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10/10
The Best in a long time
jnvalente4 September 2002
I went to to see this film almost by chance and I was rewarded by a gem. A truly sublime mix of musical, social comment and romantic movie-making at its best. Unlike many others I was not familiar with Mira Nair's work at all, but after having seen how she delicately handles child-abuse, pre-arranged-marital-infidelity, growing old and trying to be different as an upper middle class Indian boy, being a flirtatious, bored but basically settled non-resident Indian housewife, or being a too well-doing for your own class "wedding-parties producer" desperately seeking for love - I have surrendered!

This is a Great Film by a Great Director and you might not want to miss it...
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9/10
One of the most brilliant movies I've ever seen
Simon Young15 February 2005
Monsoon Wedding was perhaps one of the most brilliant films I have ever seen. It took me somewhere I'd never been, and by the time two hours were up, I felt at home.

A lot of the film's success was in the acting. Talented portrayals of deep complex characters who can make you laugh and cry in just minutes. I was amazed how easy it was to keep tabs on no less than 5 separate subplots without getting the characters mixed up or losing interest.

Another key to Monsoon Wedding's success was how the camera told as much story as the actors and dialogue. Lingering shots on a character who doesn't seem part of the action revealed so much more than dialogue could.

And the most amazing thing - this film was made in 30 days!! Couldn't believe it. Fantastic production values, mind, not like many other Indian movies I've seen. And down-to-earth realistic, not like Bollywood. Yes, there is singing and dancing, but in context, not every five minutes!

I don't have anything against Bollywood, but I'm glad to see that there is a higher standard of Indian film-making out there.
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10/10
Irresistible Combination of Realism and Good Spirits
noralee6 December 2005
It's only March, but I already nominate "Monsoon Wedding" as one of the best movies of the year.

Yeah, we've seen ethnic weddings/family gatherings before ("Lovers and Other Strangers," "Wedding Banquet," "The Godfather," "Avalon," "What's Cooking," "Tortilla Soup," among others), but this is still an original.

Not just because it takes place in India, not just because the characters come in from the Indian diaspora of IT jobs in the U.S., Australia, and the Middle East to the old homestead, and switch between Hindi and English mid-sentence, and switch comfortably between tradition and modernity.

But because these are completely wholly-formed, original characters and a sophisticated story. Yeah I was confused sometimes about who's related to whom, but from the rebellious teen-age boy dreaming of being a chef, to the bride with a secret lover, to the Houston engineer come home for an arranged marriage, to the complicated intra-family obligations and past positive and negative interactions, to cousins, aunts and uncles who genuinely love each other -- all are fully realized and completely believable, being both very individual and very universal.

Only a smidgen of a coincidence in the last moments of a too neat happy ending for a very sympathetic character mars the story, but understandably the audience cheers at the end.

A bonus is the wonderful use of Indian music -- I have zero idea if it's folk or Bollywood music they're singing but the soundtrack is exotic and exuberant as the characters use it to liberate thoughts and feelings within the structure of wedding rituals, with dancing as well. Stay through the credits as the ritual continues.

I'm ready to go see it again any time I'm feeling down.

(originally written 3/11/2002)
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10/10
Exactly and approximately superb!
Dehlia_24 January 2005
In Delhi, the wealthy father of the bride (Lalit, played by N. Shah) prepares an elaborate wedding. We meet his extended family, arriving from as far as America for the wedding, beginning with a formal engagement party 4 days before. Several subplots are followed: Additi, the bride, has chosen an arranged marriage instead of waiting for her married lover to leave his wife. Ria, her cousin, has never married and is being pestered by all concerned. We learn that Ria's father, Lalit's big brother, has passed away and so Lalit is her father-figure as well. Dubey, the wedding organizer, becomes smitten with Alice, Lalit's maid. As the days pass, family joys and family secrets are revealed.

I cannot praise this movie enough. First of all, kudos to N. Shah for a sensitive, complex portrayal that never, for a moment, feels like acting. Without hand-held camera pretensions, Monsoon Wedding nonetheless feels more like meeting a family at a big affair than watching a movie. It is real and intimate, yet magical. All the performances are good; Rajat Kapoor as an uncle with a secret is particularly powerful, and bears a striking resemblance to a younger Donald Sutherland.

We see Indian society as India sees it. My coworker, Sreeman, tells me that everyone attends neighborhood weddings; that an average wedding has 800–900 guests, and his had 1200. Traditionalism matters, but modernity matters as well. At one point, Lalit and Dubey argue over the wedding tent; should it be white, the modern (Western) way, or should it be colorful? Lalit demands color and Dubey orders "the old kind." The struggle between modern and traditional ways is one of the primary undercurrents of the film, embodied by Additi's choice, in fact, we meet her married lover as the host of a TV talk show discussing traditional versus modern ways.

