Top 10 Goofs in Bride and Prejudice (2004)

Top 10 Goofs in Bride and Prejudice (2004)

It was hard to find ten. Perhaps it’s because there was so much color and movement in the scenes that I was distracted from searching for the goofs. It could be that the music had me mesmerized because, often, it did. It’s more likely I was hypnotized by the sheer gorgeousness of the leads and the excellent quality and attention to detail of the filmmakers. After repeated viewings and a bit of research, I am offering up 9 goofs–several of which are admittedly nitpicky–and one unwavering opinion I have held since I first saw this film. I’ll also note a “bonus” mistake that can only be considered an error in the hindsight of 2017 but deserves at least a mention. On the bright side, I have already gathered so many fantastic trivia facts that next month’s Trivia Challenge on this film will be a breeze. Note that this film is not described as an adaptation, but claims Pride and Prejudice as it’s inspiration. I found that they stuck to the plot points well enough that I personally put it in the “modern adaptation” category.

I’ve included a list to help you relate the Indian characters to their Pride and Prejudice counterparts:

  1. Lalita – Elizabeth
  2. Jaya – Jane
  3. Maya – Mary
  4. Lakhi – Lydia
  5. Kiran – Caroline
  6. Balraj – Bingley
  7. Mr. Kholi – Mr. Collins
  8. Johnny – Mr. Wickham
  9. Mr. Bakshi – Mr. Bennet

Let’s dive in then and see what I found – (In no particular order)

10.) Floating Marguerita – When Lalita and Darcy are in the Mexican restaurant, she takes a sip of her drink and then sets it down on the table. In the image, she is just starting to put it down – it actually drops out of the frame when it’s on the table. The next shot is over her shoulder where the glass is seen hovering in front of her, moving slightly side to side before she sets it down. Levitating drinks, anyone?

9.) “Not exactly” was not exactly not exactly – There is a scene where Darcy and Balraj are talking on a balcony in Amritsar, India and Balraj points out that Lalita is not Darcy’s mom’s idea of the “mother of her heirs.” Darcy laughs and says, “Not exactly, no.” Lip readers, however, will catch that he actually said, “Absolutely not, no.” According to the DVD commentary, the street below the balcony was so noisy that they had to re-tape the dialogue and put it on a track with the sounds of an Indian street. My guess is that they took the opportunity to tone down Darcy’s objection in the dubbing process.

Darcy admits to Balraj that his mom wouldn’t approve of Lalita.

8.) A matter of perspective – In the opening dance scene, the eligible ladies run down the stairs to where the Indian men have been dancing. There is a delightful back and forth of power between the men and the women, and the entire group rotates in a bit of a chase on the dance floor. The women freeze and hold their ground, raising their hands in a “stop” motion and they proceed to put the men in their place, starting with a pop of their hips at the men. In the meantime, Darcy is on the sidelines with Kiran behind the women. Later in the film, when Darcy is reflecting on memories of Lalita, the scene of her popping her hip is shown in the water of a swimming pool. The problem is that this would not be Darcy’s memory of the event, as he was not standing in front of her, but behind, with a crowd in between.

The arrow is pointing at Darcy’s position in the original scene. The blue side is his “memory” of the dance.

7.) Wardrobe malfunction – Back in the Mexican restaurant, Lalita spends a good portion of the conversation returning her wrap, which keeps sliding down her arm, to its position on her shoulder.

Lalita cooly manages her misbehaving wrap.

6.) The cobra effect – One of the funniest scenes of the entire film is when Maya performs the Cobra Dance. Unfortunately, the bottoms of her costume drifted a bit. We never see her adjust them, but at one point we see her navel exposed by several inches and the next second those harem pants are higher up than Barbara Eden’s pants in I Dream of Jeannie. The last time I checked, gravity doesn’t work that way. This is one you simply must see for yourself. Not the goof. The scene. After this, the other young ladies don’t seem eager for a chance to exhibit.

5.) The strange effect of transcontinental flight – We all know that film scenes are shot out of sequence, so it’s easy to understand how this happened, but from the time Darcy realizes he’s missed Lalita at Kholi’s door in LA and when he shows up at her door in London, his hair appears to have gained at least half-an-inch if not more, which is a month’s worth of growth. I realize that this is one of the nitpicky ones. Just go with it.

What a difference a day makes.

