Monsoon Wedding Reviews
The movie begins with Aditi's father struggling to get the flowers to stay in place on the marigold gate that was used to be used during his daughter's wedding. The next part of my film is the favorite; comical hilarity ensues when Lalit and the wedding planner Dubey have a lively disagreement over the flowers and his delay via cellphone, while Lalit is on the phone Rahul backs into the driveway nearly knocking over the decorative plants and Lalit has to jump behind his car to keep him from backing up any further and inflicting more possible damage. The next scene is where you finally see Aditi and learn of her lover Vikram. Ria and Aditi have a conversation about her arranged marriage in the cab; her cousin Ria asks Aditi why she is marrying a man her parents choose for her that she barely knows and does not love. Aditi explains that she wants to be settled and will not wait for Vikram's wife to grant him a divorce. Before the engagement party is where the audience sees the servant Alice and event manager Dubey interacting, Ria finding Aliya in the closest after her shower, Rahul and Ayesha meeting; during the course of the movie you learn how intertwined Rahul, Ayesha, Ria, Aliya, Dubey and Alice are with the storyline. At the engagement party Aditi and Hemant exchange rings and both the families who have traveled from all over the world to attend the ceremony are delighted, however they look less than thrilled. Tej, Lalit's brother in law and head of the family shows up at the engagement party and Ria becomes upset when Tej touches her and kisses her forehead. The family informs Tej of Ria's plans to go to the states and Aditi sneaks away to call Vikram but his wife picks up the phone, so she hangs up. Tej informs the family that he will pay for Ria's trip and education, Ria begins to cry. It becomes clear that something has transpired between Ria and Tej given her strong emotional upset but his presence. The next morning over breakfast Aditi and x discuss how she feels about moving to America with him and being away from her family and later on that day Dubey expresses his desire to be wed to his friends. During a shopping trip Aditi tries to sneak away to call Vikram but is told by Ria that their aunts would like the Bride's approval. Alice is cleaning and while she is cleaning she begins to try on jewelry and Dubey is entranced by her and begins to watch, his friends take notice of him watching her and come to the window, upon seeing her they yell "I knew she was a thief", Alice hears them and runs away scared and upset. Dubey is enraged by his friend's actions and begins to yell at them, informing his friends that she is no thief. Ria overhears Taj talking to Aliya and is bothered by what she hears and believes she is about to come upon something given the nature of what she is hearing, this would lead one to believe that something transpired between her and Taj when she was a child. Aditi sneaks out into the night to meet up with Vikram, her ex-boyfriend and they are caught by the cops sharing a moment, after she is hassled by them she becomes ashamed and fleas in Vikram's car. Aditi tells Ria that she must tell Hemant what happened between her and Vikram, Ria tells her she must reconsider. Upon hearing her confession he becomes upset, Varun fights with Aditi's and his parents upon hearing that his father wants to send him to boarding school. The reason why Lalit wants to send him to boarding school is to toughen him up is because he doesn't approve of him wanting to cook and liking to dance, he wants him to become an educated man. Dubey's friends try to convenience Alice that they made a mistake with what they saw and how sorry they were. Aditi leaves Hemant's car crying and he feels bad and goes after her; he tells her that he appreciates her honesty and that if they were still to be married was her decision. Varun refuses to the do the dance with Ayesha because of his father's disapproval so Ayesha asks Rahul to dance and he will not despite their feelings for each other. Rahul's Mother sees this and tells him not to be a coward and to fight the battle; another man begins to dance with Ayesha so Rahul steps up, pushes him aside and dances with her. Aditi and Hemant sneak off and kiss, while Dubey is professing his love for Alice by presenting her with a heart made from marigolds. When Aditi comes back with Hemant the discussion of kissing comes up and Aliya said what's the big deal and alludes to Taj kissing her, Taj sees that her mother needs help and offers to take her for a "drive". Ria sees him taking her into the car for a drive and jumps in front it, causing him to stop. Ria yanks her out the car and begins to yell everything that happened to her as a child in order to save Aliya, Taj denies it saying that she is crazy and Ria leaves saying if telling Lalit that if he did not believe her that she did not any part of the wedding. Lalit's brother had passed when she was young so he raised her as his own daughter, Lalit goes after Ria to bring her home and come to the wedding. At the wedding she tries to deal with Taj's presence and must kneel before his feet in the family photograph, finally Lalit can no longer take it and tells him to leave. Much to my delight the movie had a happy ending filled with color, happiness and dancing. After seeing such an emotionally moving scene I was hoping the movie would end a lot happier. Much to my joy Dubey and Alice get married in a small, intimate ceremony with only Dubey's friends in attendance, Ria finds someone who cares for her and everyone including the Bride and the Groom are joyous at the wedding.