Another undercurrent is finding love, impediments to love, and choices about love. Additi, Dubey, Ria, and another cousin, Rahul, all have barriers to overcome before they have a chance at happiness.

But the main theme is family, and this huge, chaotic family is a wonder to behold. You can't always tell who's related to whom, but you get the sense that they can't either, and coming from a large, extended family myself, I know that's how it is. Family is everything to Lalit, yet he communicates harshly with a son he doesn't understand, and calls nephew Rahul "idiot." Yet his love and devotion are clear, and he is the real hero of this film, coming through for everyone and stretching himself to the limit.
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10/10
a lovely piece
mleilani1418 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This weekend I rented 'Monsoon Wedding' from director Mira Nair. I had heard good things about it, so I picked it up.

I had no idea what to expect, but between this and 'Bend It like Beckham', I think my new addiction might just be Indian cinema. 'Monsoon' is the story of a family celebrating the arranged marriage of their only daughter to a well-off (and hot) young man who has been working for the past few years in the States and came home so his parents could pick him a bride. The bride is trying to get over a recent indiscretion with a married-and famous-man by throwing herself into the marriage, though it seems pretty clear she would rather be anywhere else. The film gives a fascinating overall view of the amazing intricacies of a traditional Punjabi wedding-four days of festivities!!-while deftly presenting several dramatic and touching stories, from the obnoxious wedding planner falling for the maid, to the cousin who is trying to deal with having been abused as a child, only to end up facing her abuser at the wedding. The cinematography is gorgeous; a lot of handheld shots give a strong sense of realism, and what a color palette! Over the weekend I rented this I watched it three times, and I'm going to have to buy my own. Definitely an A picture.
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8/10
Not Bollywood nor Hollywood ... but better
Rachel77017 January 2004
I just finished watching this beautiful film for the third time. The first time I saw it, I really liked it. The second time I got more out of it and I liked it even more. I just finished watching it with the director's commentary and I can honestly say I had no idea how good this film actually was! It was shot entirely on location, in just 30 days on a very low budget with a cast of 68 and only a handful of them were real actors! (A great deal of actors who were originally cast in this movie pulled out at the last minute or didn't even bother to show up) I guess that is the beauty of this movie though. Nair wanted to capture the essence of the Punjabi people in a true setting. She didn't want to go for the big elaborate sets where people spontaneously break out into a big song and dance number like you see in a lot of Bollywood movies. Nair wanted her characters to start singing because that is what they do. One of her comments compared Indians to the Irish as two cultures who love to use song. Throughout the whole movie, you get such a feeling of reality as if you are a voyeur who is really looking into these people's lives. They are lying naked and vulnerable before us. The character of Alice really stood out for me. Tilotama Shome's talent radiated from her and I found myself wondering what other films she had done. In Nair's commentary, the answer was revealed: ZERO. Shome was an English Literature student in Delhi University. The scene wear Alice is pretending to be a bride (like a child playing dress up) is so simple yet so powerful and beautiful. I have a few reviews stating that Tilotama was miscast as the maid. That she was to "elegant" and self aware to play such a character, however, that is exactly what Nair wanted in the character of Alice. Nair wanted to make a statement about people. Our beauty and presence comes from within our soul, not from our lot in life. Tilotama Shome can have a brilliant career ahead of her if she wants it. It is also worthwile to mention two more exceptionally powerful performances by Vijay Raaz (who was a struggling actor before this movie) as Dubey (Alice's love interest) and Shefali Shetty, as Ria (who has a dark secret that can ruin the binds of family) These three performances were outstanding, but the entire cast was incredible. This movie is definitely worth seeing, but I really have to recommend you watch it like I did - more than once. It really is worth it.
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10/10
Best Movie of the Year
KritterJ19 February 2003
I really loved this movie. It was the first DVD I bought when I got a player. The story is rich and full of meaning, the actors are wonderful and the music is awesome. As another reviewer mentioned, I am trying to pass the word about this movie to everyone I can. PLEASE just don't compare it to My Big Fat Greek Wedding! That movie was cute and maybe more people could relate to it, but that is because it lacked any real substance. I didn't hate it, but it doesn't begin to touch Monsoon Wedding's issues: family, trust, abuse, love, grief, joy, tradition and oh so much more. When you are done seeing this movie, you want to see it again. And my first time I did just that. I watched it one evening and got up and watched it again the next day. Now, I consider this a really substantial movie, but I have to be petty for just one moment and say... hot Indian guys! I mean HOT! All right,I digress. This is the best movie I have seen in a LONG time.
