Monsoon Wedding

Monsoon Wedding


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The thought of a posh wedding in Delhi, with its baffling ceremonies, forest of flowers and flaunted wealth, is a little disconcerting, even for an observer. Mira Nair is not concerned with all that. Or rather, she is, as a backdrop to the ensemble. What matters here is the drama that bubbles beneath the surface, the budding romances and explosive rows, the secrets and lies lurking under the skin.

The bride snatches a carnal moment in a car with her lover before it's too late. She has not met her future husband yet. Her feelings are in tatters. When he arrives, the bridegroom seems presentable. He seems nice as well. That's a surprise.

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Four days to go and already relatives are arriving. The bride's father teeters on the brink of panic. He takes it out on his employees, especially the wedding planner, a comic character who insists on eating the marigolds. The cost of the marriage escalates into that place where bowel waste melts. Meanwhile, his fat son, who likes to cook as well as eat, hangs around his mother because she spoils him. Sympathy and encouragement are in short supply. There is so much is at stake.

Family gatherings are confusing, because it takes ages to work out who belongs to whom and how so-and-so is related to that tall man in the turban who smiles too easily, as if he's up to something. It doesn't matter in the end. For one thing, Sabrina Dhawan's script has an unexpected wit and clarity that makes comprehension of blood ties less important than the sheer enjoyment of it.

The film is fun. It gives an insight into modern India's mores. Money and sex appear to hold more sway than old style religion, or aristocratic connections. A bit like everywhere else in the material world. Arranged marriages are not high on everyone's approval list. This one should be. It has style. And beautiful umbrellas.

Reviewed on: 16 Jan 2002
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Preparations for a smart Dehli wedding expose the cracks in modern Indian life.
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Director: Mira Nair

Writer: Sabrina Dhawan

Starring: Naseeruddin Shah, Shefazi Shetty, Lillete Dubey, Vijay Raaz, Tilotama Shome, Vasundhara Das, Parvin Dabas

Year: 2001

Runtime: 115 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: India


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