Not as good as Nair's 1997 film, Kama Sutra: a Tale of Love.
Families meet in Delhi for an arranged marriage between Aditi Verma (daughter of Lalit and Pimmi Verma) and Hemant Rai.
PK Dubey is the lower class, foul-mouthed, wedding arranger who is interested in the maid, Alice. Lalit is having money trouble; this translates to slow payments to PK.
Ria Verma is the unmarried cousin of Aditi, who was abused by Tej Puri when she was younger.
Aditi decides to visit her old flame one last time. That does not work out well, and reminds one of the phrase, 'get a room.' The police were quite amused. Aditi tells Hemant about this. Oh, what a mistake. He tells her that they will just fit in Houston, Texas, where he currently works. He is not amused. He decides to go through with it, and I did not see any particular believable justification for that change of heart.
At that point in the movie, I was ready to quit. Slow, boring, not engaging, no sympathetic characters, except perhaps Lalit and PK. Then it gets worse; the child molestation issue was not handled well.
Happy ending, I guess. Things turned out well for PK.
Cinematography: 7/10 Variable.
Sound: 8/10 Good most of the time.
Acting: 6/10 Cheers to Naseerruddin Shah (Lalit), Tillotama Shome (Alice), Vijay Raaz (PK). Thumbs down otherwise, particularly for the actors who played the bride and groom.
Screenplay: 6/10 Neither engaging nor believable. The story is rather good, so I would blame the direction, plus poor choices for many of the acting roles.
The movie has a lot to do with Hinduism, in Hinduism arranged marriages are very common for young women, even though they are not being forced to marry family plays an important role in the selection of a spouse. One of the first steps in Punjabi traditions is the chunni chandad ceremony, in this ceremony Aditi wears clothes bought by her husband to be and wears traditional jewelry from both sides of the family, next Aditi and her husband exchange rings and feed each other cake and the two families have a party. Another ceremony is the kwardhoti, where women from both sides of the families meet and decorate Aditi with henna, singing and dacing accompany the applying of this henna, the songs are traditional Punjabi wedding songs. In this ceremony no men are allowed to join until after the henna is applied. Next comes the sangeet which is a party where both sides of the family get a chance to meet each other. And finally come the marriage where Aditi wears a bright dress part of tradition given to her by her family and garlands are exchanged.
Mira Nair's romantic dramedy 'Monsoon Wedding' has genuine likability value, filled with colour and energy. All the comedy, love, commentary on social issues, and drama are blended well with the music, dance and celebration. Mrs. Nair knows well how to delicately but gracefully deal with the human elements depicted in the movie. Declan Quinn's cinematography and Mychael Danna's score help us to be a part of the festivities.
The characters are brutally real, relateable and charming. The unsure bride-to-be who still hasn't gotten over her past relationship, the completely occupied father-of-the-bride dealing with debts and responsibilities, the bored but committed mother trying to find meaning, the usually bad-tongued wedding planner trying to find love, the unmarried cousin still in pain from her childhood molestation trauma - all these and many such characters just fill the story with brimming honesty. The actors have done a brilliant job.