Traditional wedding meets modern India

By Anita Singh

Ever get the urge to get in touch with your Indian side? Monsoon Wedding, will allow you to do just that. Directed by Mira Nair, whose credits include the acclaimed Salaam Bombay and Kama Sutra, the movie is a fantastic story about a contemporary Indian wedding celebration. The bride-to-be is having an affair, her mother is a closet-smoker, her brother has feminine afflictions, her father is having a nervous breakdown and the wedding coordinator eats marigolds. If that isn’t enough, there’s hidden romances, dark secrets and dirty jokes all hiding under the facade of a bright, happy, modern-day Punjabi family in Delhi.

Remarkably filmed, the director attempts to make the viewers feel the loud, boisterous atmosphere of the traditional Indian wedding by filming the movie with a hand-held Super 16 camera. Scenes at the dinner table, when the family gathers to sing and tell "non-vegetarian" jokes (the Indian equivalent to a dirty joke) and a scene where one family welcomes the other, make the audience feel like part of the family. The brilliance of Nair’s direction lies in her effortless power to make the audience laugh and cry through immaculately portrayed family bonding.

The main character is Lalit Verma, played by highly acclaimed Indian actor Nasserudin Shah. He brilliantly captures the ultra-neurotic nature of the father of the bride. His final scenes are the most memorable, as he proves the importance of his family with back-and-forth banter with the wedding coordinator, P.K. Dube. Dube’s romance with the maid satires the typical Bollywood (Indian Hollywood equivalent) romance. Backroom interactions between the Australian duffer and the sexy female dancer also adds some steam and fun to the film.

Monsoon Wedding is a must-see, with its bright atmosphere, traditional music, contemporary setting and magnificent screenplay.

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