Bollywood Jane Austen

by Chris Bertram on July 11, 2003

It seems to be Jane Austen day here at Crooked Timber, as the BBC brings news that Bend it Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha – announcing that Jane Austen must have been a Punjabi in a previous life – discusses her forthcoming Bollywood adaptation of Pride and Prejudice:

Chadha’s film, renamed Bride and Prejudice, stays faithful to Austen’s original story, although the Bennett family become the Bakshis, and Mr Darcy becomes a wealthy American. Aishwarya Rai takes the lead role in the film His unsavoury friend Mr Bingley is still an Englishman – in this case a barrister – and according to Gillies, who plays him, his character will be “more despicable”.

Ah, those national stereotypes …. a pity they couldn’t get Alan Rickman.



Kieran Healy 07.11.03 at 10:56 pm

His unsavoury friend Mr Bingley

Sorry, which Pride and Prejudice is this again?


Chris Bertram 07.11.03 at 10:58 pm

Well spotted!


John 07.11.03 at 11:13 pm

Indeed, Bingley’s a good guy, if a bit wussy and vapid. Surely there are millions of people who have read Pride and Prejudice, and who could write this article and recall that Bingley is not notably unsavoury.


Jeremy Osner 07.12.03 at 3:31 am

Well sure… but once you make the character
“more despicable”, he will then be “unsavory”,
regardless of whether he was to begin with, no?


Norbizness 07.12.03 at 5:39 pm

This is an interesting development. Of course, I believe that Mira Nair (Kama Sutra, Mississippi Masala, Monsoon Wedding) is slated to do an adaptation of “Vanity Fair” with Reese Witherspoon, of all people. In addition, one of Ang Lee’s first American movies was the adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility”. It definitely brings a different angle than the stolid (if faithful) Merchant Ivory approach.


Ruth Feingold 07.14.03 at 3:15 pm

Ah — now that I see the original article refers to “his unsavoury friend Mr. Wickham,” I, of course, want to take issue with the word “friend”…

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