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8/10
Happy India
Paolo_UK25 January 2002
This movie is full of joy. Happy, cheerful, with so many characters, and most of them good, interesting ones. It is the story of a wedding in upper class Delhi. A large family spread all over the world reunites for the big event and all the ties and feelings between siblings, cousins, parents, friends are shown and expressed in a light but touching way. Love, friendship, envy, pain, sorrow, loneliness, passion and hope in a nearly perfect mix. This movie is full of colours and music, and it is an accurate portrait of modern India (the wealthier part of it at least). All actors are good, and some of them are gorgeous too. Very refreshing as there are no super stars, no blood, no perfect special effects, no sex. Mira Nair you are great ! Hope you'll give us many other movies this good.
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10/10
Delightful visual and emotional experience
joycepw24 May 2002
I really liked this film. As the movie progressed I quickly formed a bond with the characters and felt they were all my close friends and I was somehow involved in the story. I truly got caught up in the emotion and the evolution of the story and frequently laughed and cried. Although the wedding was the climax of the film, it was not what the film is about. The colors were exquisite, the music and dancing delightful and the people gorgeous. The acting was superb. If there was anything negative to say, I did have some trouble understanding some of the dialogue because of the accents and fast talking. But I intend to see it several times more. Thanks for a great film.
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10/10
emotional
TL Resident29 April 2002
If you're expecting an "exotic India" kind of movie, you'd be better off not seeing it. This is a contemporary film, and it's made with love. Acting is terrific, and it becomes obvious that actors had so much synergy while working on the movie. Only a very cynical person wouldn't be emotionally touched by the story and the characters. A great film to see with your significant other on a weekend. Warm fuzzy feelings all the way!
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8/10
And they all lived happily ever after!
Syl1 April 2007
I was skeptical at first about seeing this movie. I'm not into Bollywood movies at all. I saw this film with a high school senior class in Newark, New Jersey and they were captivated by the film as well as myself. Mira Nair is becoming one of the world's best known film directors as I write this review with Namesake on it's way to release. The characters were fully fleshed out rather than just caricatures. Who didn't love the wedding planner who curses like a sailor and the servant who succumbed to his charm and spell? Who didn't love the actual couple based on arrangement between families? The bride has a secret that could have destroyed or stopped the marriage. My sister's friend is probably going to be married in New Delhi herself. I wonder how similar and different the wedding and reception will be. From what I know about Indian weddings, I can invite you which means you, your family, friends, and neighbors. They appear to have a really good time at weddings in India. There was a serious topic that could have dampened or ruined the movie but it was well-orchestrated by the director.
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8/10
A dance in the rain..
HeadleyLamarr22 May 2007
Monsoon Wedding is an ode to family, to fun, to the joy of celebrations.. Made on a meager budget of 1 million dollars and shot in thirty days, the film gives us an inside look into a Punjabi family. Lalit Verma (Naseeruddin Shah) and his wife Pimmi (Lillette Dubey) are in the throes of preparations for the wedding of their daughter Aditi (Vasundhara Das) with Hemant (Parvin Dabas). There is a foul mouthed wedding planner P. K. Dubey (Vijay Raaz), a demure maid Alice (Tilotama Shome), a cousin Ria (Shefali Shetty) with many secretes in her eyes, countless other cousins, aunts and uncles. all gathered in the house. Aditi thinks she is in love with her married boss but eventually realizes he is just stringing her along. The wedding plans go on apace, with an engagement, a Ladies Sangeet and finally the big day itself. But the oppressive heat prior to the monsoon also brings many troubles and past traumas out to the fore. Lalit has to make difficult choices but in the end like a cleansing monsoon down pour his decisions heal past hurts and make the wedding celebration in the rain more joyous.

The movie is anchored by exceptionally strong performances from Naseer Shah, Lillette Dubey, Vijay Raaz, Tilotama and Shefali Shetty. Other more minor players also do a very good job. The movie is full of moments that one can identify with, laugh at, weep at and generally get maudlin over. My favorite scenes are Naseer constantly calling the Aussie cousin idiot, the dance number at the post engagement party when the whole crowd joins in (I wanted to dance in the aisles too), the dynamics between Mr. Dubey and Alice, the song Aaaja Saanwariya Tohe Garwa Laga loon as Mr. Dubey goes to his Old Delhi home...

