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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 5 April 2002
After having seen this film when it first came out, I felt like I'd been to a wonderful, fantastic, huge family party as I left the movie theatre. A party with wonderful food, lots of bubbly champagne, a deliciously sweet dessert and a rich, dark cup of coffee with a fine brandy to go with it. And then dancing and more bubbly, giggly champagne!!
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.
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on 12 August 2017
Lovingly depeicts the conflicts in modern Delhi with a sharp but sympathetic wit.
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on 15 February 2016
Light hearted, enjoyable
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on 18 June 2002
This feel good film makes you want to stand up and have a go at the Indian dances you see in it, get into Indian music and buy a sari - as well as marrying Delhi-style! A celebration of all that is good in life and love, it also depicts the tragedies of an affluent family and how to overcome them with dignity, honesty and a good sense of humour - as wedding ceremonies take place and the monsoon rain makes its appearance. The brilliant soundtrack just adds to it and it's as charming as the film, while the DVD features are definitely a bonus, especially Mira Nair's commentary - full of insight, anecdotes and interesting details. And to round it up, a peek behind the scenes. Must-see and definitely must-have.
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on 24 August 2009
What's middle-class urban India today? Is this a chick-flick, a bit of upmarket Bollywood or cultural examination?
Well, all three and a whole lot more that adds up to lots of fun, lots of colour and plenty to think about which is relevant to the sub-continent and anywhere else in the world.
It begins in the final stages of preparations for a family wedding. The whole extended family has been invited, the marriage is arranged but the bridal couple are modern, westernised and successful.
You'll laugh out loud, you'll sing along, maybe even dance along, your heartstrings will be tugged and you'll be given serious things to think about that have a relevance worldwide.
From the first scene you'll be absorbed into the events, as one of the guests. You're there and sharing in a major family event - in Hindi and and in English. You won't need explanations, you'll feel how it is and know.
Satisfying on so many levels.

Loved it, have given it as a gift many times and can see it over and over.
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Monsoon Wedding traces the Verma family and follows various family members as they travel from across the world to be present at an arranged marriage in New Delhi. Problem is; there's a monsoon coming and until it breaks people are going just slightly 'Monsoon Crazy'. Much of that craziness is reflected in the film. Events continue to build until the rain breaks and then, suddenly, the pace eases off and there's a gentle, heart warming end after all the tension.

There are a some lovely contrasts between the old and the new, traditional and nontraditional, as the characters come under the spotlight and slowly there emerges five different stories of love which span continents, explore morality and cross through social divides. There's much here that's comic but there's also sadness and drama among the music. I particularly enjoyed the relationship between the wedding arranger and the servant girl which almost made me stand up and 'whoop' close to the end......though I'm not telling you why!.

Monsoon Wedding is a complex movie and packs a great many messages into approx. 109 minutes. There's romance, heartbreak, intrigue, music and comedy but; look between the lines. There you'll find a real tribute to the past and future of New Delhi and a real love of it's culture and it's people.

Monsoon Wedding is a journey away from traditional Bollywood.

I'm reviewing the UK DVD 'Film Four' version. Run time is approx. 100 mins. Special features; Theatrical Trailer, Director's Commentary, Cast and Crew Interviews. Director; Mira Nair.
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on 16 April 2002
If you are expecting to see a typical Bollywood film in 'Monsoon Wedding' then you will be sorely dissapointed. It does have pangs of Bollywod but the overall effect is more of a Western film engaging with the East and in this sense it becomes far more interest as a film. Having said that it does not snub Bollywood as a whole. We still see elements of the typical melodrama as well as a fantastic musical score. Naseeruddin Shah delivers a typically perfect performance as the patriarchical figure whilst the rest of the cast are all very competent. The plot is one that moves along fantasically fast and deals with issues that have up until now been left alone by Bollywood however we do see the typical love stories and humour that makes such films so watchable. If you enjoy watching well acted and captivating films of any region then 'Monsoon Wedding' will not disappoint, in fact I would say that it would be one of the better films to buy on DVD.
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Having adored "The Namesake" (see Review) and even her small bit in the multiple Directors showcase "New York I Love You" (both of which I own on DVD) - I wanted to search out more of Mira Nair's film work and was drawn to her wonderful 2001 debut "Monsoon Wedding" (which I also nabbed on DVD). But I want to upgrade the lot onto BLU RAY and therein lies way too many problems...

