Now that the film’s hit a few more cities, there are more reviews to go with it.
Theres a great review in the Cleveland Plain Dealer by Joanna Connors, who seems to know her Jane.
Remarkably, they blend beautifully with the restrained, polite tone of Austen’s writing. Bollywood gives the love-besotted characters a chance to pause at key moments, strip off their masks of propriety, and let loose all the craziness they feel inside. Their liberation is enchanting and hilarious at once, and you get the feeling that the ever-witty Austen would approve – and not just because it’s another credit on her IMDB profile.
Though Bridget Jones has paid tribute and a British version with Keira Knightley is due this fall, “Pride and Prejudice” hasn’t been tackled on the big screen since Greer Garson played Elizabeth Bennet in the 1940 Hollywood production.
Many jealously regard the 1995 Jennifer Ehle-Colin Firth miniseries as the definitive take.
An unsigned review in the Grand Rapids Press also links the film to its inspiration.
Let me explain with help from my friend and Aquinas colleague, Professor Brent Chesley. Brent often has declared the first lines of Austen’s great novel “Pride and Prejudice” as the most perfect beginning of all fiction: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Director Gurinder Chadha (“Bend It Like Beckham”) doesn’t attempt to translate the dignified irony of that sentence into its proper visual counterpart. Instead, she delivers it in the form of a silly quip by a silly rich man named Kholi, who says, while stuffing curried rice into his mouth, “well, you know what they say — no life without wife!”
In the next scene, a trio of young women deliver a brilliant song and dance based on his words, plus a few other things that come to the mind of composers Anu Malik and Craig Pruess.