This is a fine film that celebrates family and is a great one for repeat watching. Mira's directing is deft and the movie is extremely accessible to audiences the world over.
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9/10
Lovely
ritambhara_42 June 2006
*This may contain spoilers*

For me it was more like watching a home video than a movie. Indian Punjabi weddings are like that, loud and colorful, people coming in from practically everywhere, weird uncles and aunties who just don't know how to mind their own business, cousins coming in from abroad who have no clue whatsoever, IITian settled abroad. This movie never fails to entertain me, i must have seen it 20 times but every time i find something new in it. The most disturbing part was the issue of incest brought up. A lot of people feel it's uncommon in India but the sad reality is, it's not. It's very common, the thing is people hardly come out, it's under the covers and we have to accept this reality. The wonderful part was, a lot of people got to know about the issue and took notice. My father cries every time he watches the movie, esp. the scenes related to Shefali. I loved Naseer's character, he was like just another father cribbing over money spent on he marriage at the same time, being the happiest man on earth and going to every extent to ensure a great wedding. Every character in the movie was well sketched in terms of having their own unique characters, Dubeyji being this harassed wedding planner in love with the house maid, that aunty from Australia who has her own story to tell, the brother being a little anti social and a bit feminine according to the father (which was really cute, the relationship), the mother who smokes in the loo, the young cousin trying to impress the boy, loud uncle. Shefali's character was beautiful, her past and her present just gets twisted when the uncle enters the household and how she tries to protect her cousin. I have always liked movies which show strong human tendencies & human relationships and this was one of them. This movie was a huge hit abroad as well just because, people could relate to the movie. It is everyone's story, me, ur's, anyone's !
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Down Memory Lane!
The Court Clown10 September 2004
Watching this movie was, for someone such as me, who had fallen in love with Delhi and NSD(National School of Drama, New Delhi), almost simultaneously (no, I was not a student there; I just went to watch their plays) more than a decade ago, a journey down memory lane. And not just me! Many of my friends, who spent a considerable time in Delhi at some or other point of their life, agreed with me on this point. In the words of one of my friends,"Monsoon Wedding is a documentary about Delhi.". For me, it was thrilling to view the places near Jama Masjid, where once I spent many afternoons at my friend's home, (and surely, nor far from where Dubey's residence would be!) after so many years.

But then what can I do? "We are like that only."

This movie has some of the best Indian actors, such as Naseeruddin Shah, Khulbhushan Kharbanda and Rajat Kapoor in it. But the guy who beats all of them and steals the show is our Dubeyji, Vijay Raaz. I had noticed him first in the movie "Jungle", where his portrayal of an almost silent (had he taken Omerta, by any chance?) bandit-gang member was excellent; but in Monsoon Wedding, his portrayal of Dubeyji beat all these first-rate actors. I've been a great fan of Naseeruddin Shah for quarter of a century now; but in this movie, my vote goes to Raaz.

The most striking feature of this movie is Mira Nair's ultimate attention to detail. (I think this is also a major factor that adds such authenticity to the character of Dubey!). From the Hindu ritualistic red-thread worn by Shah on his wrist (it must be put for the movie, Shah being a Muslim in real life, or was it that his real-life Hindu wife made him wear that!), to the pair of shorts worn by Raaz, Nair & Co. has painstakingly paid enough amount of attention to details. A Dubey would surely dress, talk and carry himself the way depicted in this movie. His choice of profanities are the most authentic that one would hear on the streets of Delhi. Alice and Ria also put very powerful performances!

This movie took me back to Delhi, and to the corridors of the Univ. I (and Nair, much before I, for that matter!) once walked on. Anyone who loves, or plans to fall in love with, Delhi should watch this movie, because as Mauz once said, "Who would go away, Mauz, leaving the labyrinths of Delhi behind?" (Kaun jaye, Mauz, Dilli ki galiyan chhod kar?).

Notes: The following is in response to some of the comments by Western reviewers.

1) Just because he addresses his nephew as "idiot", the bride's father is not mean and abusive; this is just a term of endearment. I guess, this is just a matter of cultural difference; things that are accepted in the Orient may be completely offensive in the Occident, and vice versa. This reminds me of the autobiographical note by the Egyptian born Nobel laureate, Prof. Ahmed Zewail, whose (toally accepted and used in the Arab world) figure of speech "I will kill you" terrified a classmate at Caltech (or was it Berkeley?).

2) Some people thought that the two guys sharing a bed (when the young girl offers a kind of striptease show to the Australian guy) was a hint at homosexuality; it was not! I don't mean that homosexuality does not exist in India; but it's quite common in India for people to share a bed when there's a shortage of beds (especially when a number of relatives and guests come down for, say, a wedding, to stay overnight, and then mostly younger members of the family are pushed to share beds.).

