Bollywood to Swoon at a New Mr Darcy; BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM TEAM REMAKE JANE AUSTEN NOVEL IN STYLE OF A MUSICAL

Article excerpt

Byline: ALEX KASRIEL

IT is one of the greatest tales in the canon of English literature.

Now Pride And Prejudice is to be subjected to its most radical reinterpretation ever.

Swap corsets and bonnets for saris and pyjamas and substitute string quartets for bhangra beats and the result is Bride And Prejudice: a Bollywood-style musical based on Jane Austen's most famous novel.

Created by the team behind Bend It Like Beckham, director Gurinder Chadha has transformed the 1813 book into a film set in present-day London, Los Angeles and Bombay.

The award-winning director, who grew up in Southall, said: "There's a sort of audaciousness about taking the most British things - football and Jane Austen - and making them Indian.

"It feels very cheeky taking a great English literary classic and turning it into a Bollywood-style film."

Like the surprise 2002 hit Bend It Like Beckham, Bride And Prejudice does not boast any household names although the stars of that movie, Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra, went on to achieve big success.

But male audiences will be won over by Aishwarya Rai, the sultry former Miss World (1994) and Bollywood star, who plays Lalita Bakshi (aka Elizabeth Bennet). She has been hailed by Julia Roberts as "the most beautiful woman in the world".

Attempting to emulate the smouldering Colin Firth in Andrew Davies's BBC TV adaptation is Martin Henderson, who starred opposite Naomi Watts in The Ring. …