4.) Wait, what? When did he propose? – The end of the film is a bit disorienting. We see Lalita tending to her bride-to-be sister Jaya before the wedding and the parade-like arrival of Balraj and his family. We see Jaya greet her future mother-in-law in the traditional respectful way, and Balraj do the same. Lalita apparently isn’t even sure that Darcy is with the wedding party until Kiran points him out, banging on a drum. She goes to him, and it looks for a minute like he’s going to kiss her, but he looks up at her parents and knowing that they are watching and they tenderly embrace instead. Next thing you know they are sitting together on a Baraat marriage elephant with a big “just married” sign on its rump. Considering how much planning has gone into the wedding, and the finery they are wearing, there is an implication in the end that he was arriving as a bridegroom too, but for some weird reason, no signs of their impending nuptials are evident, That’s kind of a huge plot hole. Surprise!

Multi-talented Darcy plays the drums.
And…they’re married.

3.) Lakhi’s powers of flight – At the beginning of the opening dance scene, Lakhi was standing with her father by the doors as the men start dancing. The girls participating in the corresponding female part of the dance are already assembled on the balcony overlooking the dance floor. Mysteriously, and magically, Lakhi is among the throng of young women racing down the stairs moments later, although there was no opportunity for her to get up to the balcony.

The arrow is pointing at Lakhi at the right side of the image.

2.) Warped perspective – In the garden setting of the LA wedding of Mr. Kholi, Lalita is seen wearing a lovely pair of chandelier earrings. Later, during a scene where she first talks with Georgie and then confronts Darcy for interfering with the romance of Jaya and Balraj, the earrings are similar but obviously mismatched, with the more distant earring from the camera being the longer of the two. For most of the scene, the larger earring is obscured by her hair, but you can clearly see the difference in a few shots. The story is that one of the earrings had been lost, so they were forced to replace it with a substitute at the last minute.

Look at my eyes, not at my ears.

1.) Turns out that when Bollywood happens in Hollywood, it’s just weird – I understand that one of the stylistic aspects of a Bollywood musical is that music just erupts out of nowhere and that everyone in the vicinity and a few who just pop-up out of nowhere get into the act, but when that gospel choir is singing on the risers on the beach, I am yanked out of the moment in a big way. I can live with the lifeguards and the surfers being swept up in the action, but the choir is just too out of place. The dream-like bubble can’t be burst because it can’t even form. Using the choir in this scene was, in my opinion, a huge mistake in terms of tone. This is not technically a “goof,” since it was the director’s intention to make this hot mess of a scene.

A gospel choir on Santa Monica Beach serenades the golden couple.

Hindsight Mistake – The co-producer of the film was Miramax, then headed up by the now-embattled Harvey Weinstein. He was sometimes a presence on-set which was enthusiastically mentioned numerous times in the DVD commentary. He is also given a bit of screen-time in the credits. Aishwarya Rai’s agent at the time has alleged that Mr. Weinstein attempted to meet with Rai alone during the production but that the agent would not allow it.  

I’m curious. Of our readers who have seen this film, how many of the goofs did you spot? I will be surprised if anyone had noticed them all. Now, those who have not seen it, don’t let any of these put you off. I absolutely LOVE this Austen-inspired movie and highly recommend it.

20 Responses to Top 10 Goofs in Bride and Prejudice (2004)

  1. This is one of my absolute favorite adaptations! You recognize right away who the characters are mirrors of, and if the singing and dancing doesn’t jar you (some people just don’t like musicals), it’s an incredibly enjoyable film. I have the move on DVD and I watch it every so often because I love it so much.

    I have a thing for noticing goofs as well, and Darcy’s lip-sync on the balcony was one I noticed right away. Most of the others I did not, though I have to agree that a choir suddenly appearing on the beach is a bit jarring. If it was just people you’d naturally find on a beach, like the lifeguards, it wouldn’t stand out so much. As for the helicopter, it could, technically, fly from LA to the Grand Canyon (and back) if it stopped for fuel both ways. 😉

    Now I have to watch this movie again. It’s been a while — I’ve watched the 1995 miniseries and even the 1980 miniseries more times than I’ve watched B&P this year.

  2. This is my favorite modern adaption. One of my favorite parts is when Darcy explains the Indian dance as “screw the light bulb and pat the dog” 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. It has been an age since I saw this movie, but I always love the Bollywood productions because of the upbeat music and colorful dab
    Nice scenes. Thanks for reminding me of this fun movie – must watch it again. Well done!

    • Thank you, K. If you liked the goofs post, be sure to check back win a week + 1 day when I post the Trivia. Some of it is truly fascinating!

