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|Index||213 reviews in total|
Monsoon Wedding: Representative of a Changing Society
Contemporary views have struggled in the battle with traditional ways in
Delhi, India. This concept most aptly seen in one of India's largest
markets, cinema, has dramatically impacted society. Monsoon Wedding, a
highly acclaimed film by Mira Nair is the epitome of a changing culture
India. The movie summarizes a Punjabi family whom is brought together for
arranged marriage. The foremost problem with the family gathering is the
difference in opinions between the parents and the generation that ensue
This film is not only representative of India and its struggle between
dot-com era and more traditional views but of an entire genre of movies
have adapted to benefit in changing times. Over the past few years if a
festival were not handing out awards for a patriotic and propaganda
war film then it was beseeched with praise from a distraught and broken
family struggling to make ends meet with a bizarre twist of an ending.
Case-and-point 8 Mile, a film which faired very well at last weeks Academy Awards portrayed the epitome a broken family. To think that just 30-40 years ago shows such as `The Brady Bunch' and `The Partridge Family' dominated the airwaves. Divorce and domestic violence claiming a much greater abundance in today's society have become capitalized and marketed much like a late night infomercial, pounded over-and-over into the brain of society. The lifestyle in these films are still not acceptable but rather tolerated with the conclusive idea that something bright might be attainable at the end of the tunnel. Betrayal, abuse, & adultery have become fixations on representing what occurs in a typical family. This saddens the hearts of few but merely is entertainment for the masses that gather around the television or voyage out for a Saturday matinee. Cinema that represent this negative aspect in society are not faulty nor the causation of what in actuality it does portray, but rather a strategic marketing tool for success in the film industry. Reluctance does not falter at the idea that cinema is trying to display a reality found in society but rather the need for audiences to view this over-dramatic representation of their own lives. Sickeningly, I'll be first in line with a bag of popcorn in my hand.
Renting this video, I broke a hard and fast rule: never see a movie that's
described as `heartwarming,' or which has `Marriage' or `Wedding' as part of
the title. I had recently seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which was such a
big exception to the rule I thought I'd give this one a shot, especially
since Ebert and Roeper had given it two big thumbs up. But this flick
reaffirmed the correctness of my rule.
There are many things about this film that make it contrived, mawkish, saccharine and silly, but one thing in particular stands out as particularly egregious: right in the middle of the frenzied wedding preparations, while everyone is bubbly with joy, love and forgiveness just bursting to sing and dance and eat marigolds at the drop of a hat the plot meanders, very awkwardly, into the issue of childhood sexual abuse. The entire film is disjointed, with abrupt transitions that feel premature. But this is totally out of place.
As best I can tell, the reason for these disgustingly shallow scenes is to change the viewer's attitude towards the father of the bride, who, until this point, has been rude, controlling, and obnoxious. But then he steps in to protect the child victim, driving away his own relatives in the process. So now, our sympathies are supposed to change, because now he's a hero: a man of honor and duty, we understand that the conflicting obligations to tradition and family have been tormenting him. The film uses this as a theatrical tableau with which to highlight his loyal, moral character. The victims of abuse are used as a foil to draw us into the father's conflicted world of obligations.
Meanwhile, the injured parties, who invariably grow up to be egregious abusers themselves if left untreated, are just props. Their stories are discarded like wrapping paper. So the film succeeds in defending the perpetrator mentality, downplaying the victim's pain and anguish for the sake of a giddy, fatuous, offensive emotional ejaculation, which occurs at the end of the movie joy joy joy, happy happy happy. It's one of the most irresponsible things I've ever seen.
Don't be taken in by the hype: avoid this movie like the plague.
A great deal of the movie had the feel of a family getting together for a
wedding, with someone just filming the mundane goings on around the family
house. Of course, there was a lot going on! But a great deal of wasn't
particularly dramatic, but rather ordinary conflicts. The wedding is hectic,
the guests are arriving... the plans have to be finalized... things cost
more than expected... A few minor squables break out that are resolved
I found the sideline story of the infatuation of the event planner, Dubey, with the kitchen helper, Alice, to be the most interesting part of the movie. Dubey got to show several sides of his personality, and when you noticed the fast talking event planner showing an interest in Alice you see that while he wasn't at a loss for words in his business dealings, that the words were a struggle around the attractive Alice.
All in all the story seemed pretty routine. It was satisfying, but not particularly dramatic, as things went pretty much according to plan. This movie was kind of an Indian version of "Father of the Bride", with a little less comedy, and more drama.
