Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, July 11, 2005

Bollywood lite

I bought the DVD of Bride & Prejudice this weekend(saw the movie with my sister and some of my JA ROP gang when it was in theaters)and it inspired me to read Bollywood Confidential by Sonia Singh. Sonia's first novel was titled Goddess for Hire about an L.A. girl of Indian descent who is tapped to be the newest incarnation of the goddess,Kali and since the book had sort of a Buffy theme,I rather enjoyed it.

Bride & Prejudice is not pure Bollywood,of course(not an expert in the subject)but then again,it was meant to be a hybrid of East/West and it works . I was hoping that one of the musical numbers cut out of the US version"Arrogance,Pride and Vanity" would be amongst the DVD extras but I've checked both the deleted scenes and extended musical numbers with no luck. The song appears on the soundtrack and many of us hoped it would be on the DVD but unless it's an Easter Egg,I'm not seeing it.

It's a great movie so I'm not that disappointed-Aishrawya Rai makes an excellant Lizzy Bennet aka Lalita. Martin Henderson is an OK Darcy-alittle too much of a nice guy at times. The biggest scene stealer is Mr. Kholi,which such lines as "As Gloria Estafan would say,the rhythm is gonna get you!" and his Arnold Horshak laugh,I cracked up every time he appears. Also,my favorite number is"No Life Without Wife" where Lalita's sisters mock her about Kholi's intentions towards her.

As for Bollywood Confidential,the story centers around Raveena Rai,a Hollywood D-list actress who goes to India to star in a Bollywood movie with the hope of using it to jumpstart her career. Raveena finds that her director is a cheapskate lech with a rep for getting his leading ladies flat on their back,her co-star Siddharth is one of the most adored celebs in India and is painfully shy,the script she was originally given has been tossed out on a whim and is being rewritten daily and her uncle Heeru,who she is staying with,lets birds fly in his house at all hours. Not that much different from Hollywood now is it?

I did enjoy the story and liked Raveena quite a bit-do wish that the book had been abit longer(it's less than 300 pages)and had more about life in India and some more Bollywood backstage. However,it's a well paced read and perhaps Singh will write another novel on the subject. She has a good sense of humor and can create very engaging characters. Also,in the "Black Bag" section of the book(it's an Avon paperback and they have their equilivent of DVD extras ),Sonia lists her ten favorite Bollywood movies and why she loves them. That was just as fun as the story. I recommend both the book and B&P as a nice double feature for a relaxing weekend.

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