114 Min | Comedy – Drama – Romance | August 2001
IMDB Rating: 7.4
Director: Mira Nair
Starring: Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey, Shefali Shetty
Monsoon Wedding Review: ‘Monsoon Wedding’ is indeed about a wedding, an arranged marriage for Aditi, the daughter of the middle-class Vedha family of New Delhi, and what happens to them and all the many other people involved in the festivities. You are immediately thrown into their world: noisy, chaotic and an fascinating mixture of Indian traditions and Western affluence. Cellphones and fast cars mix with saris and rickshaws, people effortlessly switch between Hindi and English, the groom is a computer programmer from Houston, the barman is from Melbourne. It’s a refreshing look at cosmopolitan modern India.
In Monsoon Wedding, the planning is an frantic, organised mess, as imagine preparing for most weddings it. Still, things seem to be going well, there is so much laughter, music and colour it is almost impossible not to get dragged into the joy of the occasion. But there are unpleasant secrets beneath the surface. The father is struggling to finance the wedding. The bride is having an affair with a married man. And darker things. The film is full of such contrasts, women delightfully singing a love-song while a lonely servant cleans up, young people flirting while a woman remembers the old terrors, filth lying in city alleys while above the sun sets on the skyline of rose and gold. It is a heady, exuberant mixture of comedy and romance that sometimes threatens to become a tragedy.
There is nothing clever about the plot, indeed it could easily have become corny if it was not for the excellence of the acting and the quality of the production. Nothing is overplayed. We feel like we are looking into a real world with real people. ‘Monsoon Wedding’ is rich in emotion and spectacle, a vibrant and touching film. And, without being explicit, it is also very, very sensuous. You will not regret taking someone you care about to see it.