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:
- Lalita – Elizabeth
- Jaya – Jane
- Maya – Mary
- Lakhi – Lydia
- Kiran – Caroline
- Balraj – Bingley
- Mr. Kholi – Mr. Collins
- Johnny – Mr. Wickham
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.