Now that she’s schooled us in the fancy footwork of Mr. Posh Spice, Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha is set to turn the world on to the song-and-dance-athons of India’s Bollywoodby way of Jane Austen. Written by Chadha and Beckham cowriter Paul Mayeda Berges, the $18 million Bride and Prejudice (the director’s biggest production to date) recasts Austen’s classic as a joyous, globe-trotting musical that boasts a cultural medley even richer than her last effort: Kiwi Martin Henderson (The Ring) stars as an American Mr. Darcy who falls for an Indian Lizzie (model-actress Aishwarya Rai) and pals around with a British-born Indian, Mr. Bingley (The English Patient’s Naveen Andrews). ”Pure Bollywood is sometimes quite formulaic and hard for Western audiences to digest,” Chadha admits. ”But I’m making it accessible [by] firmly footing them in a narrative that’s familiar. It’s just a great love story wrapped up in entertaining cinema.” Which, in Chadha’s hands, should be as good as gooooooal!
Posted February 5 2004 — 12:00 AM EST
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