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Bride and Prejudice (2005)

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Details Limited Release: Feb 11, 2005; Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance; With: Martin Henderson and Aishwarya Rai; Distributor: Miramax

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!

Originally posted Jan 23, 2004 Published in issue #747-748 Jan 23, 2004 Order article reprints