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Monsoon Wedding

Starring: Naseeruddin Shah, Vasundhara Das
Director: Mira Nair
Genre: Comedy
Year: 2002
Rating: 2 / 5

Reviewed by Guest Scribe Legend

Mostly in English with patches of subtitled Hindi, Monsoon Wedding gives a glimpse of Indian matrimonial traditions. Aditi (Vasundhara Das), has agreed to an arranged marriage with Hemant (Parvin Dabas). She is having an affair with a TV personality, but since he does not seem to have any intention of leaving his wife, marriage to a stranger seems like a good alternative. All the elements of a film about a wedding are there – a throng of relatives descending upon the house, apprehension on the part of one of the engaged, and the father of the bride (Naseeruddin Shah) trying to curb exorbitant spending.

Somewhere along the way I missed the fact that this was supposed to be a comedy. In actuality, it is a very serious story where the main side story is child molestation by a relative. When was the last time you went to see a comedy that had an uncle molesting a ten-year-old? That was frankly a very difficult subplot to watch, but, as the most compelling aspect of the story, it steals much thunder away from the main thread – the questionable practice of arranged marriages that persists in many parts of the world. The protagonists are quite Western, yet they continue to perpetuate the arranged marriage custom, for better or for worse.

The problem here is that we have seen this all before, except it had dancing Russians and it was called Fiddler on the Roof. You almost expect Aditi’s parents to break into a chorus of “Tradition.” Visually, Monsoon Wedding is very interesting. Blankets and arches of marigolds add eye-popping yellows and oranges to give the film plenty of color. But the engaging visuals and cultural exercise only carry it so far.

Cast:

Naseeruddin Shah..........Lalit Verma
Vasundhara Das..........Aditi Verma

Certification: Rated R for language.
Running Time: 114 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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