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Last Updated: Monday, 4 October, 2004, 22:14 GMT 23:14 UK
Bollywood Austen film's UK debut
Bride and Prejudice stars Aishwarya Rai and Martin Henderson
Aishwarya Rai and Martin Henderson were among stars at the premiere
The premiere of Bride and Prejudice, the Bollywood adaptation of Jane Austen's classic tale, has been held in London's West End.

Stars walked up a pink carpet, rather than the usual red, into the London Palladium, which was decorated in Indian fabrics and fairy lights.

An ensemble of Indian dancers took to the stage before the film began.

Director Gurinder Chadha said the film gives Pride and Prejudice a modern twist in an Indian setting.

Struggling to make herself heard over the crowd at the premiere, she told BBC News 24 it was a much bigger film than Bend It Like Beckham, which she also directed.

'A very British Asian movie'

"I could have made three 'Beckhams' with the budget for this movie," she said.

"It's a very British Asian movie that incorporates India, England and America."

Like the novel, the film features a lower middle-class family's attempts to marry off its daughters to men of a higher social standing.

But the 10m movie is a million miles away from the Georgian setting of Austen's classic.

It is set in modern-day India, London and Los Angeles and blends English romance with Bollywood glamour.

Scene from Bride and Prejudice
The film is set in London, India and Los Angeles
The Bennet family of Hertfordshire become the Bakshis from Amritsar, India.

Lalita Bakshi - or Elizabeth Bennet - is played by Aishwarya Rai, Bollywood's most sought-after actress and a former Miss World.

Love interest Mr Darcy is a wealthy heir to an American hotel chain in the film, and is played by Martin Henderson, a Los-Angeles based actor from New Zealand.

His love-rival, Mr Wickham, is a scruffy student traveller, played by the Canadian Daniel Gillies.

Chadha said: "Once I started adapting the novel, I was convinced Jane Austen was Indian in a previous life.

"The book's themes have all been brought out, but with an Indian twist.

"Script editors told me to move away from the book, but I said no. I wanted to come back to the book at every turn."

Bride and Prejudice is released on 8 October.

Director Gurinder Chada is set to take on Hollywood

Chadha takes Austen to Bollywood
01 Oct 04  |  Entertainment
Bollywood Austen film goes global
11 Jul 03  |  Entertainment
Jane Austen goes to Bollywood
30 Oct 02  |  Entertainment


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