Gurinder Chadha, famous and rich(worth £400m according to Rich list) thanks to the runaway success of Bend It Like Beckham, appears to be set for another mega success and of course, millions. Her new venture, Bride and Prejudice, an adaptation of Jane Austen's evergreen classic Pride and Prejudice, has created an unprecedented interest here, not the least because Aishwarya
Rai, dubbed by the British media as the Bollywood Queen, plays the star role in it.
The screenplay written by Chadha and her husband Paul Berges, retains the wit and humour of the original novel, but of course Bennets are Bakshis of India and Darcy is a rich American called William. He and his friend Balraj, who would have been Bingley in the novel, meet the Bakshis at a wedding.
The media appears to be tailing the production team all over. A Mail reporter thought there was a certain irony in Chadha using the ornate 19th century Rothschild mansion in Buckinghamshire for a scene representing a lavish wedding in Amritsar. The RAF at Hatton presently uses it as an officers' mess.
But then Chadha explained: "The story is that the Bennets are now Bakshis from Northern India". The four Bakshi girls, rather than five in the novel, are played by former beauty queens Namrata Shirodkar, Aishwarya Rai and actresses Meghna Kothari and Preeya Rai Choudhuri. One character played by Indira Varma refers to them as the "Spice Girls of India".
The pushy mother of the girls is Nadira Babbar. The critics here feel she is somewhat like Judi Dench. The females harassed father is played by Anupam Kher, who was the father of the football crazy girl played by Parminder Nagra in Bend It like Beckham. On his own, Kher is well-equipped to make one laugh.
The film will, reportedly, have spectacular settings and glamorous dances for which Bollywood is famous. The key plot point is said to be a scene in which Darcy is trying to stop his Indian-style trousers from falling to his ankles.
One can be sure that Chadha, who transported a family tale typical in a pind in Punjab to Southall in Bend It Like Beckham, will be able to transport the Bennets in the incarnation of Bakshis successfully from vintage England to a vintage pind in Punjab.