films are like none produced anywhere else.

In 2000, a modernized version of Sense and Sensibility was produced, entitled Kandukondain Kandukondain. The film (in Tamil with English subtitles) follows two sisters after the death of their father. When their stepbrother and sister-in-law force them from their family home, they are left to find work in the big city to care for their mother and younger sister. The pretty middle sister, though unlucky in love at first (ah! The schemeing and unworthy stockbroker who breaks her heart!) finally finds romance with an older soldier who is a friend of the family. The oldest sister, while it seems hopeless at first, at last marries her knight in shining armor, a young, up and coming filmmaker who is ostracized by his father after rejecting the family business in hopes of a directorial career.

The cult following Kandukondain recieved, in some part, must have inspired Gurinder Chadha, the director of the acclaimed film Bend it like Beckham. She is in the middle of filming a modernized English language version of Pride and Prejudice, that, while Bollywood in nature, is meant to appeal to widespread British and American audiences.

Starring Aishwarya Rai, a former Miss World, as Lalita Bakshi and Martin Henderson (Windtalkers) as Will Darcy, it looks to be the most unusual member of the Austen film family yet. The movie, which began filming in London in July (2003) tells the story of a family with four daughters and how their parents find it difficult to find grooms for them because they cannot afford to pay huge sums as dowry. “Our version may have different cultures and settings, but it’s still about people marrying from different backgrounds.” Says the Chadha. The movie which will include song and dance routines (and is said to be “all singing/ all dancing”!?) is being filmed on location in India, the UK and U.S. “Other British films are said to be ‘too small and inward-looking’ but this hopefully pushes the boundaries of what British cinema is…My intention with this film is to introduce Bollywood cinema with a British twist to all the towns and cities and the heart of people across America.”

Kandukondain Kandukondain is occasionally shown on British television and is available on DVD.


Laura Boyle is a collector of Jane Austen Films and film memorabilia. She also runs Austentation, a company that specializes in custom made Regency Accessories.