Posts Tagged ‘Matthew Macfadyen’

Bride & Prejudice – movie review
I recently watched the Indian / Bollywood adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice“, slightly retitled as “Bride & Prejudice” (2004).  To demonstrate my lack of culture, I first became aware of Austen and “Prejudice” when I saw the 2005 version with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen in the lead roles of Elizabeth “Lizzy” Bennet and Mr. Darcy.  I don’t remember when I first saw the movie, but I believe it was somewhere around 2010.  I have since watched it at least a half dozen times.  I’m not sure what it is, but I find the whole story and setting fascinating.  I have also watched the 1995 version made for BBC TV starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle as Darcy and Elizabeth.  I must admit Ehle doesn’t hold a candle to Knightley, but Firth is every bit as good as MacFadyen, even though he doesn’t have the physical presence of MacFadyen.  In any case, because this is a series instead of a movie, I must say I prefer the series because there is more time to develop the characters.
Okay, enough background.  Back to the actual movie review…
In this version of the Jane Austen novel, Mr. William (aka Fitzwilliam) Darcy is an American played by Martin Henderson and Lizzie Bennett becomes Lalita Bakshi who is played by Aishwarya Rai.  The unmarried sisters (Lalita is the second oldest) and their family are plugged into a modern plot that spans London, Los Angeles, Bombay / Mumbai and Goa.  The family and four daughters live in Amritsar, India  (a country town) — which is trying to be true to original Austen story, but which has its own airport, so I’m not real sure how “true” that is.
The movie has the most problems because it can’t make up its mind whether it wants to be a romantic drama or a musical-romantic-comedy.  It tries to be both and therefore doesn’t really succeed at either.  To be honest, most of the numbers made no sense and I would have preferred they went for more drama.  Having said this, I have seen a few other Bollywood movies and I think they were just trying to sell to their home market.  Other than that, the big problem was how to bring the story up to modern day times.  The plot device here was to make the characters international and hence the side trips (LA and London) being used to demonstrate the wealth of the Americans and the Londoners.
How is the acting?  Sadly, just so-so.  Henderson fails to strike the right notes (for me) as Darcy.  Darcy is the character which most draws me to the story (and I’m not sure why), but Henderson lacks the physicality of MacFadyen or British style of Firth.  Aishwarya is obviously the most beautiful of the Lizzie’s, but she seems wooden in this role.  I have not seen her in anything else so I don’t know if beauty is all there is or not, but from this role I’d judge it is.  Strangely enough, I didn’t even find Aishwarya to be the most camera “friendly”.  I thought that honor went to the actress Sonali Kulkarni as Chandra Lamba (Charlotte Lucas – Lizzie’s best friend in the British versions).
Does the movie work,  though?  Is it entertaining?  Yes and yes.  I liked the dancing and most of the songs.  The colors and the energy of India are very attractive.  Even though the acting wasn’t quite what I thought it could be, the movie is another Austen happy ending.  Final recommendation:  strong recommendation as the Indian version of P&P, particularly if you are a “Prejudice” fan – as I am turning out to be.
On This Day In:
2014 Say What?
2013 Daring Errors
2012 Are You Comfortable?
I Just Have To
In Flux
2011 True New
2010 A Job Well Started Is A Job Half Done
I See With My One Good Eye

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Yesterday was Veteran’s Day and the DVD release of Harry Potter – Deathly Hallows Part 2.  I had the day off of work so I went to Fry’s to pick up a copy.  Naturally, without adult supervision I purchased a bunch of other DVDs as well.  (To make up for it, I spent more money taking Hil, Bec and Sarah out for dinner to our local Korean BBQ.  A good meal was had by all.)  Needless to say, you’ll be seeing more of my reviews in the next few weeks…
Incidentally, the restaurant is:  Korean Bulgogi House, 2035 Salvio St, Concord, CA 94520, Ph: (925) 691-0101.  The food is tasty, reasonable prices and decent portions – highly recommended!
Anyway, after dinner, we settled in to watch HP and then Bec and I watched Pride & Prejudice.
Movie review:
I’ve already reviewed HP – Deathly Hallows Part 2 (see here), so just a few more comments.  First, the contrast of 2D and 3D.  I much preferred the DVD 2D version.  I looked for the blurring I mentioned in my initial review and didn’t notice it.  Second (and otherwise), the movie did NOT translate to the smaller screen very well.  To be fair, our home screen is only 48 inches and we were sitting a good 8-10 feet from the screen, so it may be different if larger or closer.  I’ll almost certainly watch it again on my PC, so that may resolve the issue.  My PC screen is 32 inches, but I’m literally three feet away (arms length).  All in all, I really enjoyed the movie the second time around and look forward to watching it more over time.  I’m hoping to just settle in one weekend and have an HP marathon.  It may even prompt me to re-read the book series.  (Oh yeah, Longbottom rocks!)
The second movie was Pride & Prejudice (2005) staring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.  I’ve seen this movie several times and I absolutely love it!  Obviously, the camera loves Knightley, but I think Macfadyen is terrific in the role of Mr. Darcy and, for me, almost steals the movie.  He’s not great looking in a Tom Cruise “pretty boy Hollywood” style, but ruggedly handsome in a Dennis Quaid / Jim Caviezel style.  I think the chemistry between them (Knightley and Macfadyen, not Quaid and Caviezel) really makes to movie.  I also think the details in the movie make it great.  For example, when the characters walk across the fields they end up with clothes soaked for about a foot up their skirts and capes and a water line that’s higher than the mud line.  The details in the main houses are also really minute, which makes me look for them again and again.  There is one scene where the house staff are covering up a table when the master of the house leaves and they stoop to brush off / smooth out any wrinkles on the sheet.   That’s the kind of detail which makes filming a period piece so interesting to me.
Both movies are strong recommendations!!
By the way, if you like Jim Caviezel, you’ll enjoy checking out “Person of Interest” – his new TV series on CBS.
I’m debating with myself whether I should set up a separate page to track the movies I’m reviewing…  I’m tempted, but still kicking it around.  I think I need a book review page first…  We’ll see.

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