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Bollywood/Hollywood

Canada 2002
directed by Deepa Mehta
starring Rahul Khanna, Lisa Ray, Moushumi Chatterjee, Dina Pathak, Ranjit Chowdrhy, Rishma Malik, Jessica Pare

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After Hindu-Canadian Rahul Khanna's caucasian rockstar-girlfriend Jessica Pare dies in a freak accident, his family demands, that he will now choose a traditional Hindu girl to marry. Unwilling to do so but equally unwilling to disappoint his mother & grandmother, he enlists the services of Lisa Ray - who he believes to be Hispanic - as his Hindu wife-to-be - at least during his sister Rishma Malik's wedding festivities. First, while he, along with his secretly cross-dressing driver Ranjit Chowdhry, trains her to be the perfect Hindu girl, they seem the perfectly antagonistic couple, but as soon as the festivites start (& this wedding, in truest Hindu tradition, goes on for quite some days), they of course fall in love with each other, & she of course is a Hindu girl after all, & after a few complications, he proposes to her, bringing the formerly independent & cosmopolitan woman back into the folds of the Hindu-family. This is supposed to be a happy ending, actually. I wonder ...

 

Even though this film tries hard to incorporate some Hindu style - not only in form of the actors - into the proceedings, it's actually a rather blatant rip-off of Pretty Woman - & this movie was not all that original to begin with, & certainly below most Indian romantic comedies. Some weak song-&-dance routines, every person rather endlessly shouting out titles of Indian movies & a Bollywood-movie running on television in almost every other scene are there to suggest it's a take on Bollywood-movies too, but it does this with so little subtlety that it insults Indian cinema rather than paying homage to it. & the song-&-dance routines are done with so little style & bad dancers one wonders why they bothered - all this is not helped by clips from real Indian song-&-dance routines that are far superior. Also, Rahul Khanna as the lead  is rather bland & uninvolving. Having said that, the movie wouldn't have fared much better with a better lead & better dancers, it would still just be essentially another formula-driven romantic comedy, a bad rip-off of an already bad film (aforementioned Pretty Woman)

.

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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