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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 22.55%
Average: 1.96%
Pretty Bad: 3.92%
Total Crap: 1.96%

4 reviews, 78 user ratings

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Monsoon Wedding
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Stephen Groenewegen

5 stars

Monsoon Wedding tracks the frenetic four days before an arranged marriage ceremony in New Delhi. The father of the bride, Lalit Verma (Naseeruddin Shah), is worrying about money and trying to coax more work out of the “events organiser”, the apparently bone idle Dubey (Vijay Raaz). Meanwhile, the doe-eyed young bride-to-be (Adati, played by Vasundhara Das) is discreetly trying to break up with her older married boyfriend, a TV talk show host.

The rest of the extended family arrives, including the prospective groom - Hemant Rai (Parvin Dabas) - who’s now working and living in Houston, and a cousin from Australia, the hunky Rahul (Randeep Hooda). Despite Lalit’s difficulties funding the lavish traditional wedding, the Vermas are relatively prosperous. They have a servant, Alice (Tilotama Shome), who - like Dubey - aspires to a higher station in life.

The dialogue switches fluidly from Hindi and Punjabi to English, reflecting the Western influences on the modern Indian middle class family. Although initially confusing to work out who fits where in the sprawling family, the cast is so good and the direction of Mira Nair so tight that it doesn’t matter for long. Nair relies - sometimes excessively - on shaky hand-held camerawork to establish intimacy and track the turbulence of the wedding preparations.

Monsoon Wedding begins as a comedy, based on the universal difficulties of organising a wedding and coping with a large family reunion. But Nair seamlessly incorporates serious issues and mood shifts as the film progresses. Occasionally, a single problem dominates proceedings and the melodrama threatens to overburden the lighter moments, but Nair mostly keeps the tone just right.

She is helped immeasurably by a flawless ensemble cast and a perceptive, witty script from Sabrina Dhawan (the characters are all recognisably human and uniquely beautiful). My favourite scene was a traditional women’s song performed one afternoon; the spontaneity and joy in the performances is infectious.

Declan Quinn’s cinematography (he also shot One True Thing and Leaving Las Vegas) brings out the bright oranges, yellows and reds of a traditional Indian wedding. There’s also a nice contrast with the poverty and crowded, muddy streets of New Delhi - Nair shows us the world beyond the Verma household, and reminds us of the wider setting without bludgeoning us with a lesson on class.

Monsoon Wedding is about the fragility and strengths of a large family, and the forces of love. The title refers to a rainstorm on the final day, but “monsoon” is an appropriate metaphor for the chaos of organising a family event of these proportions. The soundtrack - a mixture of traditional and modern Indian music - is, like the film itself, irresistible.

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originally posted: 12/12/01 08:10:15
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User Comments

