Monsoon Wedding

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Monsoon Wedding ****

Monsoon Wedding centers on a large Indian family during the final days of preparation for the arranged marriage of Aditi Verma (Vasundhara Das) and Hemant Rai (Parvin Dabas). The father of the bride is Lalit Verma (Naseeruddin Shah), who is struggling with patience with the wedding planner, P.K. Dube (Vijay Raaz), and is terrified that he made an unwise choice in P.K. and that he will be embarrassed in front of his soon-to-be In-laws. In short order we meet other central players within both families including Adita’s beautiful (I’m quite smitten with all three lovely ladies) cousins Ayesha (Neha Dubey), and Ria (Shefali Shetty). Ayesha makes it plain that she has an overwhelming attraction for a family friends son named Rahul (Randeep Hooda) who shows up early from Australia to help the father prepare, even though Lalit can only call him and idiot most of the time. Ria, who was damaged as a child by another family friend who happens also to be a benefactor towards the family, struggles with the past while she sees the same man showing attraction to her 11-year old cousin. Meanwhile, P.K. falls for the family maid, Alice (Tilotama Shome), a pretty young woman who stands quietly in the background and spends her time trying on her masters jewelry. This is, to me, is the most heartwarming segment of the entire movie.

As the guests arrive we have to figure out who’s who on our own, but it really isn’t all that hard. It reminds me of another excellent film I saw recently, Robert Altman’s Gosford Park. In both movies, we are introduced to a large montage of players and are invited to just sit and listen while they go about their own preparations and introductions. As they meet each other, we do as well. As they start their own sub-plots, we are drawn into their world and become attached. By the end of the movie, I felt compassion for all the central characters and wished nothing but wonderful things for them.

Mira Nair directed Monsoon Wedding from an original screenplay written by Sabrina Dhawan. It gives us foreigners an in-depth look at current Indian culture, which most of us may be naïve about. Declan Quinn’s cinematography is astounding in the way she uses color to captivate our senses in a way that the usual Hollywood film doesn’t.

Monsoon Wedding gave me a reason to smile for two hours, and also made me feel sorrow, regret, and pride. Almost all of the characters I would feel privileged to know, and now I want to marry a beautiful Indian woman like the ones in this charming and lovely film. I recommend this movie to anyone out there that wants to see a movie that cares about the people of a wonderful family and dazzles the senses unlike most Hollywood fare.
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Nice review… Thanks, I’ll have to check this one out…
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