  4. I saw this years ago. It was OK; however, after this post, it makes me want to watch it again. Thanks for posting. I love looking for goofs or bloopers.

  5. I absolutely adore Bride and Prejudice! Not surprising, since I also love Bollywood movies! I did notice the thing with Lalita’s dress during the dinner scene, but it was so pointed and repeated that I thought it must be deliberate. Yes, I agree with you about the choir on the beach. Actually I think the surfers coming up out of the surf with their boards, singing, is when I lose the moment. But I get right back into it when the silhouettes of Darcy and Lalita are together on the beach. So romantic!

    • I’m always so happy when I find people who love this movie too. You came to it from a different path than me. I have several friends who were into Bollywood films before this came out, and I just never got the appeal until I saw Bride and Prejudice. It’s like Bollywood training wheels – now I like most of the Bollywood stuff I see. As for the beach scene, it’s funny that the surfers are what you liked – I find the surfers to be the least jarring group. The lifeguards are ridiculous in a giggle–rewind and watch it again–sort of way to me. You’re right about the end of the scene though. The sun setting behind them as they embrace does bring it home in the end. Lovely comment, Elaine. Thank you.

  6. Love this movie and have watched it several times but can’t recall if I noticed any of these bloopers! I love the colour, the music and the clothes! The saris were gorgeous! There were several scenes that stand out for me ‘No Life Without Wife’ being a favourite.

    • I have to say that “No Life Without Wife” is one of my favorites too – except for that one moment where Mr. Kholi makes an appearance in their collective imaginations after Lakhi’s line, “Maybe he’s good in bed.” I cringe at that scene every time. You just can’t unsee that. LOL. Thanks for reading and taking a minute to comment, Carole.

  7. I have watched this film many times…loving the music. The fact that that the Indian culture does not allow kissing in public always “gets” me when you see the kiss on the cheek in the closing credits among the fountains of water but Darcy can’t kiss Lalita on the cheek at the end. Yes, I did know that there is no proposal and wonder at why they skipped it…time? I like the choir singing and find the people wandering around on the beach amusing. The snake song is over the top…didn’t note the harem pants drifting down as I am focused on facial reactions to the song and actions. Didn’t notice most of the others but it doesn’t take away from my enjoyment. Take me to love. Now want to take about Mormon P&P?

    • I think the music is one of the best things about the film, although I have many favorite aspects and there are more every time I watch it. And you’re so right about the kissing. It’s a big no no culturally and the actresses know that it can destroy their careers if they were to do it. Even Lakhi won’t let Johnny kiss her (though he tries) after she’s run off with him. Oh, yes – the credits at the end are so fun. Take me to love indeed! I’ll be talking about that Cobra dance a bit in the Trivia Challenge next month, so I’m going to hold back on what I learned about it for now. As for the “Mormon” P&P adaptation, it’s in the lineup for this Goofs/Trivia series, but not for a few months still.

  8. I just enjoyed the show, I wasn’t watching for goofs. But next time when I watch it, I’ll follow your list Diana. It’s a delightful, vibrant movie.

    • I hear you! There is so much to enjoy about this film, and the goofs are so minuscule that they’re actually pretty hard to catch at all. I really had to look. A few of them – like the hip pop – were the result of me simply asking the question of how he had seen it from that angle, and I thought I had found the answer when I first started looking because at the starting point of that dance, Darcy is standing right behind Balraj and the other dancing men. It was only after the chase that I realized that that the positions of the men and women had reversed in the room. I was honestly surprised to see how far back among the spectators Darcy and Kiran were positioned at that point. I’m guessing that all the non-dancers just cleared that floor and since those two were tall, they wound up in back.

    • I’m glad you liked it. I didn’t see it in a theatrical release, so I wound up buying the DVD out of sheer curiosity. When I first saw it, I didn’t like it very much – I think because it was just so different from my usual fare. But then I watched it with my daughter, and again with my mother and I found that with each viewing, I liked it more and more. I’ve probably watched it at least 50 times now, about 5 of those preparing for this post. It’s one of those movies that gets better as you watch it, although you do pick up on more things every time. Thanks for commenting, Renata.

      • My husband can’t watch it without commenting about how a helicopter can’t fly from LA to the Grand Canyon.

        • Your husband is absolutely correct. As the crow flies, the distance from LA to the Grand Canyon is about 372 miles, and the range for a helicopter on a full tank is about 250 miles. Excellent point! Thanks for commenting.

Comments are precious!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.