10/25/11 Annie G I don’t think I serve marigolds often enough for dinner… 3 stars
8/20/11 hurdy gurdy man First class venture BUT somewhat corny overall - not for everyone. 3 stars
1/27/11 Jeff Wilder Great mix of comedy and drama. More fully dimensional than My Big Fat Greek Wedding. 4 stars
7/16/06 scott watterman best movie of 2002 5 stars
10/10/05 Phil M. Aficionado The thing just wore me out trying to follow it; I quit after a while 2 stars
10/02/05 Priya Pamtham My favourite movie in the world 5 stars
12/06/04 Natasha Theobald funny, moving, colorful - I loved living with this family for a couple of hours 5 stars
8/16/04 Eloise romance, singing, dancing, weddings, with a happy ending, yey 5 stars
8/11/04 kiren randeep hooda is mega fit 5 stars
8/03/04 Prashant H Manapure Sensitive movie 5 stars
7/25/04 Drew-P Touching flick. 4 stars
5/16/04 Divya Vats i loved the movie. the only where ppl were still glued to their seats even after it got ove 5 stars
2/16/04 Rocanna This film made me see the culture that I only experienced half of. It made me see me. 5 stars
1/26/04 Ravi Ganesh stoo good 5 stars
12/28/03 Sonya Amazing movie - it finally reached my country, and now Indian movies are the in thing! 5 stars
7/13/03 jarred manus good moive but Tilottama is too hot to be a maid 4 stars
5/17/03 Shefali Sharma So bad -- it ain't good 1 stars
5/13/03 kuldeep Hooda A Movie with a difference......!! 5 stars
4/21/03 Dharma Singh Randeep Hooda was going great guns..All the best.. 5 stars
3/31/03 Aron i think this is the most beatiful movie i have ever seen!!!! 5 stars
12/21/02 Freyja Lovely, lovely movie! Vibrant and gorgeous and charming, a real treat. 4 stars
10/15/02 Sandeep Kumar Punia It’s Wonderful movie, cheery to see a movie with a difference after a long time. 5 stars
10/06/02 sasha Rahul is so hot 5 stars
10/06/02 Nicole What a cute movie! 4 stars
9/29/02 Peter Sherlock Wonderful! Fun! 5 stars
9/13/02 Jaivir Hooda wonderful movie...Rnadeep hooda waas excellent ....hoodas ar born great 5 stars
9/04/02 sandeep punia best movie randeep hooda rules 5 stars
8/02/02 neda 2 stars
5/10/02 Aron A feast for eyes, ears, & mind. Extend pleasure by buying the soundtrack! 5 stars
4/23/02 Pete Fun, nice look into a different culture. Beautifully shot. Very enjoyable! 4 stars
4/12/02 Heather Amazing, amazing ...... 5 stars
4/07/02 caitlin it was very good, and Randeep Hooda is very hunky! 5 stars
4/03/02 Rizjit Zaidsura A real rollercoaster of emotions that, in the end, delivers with heart-warming joy. 5 stars
3/25/02 Craig Totally enjoyed it - and that's all that really matters!! 5 stars
3/25/02 neel Its awesome. Worth watching 5 stars
3/19/02 Teresa During the wedding dance my friend started dancing with her hands. The audience applauded 5 stars
3/17/02 rajeshjha Awesome 5 stars
3/11/02 Sonya AWESOME. Just AWESOME. 5 stars
3/09/02 huew there's not enough about the bride and the groom. We don't feel like we know them 2 stars
3/08/02 Rumi Sukhwinder's 'theme song' is awesome!!!! 5 stars
3/02/02 Cafemocha Totally enjoyed it.....saw bits and pieces of various family weddings I've attended..... 5 stars
2/25/02 Gaurav PK DUBEY is awesome..he deserves an oscar 5 stars
2/25/02 AV This wedding is infectious! 5 stars
2/23/02 Rohin Infinitely better than most of the Bollywood crap my country is known for. Loved it. 5 stars
2/21/02 noori good 5 stars
2/20/02 sridevi fucking awesome really.....mira nair deserves a kiss on her pussy 5 stars
2/19/02 Mark Olsen Excellent 5 stars
2/18/02 rabi great ...***** 5 stars
2/17/02 Frances its ok i guess 4 stars
2/17/02 Clarance touching story nonetheless...but i just didn't feel as though I'm a big fan 2 stars
2/15/02 Ash Rajendra Wonderfull and Honest... made me laugh, think and cry... 5 stars
2/09/02 Shu Yey its wick 5 stars
2/07/02 sukanya sen gupta a slice of contemporary Indian life. The film has a soul, it is direct and no pretence. 5 stars
2/07/02 nizam aziz nice! 5 stars
2/05/02 RB Beautifu! Awesome. Loved it, will watch it again... 5 stars
2/05/02 Sumona Almost convinced me to get maried :) 5 stars
2/01/02 Shivani Ramnath a must see! 5 stars
1/27/02 Deveka An absolute great depiction of realistic relationships between people, I loved it!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/24/02 pavan terrific 4 stars
1/22/02 Sanjay a really good movie. 5 stars
1/21/02 jaideep a well crafted movie with lot of human touch.leaves you feeling beautiful in the end 5 stars
1/21/02 Know-it-all Bitching awesome! Fer sure! 5 stars
1/18/02 Himanshu Chaudhari An excellent movie for a person who identify with the Indian middle class... 5 stars
1/16/02 MikeB not much of a story - but - I loved it - a very well made movie 5 stars
1/15/02 Nandini Top, top, top-notch! A genuinely moving, human drama. None of that bollywood bollocks! 5 stars
1/12/02 Tam One of the best Indian films I've ever seen. Breaks conventions e.g. shows kissing. 5 stars
1/09/02 Adam Voorhees Fucking wank, u people r starved of quaility if u think this is good. DO NOT SEE THIS! 1 stars
1/08/02 matthew smith delightful, full of fun, colour and wonderful music 4 stars
1/06/02 jayaraman ganesh must watch!!!! 5 stars
1/04/02 Andrew Carden An Indian Version Of Betsy's Wedding. It Was Pretty Good I Guess. 4 stars
1/04/02 Samuel Gordon Excellent Film! A must see! 5 stars
1/01/02 Atomic Toaster The Music is also 5 stars 5 stars
12/29/01 Owen Great Film!! Loved it. 5 stars
12/28/01 Kurenai Most amazing film 5 stars
12/21/01 viking A poignant comedy 5 stars
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  22-Feb-2002 (R)



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