Monsoon Wedding [DVD] 
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Mira Nair's award-winning portrait of a contemporary India in which ancient tradition combines seamlessly with 21st century modernity. Set during the on-set of the monsoon season, the film follows the members of the Verma family as they prepare for the wedding of daughter Aditi (Vasundhara Das) to Hemant (Parvin Dabas), a family friend who now lives and works in Houston, Texas. As the hour of the ceremony approaches, Aditi makes a confession to Hemant which could endanger their plans; while cousin Ria (Shefali Shetty) comes closer to revealing a disturbing secret from her childhood; and wedding planner P.K. Dubey (Vijay Raaz) finds himself falling in love with the family maid Alice (Tilotama Shome).
Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding is a return to the form of Salaam Bombay!, her 1988 feature. Nair's gift for observation of the everyday and love for her characters makes for a delightful film, with the whole web of family relationships that knit and break during a wedding being spun at a perfect pace.
The excellent performances exceed the often stereotypical roles on offer; the incomparable Nasiruddin Shah as the harassed father, Kulbhushan Kharbanda as the comic uncle, or Shefali Chaya as the orphaned cousin. Nair's sympathetic eye for the unnoticed and the harassed is at its best when showing the tender romance between the servant and Dube (Vijay Raaz), the marigold-munching upwardly-mobile wedding coordinator, who brings pathos and humour to the often unseen servant classes. The handheld camera gives a docu-drama feel to this celebratory look at the upper middle class Hindu Punjabi joint family, while paying tribute to modern Indian public culture of music, television and of course "Bollywood".
On the DVD: The viewer should watch the film once with Dolby Digital 5.1, then again with the director's commentary, with its excellent social analysis and fascinating anecdotal history. The trailer and behind the scenes are much less interesting. It would have been good to have had a full soundtrack of the songs but the viewer will have to buy the CD. --Rachel DwyerSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a wonderfully made film about a wedding being planned, guests arriving from all over the world, family problems, lots and lots of family love, parallel love stories, etc. etc. The family father's disappointment with his young son, worrying that he will become a homosexual because he loves to watch cookery programmes on television and coreographing dances is hilarious! The way he handles a respected family member who has abused his beloved foster-daughter is deeply moving. It has everything you want in a great movie!! The music is fantastic as well - and perfectly matches the scenes of happiness, sadness, tragedy, dancing, falling in love, drama, and finally: the monsoon wedding. As the film proceeds, you feel that you get to know the family like they're your own. And the filming of busy, noisy Delhi makes you feel like you're right there. The love story of Alice, the maid, and the party organizer, which runs parallel to the family's trials and tribulations during the organizing of the wedding, is a lovely bonus!
I highly recommend it - having seen the film twice, I am now purchasing the video, and have already bought the soundtrack CD. I'm bitten, smitten - I have become a totally dedicated fan of Mira Nair.
Though a low budget film, it features high budget, quality acting, as well as an absorbing story and world class direction. It focuses on the arranged marriage of a young, upper class, Punjabi woman in Delhi, India, which is a mecca for Punjabis. It offers a birdseye view at a family in transition, one that is ringing in new values, while maintianing the old ones. Moreover, as in all families, there are many joyous moments, as well as troubling ones.
While the focus is on the wedding celebration and all the preparation and rituals surrounding it, there are five subplots in the film, all of which are interesting, but it is the acting by the ensemble cast that makes the film so memorable. Naseeruddin Shah gives an award calibre performance as Lalit Verma, the financially strapped patriarch who wants all to go right with the wedding, but who, at the eleventh hour, is forced to confront a secret tragedy from the past and make a decision that shows his sensitivity and love for his family. His is truly a magnificent performance.
Shefali Shetty, with her large, expressive eyes, is superb as Ria Verma, Lalit's dead brother's daughter, who is forced to reveal a terrible secret from her past in order to prevent a tragedy from taking place in the present. She gives a performance so soulful that the viewer cannot fail to be moved.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is really great film, which looks at the dynamics of an extended Indian family , that come together for a wedding. Funny, sad, disturbing but also informative and colourful. Read morePublished 3 months ago by moonraker girl
One of my all time favourite films. Lovely script acting photography and scorePublished 6 months ago by E R A Barratt
Had seen this film some years back,still enjoyed it. Don't expect a Marigold Hotel though.It's about family and all that goes within it.Published 10 months ago by Christine Johnson
I bought this solely on the 5 star reviews and wonder if I saw the same film !
It is tedious and I really had to force myself to watch it to the end , it really is a mishmash... Read more
I always recommend this to people who have never seen an Indian movie. It's a great introduction to the genre - being in English and representing a typical Punjabi wedding in... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Lady Scribbles