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Monsoon Wedding (Criterion) (2001)

Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey, more...
Director: Mira Nair, Mira Nair
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Criterion
Genre: Foreign, India, Criterion Collection
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish, French
    see additional details...

Monsoon Wedding (Criterion) (2001)
Following up on her controversial erotic drama Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, Mira Nair directs this charming family drama about a very chaotic Indian wedding. Lalit Verma (Naseeruddin Shah) is a wealthy father who is trying to see that his daughter Aditi's wedding goes off without a hitch. Though familiar with Western ways, he has little patience with them and is dead set on seeing the nuptials done properly and traditionally. Disillusioned with her long time relationship with Vikram -- a man who is almost twice her age -- Aiditi (Vasundhara Das) suddenly agrees to submit to an arranged marriage with Hemant, an engineer from Houston. Yet as the ceremony nears, she gets cold feet and returns to see her former lover -- even though it could spell disaster for everyone involved. Meanwhile, Aiditi's comely 17-year-old cousin Ayesha is coming to terms with her blossoming sexuality and has her sights set on Rahul, another relative who is a college student in Australia. Then there is Ria -- also Aiditi's cousin -- who has a shocking revelation to make. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto and Venice Film Festivals. At Venice, Monsoon Wedding won the prestigious Golden Lion award. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

Monsoon Wedding (Criterion) (Bonus Disc) (2001)
Special Features:
  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Mira Nair and director of photography Declan Quinn
  • Audio commentary featuring Nair
  • Nair's short documentaries So Far from India (1983), India Cabaret (1985), and The Laughing Club of India (2001), featuring video introductions by the director
  • Nair's short fiction films The Day the Mercedes Became a Hat (1993), 11'09"01-September 11 (Segment: "India") (2002), Migration (2007), and How Can It Be? (2008), featuring video introductions by the director
  • New video interview with actor Naseeruddin Shah, conducted by Nair
  • New video interviews with Quinn and production designer Stephanie Carroll
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic and travel writer Pico Iyer

GreenCine Member Ratings

Monsoon Wedding (Criterion) (2001)
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7.31 (253 votes)
Monsoon Wedding (Criterion) (Bonus Disc) (2001)
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8.00 (3 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

This IS NOT Bollywood by kamapuaa June 11, 2003 - 6:36 PM PDT
10 out of 11 members found this review helpful
As an Indian movie fan, this movie has become a pet peeve of mine - I can't mention Bollywood movies without "Monsoon Wedding" being brought up. The director of this movie went to Harvard and is now a US citizen, and this movie didn't get played in Indian theaters, or even talked about on Indian film websites. There's a number of conventions which define Bollywood, and "Monsoon Wedding" doesn't have them, instead concentrating on stylizations and themes typical to American films (hand held cameras, child molestation). It's about as Indian as "Chocolat" is French.

If you are interested in an Bollywood movie, may I recommend Dil Chahta Hai, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Mother India, Kudah Gawah, Bombay, Kabhie Kushi Kabhi Gham, Chaudvin Ka Chand, Dil Se, and many other - it's a genre that's worth looking into.

As far as this movie goes - I'd have to rate it average. I didn't think characters acted genuinely, and I think Mira Nair tries too hard to push certain themes, giving the story an artificial feel. However, I liked the Altman-esque almost-documentary style, and I liked how despite the tragedies, the family worked to stay together and life happily continues.

My first foray into Bollywood by bacchus68 March 14, 2003 - 10:02 PM PST
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
This being the first film I have seen in the genre of bollywood films I don't know how it stands up to other films from the region but for me this was a very enjoyable film and a good starting point for me. It sparked my interest in filling my queue with more films I can tell you that. The film is in english for a good amount of the film but I still put on the captions option because the dialects sometimes made it hard to hear some of the wording clearly. One thing this film did that impressed me greatly was showing such emotion with body language. A simple look or a kiss expressed more longing, passion, confusion and emotional range then any film I've seen in recent memory. A lost art in american cinema nowadays where most actors talk out their feelings or just grind through them instead of conveying them through their eyes and posture like this film did. Some scenes in this film where more passionate then some of the steamiest stuff I've seen in this country and this was only conveyed with a kiss or look. It was these moments the movie really shined for me as the chemistry between some of the characters were just expressed with very little dialog at times or at times the chaotic conversations/situations around them were used to accent the look or body language the actors used to propel their growing longings/passions/relationships. The relationships/romances/conflicts were easily set up this way with a quick look/gesture here and there that defined the relationships early on and moved to develop those relationships throughout the film as the chaos around the upcoming wedding propelled the characters interactions. There really is nothing bad I can say about this film and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wants to see a feel good story about falling in love,following your heart,second chances and love conquering all.

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