As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of "Monsoon Wedding" with the BLU RAY being available in the States and A European Country. But which BR issue do you buy if you live in Blighty?

Unfortunately the uber-desirable USA Criterion release is REGION-A LOCKED - although it doesn't say so on Amazon.
So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don't confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front - that won't help.

Luckily the Euro release (with foreign language all over the rear of the box) is REGION B - so that will play the English language film on UK machines - but it's hard to find and has acquired an extortionate price tag because of this.

So check your player's region coding acceptability if you want the American Criterion release (which is said to have a stunning transfer)...or call your bank manager if you want the Euro version...
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on 17 February 2007
This is a most engrossing and enjoyable film, but one that is not without flaws. Monsoon Wedding, as the director explains in one of the DVD's "extra" tracks, is a celebration of the upper middle class urban Punjabi life style: energetic, ambitious, Westernized, noisy and earthy. Underlying the film is the tension between modernity and tradition in India today, a contrast that the director often makes explicit by switching from the sophistication of the wealthy family preparing for the wedding to the wonderful, ageless chaos of the Delhi streets. There are moments of ravishing cinematography - the scenes filmed in the rain are quite magnificently done, for example. The colours (the director throughout favours blocks of pastel shades) and the music are impressive, but not quite as spectacular as some reviewers have suggested, and some people may find the tale as a whole a frustratingly slight one. It is sometimes rather difficult to follow the English passages, and there are episodes of the plot (such as it is) that are a little unconvincing. The bride-to-be, for instance, switches overnight from a passionate affair with her lover, to an almost equally passionate attachment to her fiancé, with an ease that rather beggars belief. These aspects apart, this is a fast-moving, watchable and memorable film, and one that is very much worth seeing.
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This is another outstanding film by director Mira Nair, who has previously directed such wonderful films as Academy Award nominee "Salaam Bombay", the lush and erotic "Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love", and "Mississippi Masala". This is a director whose very touch turns all her films to gold. She is truly an artist, and her films are palpable with feeling and emotion that move the storyline.
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. Aditi, the daughter who is to be married, is a walking paradox, agreeing to an arranged marriage, while simultaneously having an affair with a married man. The role is beautifully played by relative newcomer, Vasundhara Das, who in real life is an Indian pop star. Her prospective bridegroom, Hemant Rai, is played with modern sensiblility, by the very attractive Parvin Dabas, a real life, male fashion model, in his first silver screen role.

Vijay Raaz, in a breakout performance as P. K. Dubey, the wedding events coordinator, adds a deft comedic touch. It is his poignant wooing of the Verma family's maid, Alice, that nearly steals the show. Look for the nightime marigold scene in which Dubey puts Shakespeare's Romeo to shame. Tilotama Shome, in her first silver screen role, brings a subtle, sensual shyness to the part of Alice that is touching. Theirs is an interesting coupling, as P. K. Dubey personifies the new India, with his cell phone, his entreperneurial flair, and his email address, while Alice, the shy servant girl who is always dressed in a sari, seems to symbolize a more traditional India.
The film is a polyglot of languages, with English, Hindi, and Punjabi spoken at different times by various family members. I confess that I found it a little confusing to have the subtitles crop up, on and off, and I also found the English spoken a little difficult to understand, at times. So, thanks to DVD technology, I was able to watch the film with English subtitles on the entire time, so as not to miss a thing. The cinematography is beautiful in this film, with lush, vibrant colors throughout. The occasional use of handheld cameras throughout the film gives it the feel of a docudrama, at times, which is very effective, as the film is a voyeuristic look into a family. Moreover, this filming technique adds to the cacaphony of feeling and emotion that abounds in this film.
The DVD offers a limited number of features, the most interesting one being the director's commentary, which is an insightful and very personal look into the making of the film and the selection of the actors, as well as the backround and reasons for each scene. It is clear that for the director, who is herself Punjabi, this film was a labor of love. Bravo!
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