Movie Review: Monsoon Wedding

By Moira Sullivan
Movie Magazine International
Set in India's Punjabi culture Monsoon Wedding depicts the four days leading up
to a modern wedding ceremony, with family members flying in from all over the
world, from Australia to Silicon Valley. Director Mira Nair born in India in 1957
was educated at Delhi University and at Harvard. She directed several
documentaries before making her feature debut in 1988 with 'Salaam Bombay!',
nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. She is currently
shooting an HBO production 'Hysterical Blindness', starring Uma Thurman and Gena
Rowlands. The film won the coveted Golden Lion award at Venice this year, an
award that irritated some Italian journalists who looked down on Nair's US
education and HBO work. Later this year, Nair served at the president of the
Berlin Film Festival.

Nair's Bollywood-like spectacle about a last minute wedding in New Delhi is a
colorful multi-arch character soap opera, scripted by Sabrina Dhawan. It's about
the Vermas, an upper middle class extended Punjabi family. Parents Lalit and
Pimmi are preparing an arranged marriage for their daughter Aditi who still in
the throes of an unrequited love affair with a talk show host agrees to marry an
engineer from Texas. The Vermas struggle to embrace the lessons of the 21st
century while still retaining the traditions of their culture. In this ensemble
film comedy, a family secret is revealed that brings together the hopes and
aspirations of a new generation and the opportunity to make choices based on
truth rather than tradition. 'Monsoon Wedding' was in fact made in 30 days in 40
locations. The Bollywood influences can be noted in the elaborate set
productions and song and dance which break through the twists and turns of the
plot. I spoke with Nair at the Venice Film Festival who says the focus of the
wedding is placed on the Verma women who help Aditi to make the passage as a
bride, but actor Naseeruddin Shah who has the lead role claims that the men have
just as much to do with the planning on a architectural level, held appropriately
during a monsoon and complete with edible golden marigolds, the wedding flower.

Here is what Mira Nair had to say at the Venice International Film Festival this
September. (interview broadcast)

This is Moira Sullivan for Movie Magazine, Venice Italy
More Information:
Monsoon Wedding
India - France - Italy - USA