So I may be a year late on this, but I finally watched Bride and Prejudice, starring Aishwarya Rai. And as beautiful as she can look, Aishwarya just comes off as a really bad actress.
Okay, so English may not be her first language, but she clearly knows the language well enough to carry herself elegantly when speaking to Oprah or at Miss World (or was it Miss Universe?). But in this movie, either she got really bad direction from Gurinder Chadha or Aishwarya just doesn't understand which words to emphasize in a sentence. She got better as the move progrssed, but that could just be me getting used to the odd speaking style.
In any case, the acting (not just her's) comes off as very wooden and awkward. As good as Chadha did with Bend it Like Bekham, she's done a really bad job with this one. As I mentioned, acting throughout feels really awkward. Perhaps it's just the most of the actors are used to acting in Hindi and not English, but that's no excuse when you're a British director making a movie in English.
In addition to bad acting, this movie is plagued by way too many musical numbers. They're bad enough when they're in Hindi, but when they're in English, they make me want to gag. It's a novelty at first, but after about 15 seconds, you wonder what Chadha is thinknig. Is she trying to be tongue-in-cheek with the musical numbers? If so, she went too far. Is she serious with them? If so, she's insane.
I think what's bad about the musical numbers is actually the lyrics. I don't watch Enlgish stage musicals, but the bits I've seen have some lyrical and musical flow. These numbers just have horribly written lyrics with absolutely no flow and with gag-inducing rhymes. I said that Hindi musical numbers are bad, but in actuality, they're quite good for what they're aiming at. Nowadays they're not just well produced, but they work well in the flow of movie and have lyrics which work in the course of the song. The musical numbers in Bride and Prejudice may be well produced, but that's it.
So in case you haven't figured it out, I won't be watching this movie again and I suggest you stay away from it as well.