Friday, July 04, 2008


I’m no Bollywood expert and most of the movies that I have seen have something in common: Aishwayra Rai performing and I have not liked all, only some that have a good story, great Aish screen presence, great costumes and nice songs and dances scenes. Not very often I adventure into other Bollywood movies, as when I have done it the adventure has not always been positive. But I wanted to see this one just because Ali Larter was playing the title role, Marigold Lexton.

To my western eyes this movie was better than other Bollywood movies I have seen, better than some non-India productions with Bollywood actors, themes, songs and dancing, and better than other productions that include India as a producer. Why? Because for the fist time I saw a non-Indian actress performing well as an American that tries to integrate to Indian culture and way of doing movies. Then the acting of Indian actors seemed to me “normal” to other Bollywood movies I have seen, then thinking again perhaps a little less dramatic and a little less Bollywood style.

The movie tells about a Hollywood B-actress that gets stranded in India where she meets a choreographer that helps her to get a role in a Bollywood movie and obviously they fall for each other. Obviously he is royalty and not so obviously the royal family breaks tradition and allows them to marry. As far as I know there are many romance stories like this one filmed in Bollywood, the only difference is that the leading lady is not Indian in this movie. So, the story is totally predictable if you have seen Bollywood movies before.

I was not aware of the story behind the movie and it was only after finding that is directed by unknown American William Carroll that I understand why at some moments I felt uncomfortable with the dances and specifically with Ali Larter awkwardly dancing Indian dances. But her performance as a comically rude American that turns ‘decent’ because local culture influences is good and somewhat credible.

As a movie it has quite good cinematography, great costumes and sets that play with the goldish and redish look, some good dancing numbers and well, Ali Larter really looks beautiful in a few scenes.

The film was and is very controversial, Indian and American critics trash the movie with some valid reasons; viewers are split with most Americans and Indian viewers disliking the movie and I understand as most Americans have not seen many Bollywood movies and most Indian viewers adore their mega stars and Salman Khan performance here was awkward. Then you have some viewers that have seen Bollywood movies and are not from India that liked the movie as one of the best fusion between Hollywood and Bollywood movie they have ever seen. I am one of them with only Bride and Prejudice perhaps being better, but I’m totally biased as Aish was the leading lady.

Still, if you enjoyed Bride and Prejudice this is a movie that you may like too and if you have never seen Bollywood movies I suggest you stay away from this movie as surely you will not like it.


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