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Pasand Apni Apni

Bollywood-on-Thames: East meets West in a tale of two loves in 70s London

Comedy 1969 112 mins


This is modern romance, East-meets-West, Britain-meets-Bollywood style! Rajesh is torn between Rita, his cosmopolitan London girlfriend, and Sita, the Indian bride his mother has arranged for him. When his mother falls ill, Rajesh reluctantly agrees to marry Sita to please her. But their marriage struggles as Sita's traditional, homely ways are at odds with Rajesh's Western inclinations. If only Sita was more like Rita! (Hint: both Rita and Sita are played by the same actress, Simi Garewal.) Who wins in East versus West?

This surprisingly early British-Bollywood fusion is a real discovery from the archives, tackling the age-old conflict between Eastern traditions and Western temptations for those torn between two cultures in London. It's set in the leafy suburbs of West London, with vibrant song and dance numbers unfolding in parks reminiscent of the rolling fields of the Punjab and accompanied by the romantic drone of planes flying in and out of Heathrow. Packed with epic Bollywood twists and turns, some proto-disco dancing, culture clashes by the bucketload and a few painful party moments, Pasand Apni Apni is an energising treat. The 1983 film of the same name is entirely unrelated, though ironically, it was inspired by a British film, Happy Go Lovely! (1951).