In no way is this film a traditional Indian movie. This is a good thing
me cause I'm not to big on those Bollywood rain-dancing, song-singing,
running-through-the-forest, type flicks.
This movie had none of that traditional, formulatic, Indian movie stuff. It's done in a "western" style with chracters that could actually exist in real life.
WHAT I LIKED:
It touched issues that are rarely explored in Bollywood films, such as homosexuality, and child abuse.
I actually found the one sub-plot with the servents falling in love to be quite more interesting than the main story of the bride and groom to be.
There are also alot of fit females in this movie, including alot of t&a shaking. And the music was great...especially that drum and bass lic.
Now, this movie isn't all good. I thought there was a bit too much sub-plots and sub-chracters going on to keep track of, and I also found that the bride and groom fell in love wayyyy too fast (probably a result of their courting time being eaten up by the subs).
It was a refreshing change from the typical-predictable-garbage that Bollywood spits out, and India chews up. And the girls were great (especially Alice).
I want to see more flicks like this- Modern, but still Indian.
For all its hype, it was disappointing. Frequently, it seems that the
is following a real wedding. It may sound like a good approach
theoretically, but practically while watching the movie, it is difficult
follow the dialogue when there are multiple people speaking at the same
All the romantic subplots were quite predictable, The subplot with the event planner's romance was actually more interesting than the main plot.
The director puts in a few scenes of Delhi intermittently which serves no purpose. It is not "Salaam Delhi".
There were way too many characters for you to get to know anyone. Only Naseer's character is central and even his role will be nowhere close to his superior performances in movies like "Masoom" and "Izaazat".
I was really entertained and touched by this film.
The performances are great, and the music is "foot-tapping"
terrific. But that was the second time I saw it.
The first time I saw this film I was so shocked by its depiction of an Indian family that I could not really enjoy it. This movie showed a high percentage of women drinking and Pimmi smoking. Both drinking and smoking are socially taboo in India. Ria uses several English expletives, which didn't seem right. The English to Hindi/Punjabi ratio seemed to be on the higher side. Finally, how much dysfunction can a single family have? - a gay son, a cheating daughter, an abused niece, an abusive uncle, a loveless couple, a father in debt etc.
The only realistic character is Aditi, unfortunately we never get to understand where she comes from.
But what do I know about wealthy Punjabi families? So I will just sit back and enjoy the film.
It looks pretty and has some magical moments, but in the end feels like a really well done sitcom. Except for one plot line which is way too dark and unnecessary for the movie, it's light fluff with a different flavor. Nothing to write home about.
I have seen several Indian films, all of which I have considered bad. So
was a bit weary to see this one, and saw it only with a strong
recommendation. And I was glad I did. This film was fantastic. It had
humor, tenderness, music, though nothing like the traditional Indian
The film starts open, you are unsure if there really will be drama or suspense, but you continue to watch, amazed by the scenery. But there is a turning point in the film, where the film suddenly becomes so dramatic and exciting, and all of the openness comes together to a very full ending.
So, go see it. It will make you want to go to India.
Mira Nair has pulled off an almost impossible feat--she has
combined a US independent-style film with a Bollywood spectacular. I have no way of knowing whether Ms. Nair's portrayal of upper-class Indian life is realistic. Be that as it may, Monsoon Wedding has an excellent cast, a gripping plot, a stunning star, and the advantage of Bollywood production numbers neatly spliced into an intellectually satisfying film. If you are interested in India and/or India cinema, this movie is definitely worth seeing. (There were some aspects of the film that I found confusing. No problem-- Monsoon Wedding is worth seeing twice!)
I didn't understand one thing: why most people in the movie speak half
broken English and half Hindu? I do understand that they are under the heavy
influence of anything very much associated with the Western culture
(beepers, cell phones and Cosmopolitan magazines) but I didn't get it. Can
someone explain this one to me?
This movie was definitely predictable, with not one interesting use of the cinematic medium. There isn't even any sympathy with the subject matter, a plot filled with sappy old references to arranged marriage ("oh, how can I marry you if I don't love you? Oh, no.."), balmed by bland shots of pretty costumes and flowers.
What did I learn at the end of the movie? I probably would say that it was the "Americanization" of the Hindu families that stuck out the most. The constant indirect references to our culture. For the sake of the Hindus, that cannot possibly be a good thing. It's like wanting McDonalds to go completely global-which probably isn't already far from the truth. However, it is still sad to see that. I wanted to see some "authenticity" to the Hindu people and not so much emphasis on how they really are "just like us". 5/10.
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