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Monsoon Wedding (r)
USA Films
Official Site
Director: Mira Nair
Producers: Mira Nair, Caroline Baron
Written by: Sabrina Dhawan
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey, Shefali Shetty, Vijay Raaz, Tilotama Shome, Vasundhara Das, Parvin Dabas, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Kamini Khanna, Rajat Kapoor, Neha Dubey, Kemaya Kidwai, Ishaan Nair, Randeep Hooda, Roshan Seth, Soni Razdan

Rating: out of 5


When asked to describe a wedding in India, I have often felt inadequate to the task of conveying the spirit of the event. More a festival than a ceremony, it is several days full of singing and dancing, laughter and games, savory foods and brightly colored clothes. Director Mira Nair has succeeded in capturing the essence of this most lavish and emotional of Indian family occasions.

Using the colorful chaos of a traditional Punjabi wedding in modern-day India as a backdrop, Monsoon Wedding is a celebration of family, marriage, and love.

Lalit Verma (Shah) and his wife Pimmi (Dubey) are preparing for the wedding of their beloved daughter Aditi (Das) in their Delhi home. With wilting flower arrangements, gift one-upmanship, and a rebellious teenage son to contend with, they find themselves leaning upon each other for comfort as they prepare to give their daughter away.

Little do they know that Aditi has been having an affair with her married boss, and is having second thoughts about entering into an arranged marriage with Houston engineer Hemant Rai (Dabas), even as relatives from around the globe are arriving for the grand event.

Aditi’s only confidante is her independent-minded cousin Ria Verma (Shetty), who plans to study creative writing and is unphased by the concern over her unmarried status. However the arrival of a family friend brings back painful memories that will eventually test familial bonds.

Meanwhile, in a sweet and funny “upstairs, downstairs” subplot, the irascible wedding contractor P. K. Dube (Raaz) finds himself unexpectedly smitten by the Verma family’s maid, Alice (Shome), and what ensues is a courtship filled with moments of quiet drama and romance amidst the tumult of the main event.

Perhaps best summarized when the teenaged Ayesha Verma (Neha Dubey) declares the Australian-schooled Rahul Chadha (Hooda) to be a “foreigner,” Mira Nair has done a wonderful job of highlighting the struggle of Indians today to reconcile traditional values with rapidly changing attitudes toward life, love, and family. She does this with a deft hand, allowing the characters to deal with these issues in an honest way without preaching or pathos, and thus retaining the ensemble comedy feel of the movie.

Filmed on location in Delhi, Monsoon Wedding is filled with beautiful scenes that show a modern-day India still steeped in ancient ways. A wonderful homage to the India I remember and love, this movie will leave you with a song on your lips and a dance to your step.

Sandhya Shardanand

 

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



none now
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