Note: Robert de Niro and Hervey Keital slept on the same bed in "Mean Streets", but they were not gay either!

3) Would the maid and the wedding planner be allowed to dance with the upper-class family? My Answer is: I think, yes! Most of the Punjabi weddings include Whiskey/alcohol in the menu (at least, for the important guests), and once you have alcohol in your veins, Universal Brotherhood (Bhai-chara in Hindi) prevails. I, in spite of not being a Punjabi or a Native Delhiite, took part in such wedding dances myself at times, and had seen with my own eyes such situations.
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6/10
The Rain is coming... and so is the Family.
Jessica Carvalho27 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
''Monsoon Wedding''is a cute film about an Indian family and their problems based in their culture and beliefs: it's the daughter Lalit who is going to merry, is the son and Lalit's brother who doesn't look very male, is the cousin Ria who is getting old to get married and stuff like that. Of course that we always have a reason or a problem about the causes: Ria is not married because she does not trust in men, since she was molested as a kid, Lalit is going to merry, but she does not know if she really want that, since she likes another man who has nothing to do with the guy her parents wish for her. I cannot say that ''Monsoon wedding'' is so great as ''Lagaan'' or ''Mission Kasmir'', but it is also a great way of knowing or watching more about the Indian culture for sure!
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8/10
Singing in the Rain...
jotix10011 April 2002
Mira Nair has outdone herself in this film by giving us such a glorious look at India's upper classes during a pre-arranged wedding. She has such a sense of color and spectacle, yet she doesn't beat around the bush in presenting us the reality of the situation and treating it with dignity and realism.

The hypocrisy of Bollywood is legendary by not attacking issues in their films, yet they are real and need to be addressed. The mere fact that this bride is not what she's supposed to be on the surface, is an eye-opener. Then there's a relative who is a pedophile and who has hidden behind a benevolent facade only to pry on the little ones of his own people. This is the first time I have seen such frank treatment of a troubled family, who is very happy, on the surface.

The acting is first rate with outstanding performances by Mr. Shah, as the father of the bride and his daughter, Ms. Das. Not only that, but Ms. Das has one of the most beautiful faces in the Indian cinema and certainly deserves to be seen anywhere with those gorgeous eyes of hers.

The weakest part, I thought, was that of the romance of the party planner and the maid. I mean, HELLO, Ms. Nair, do you think for one nanosecond this uppity family would have allowed the maid and her newly found love participate in the wedding party? I don't think so!

The color of Delhi's streets, the magnificent wedding costumes and the glorious background music are used with knowledge and a sure hand by Ms. Nair.

Having seen all her films, we await eagerly for more of her view of her home land. We can even go singing in the rain after seeing the film!
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10/10
one of the best films I have ever seen.
sydneypatrick27 December 2002
Bar none. This one is a reaffirmation of life and love and the

commitments that bind the two forever. Forget that you don't really

know anything about Indian culture or language. It speaks the

language of the human heart -- and that is always universal. I can't

wait to watch this one again, and strongly encourage everyone to

see it.
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10/10
This is India!
thiagi28 April 2002
I had no difficulty with the language and the subtitles. After all, this is how I speak ;-).

As a non-resident Indian living in the US for three decades, the film reflects the reactions of my family and friends back in India every time I return for a visit.

The story revolves authentically around the way rich, cosmopolitan Indians live. (I was not one of them, but I have been to the houses of richer classmates during my college days.)

Mira Nair has shown how to have the cake and eat it too. The movie has many elements of "typical" Hindi movies (music, dance, and convolutions)without the inanities.

As a traier, I had a group of participants in a cultural diversity workshop watch the movie. We then debriefed the audience to locate universal cross-cultural simiarlities.
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8/10
7.1? But why?
Aseem9 March 2009
It's surprising how often the ratings belie the movie or vice versa. This movie is an entertaining collection of love stories which deftly cuts across so many barriers,whether they be cultural, social, class or religion. It is funny in a very real and potent way and the character development has been executed to great details in an effortless fashion. That probably is one of the hallmarks of a really gifted director.

The story revolves around the preparations of an Indian arranged marriage. The main characters are the bride,her father and a marriage arrangement contractor. All dealing with their own constraints and still trying to give their hopes wings. What is remarkable is that this movie has characters who show courage when they have a lot to lose and win higher rewards like love,trust and self-respect in the process.

Kudos to the Monsoon wedding team!
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8/10
Mulangtany Soup.
Herag Halli28 July 2004
A good recipe of Indian food is neither bland nor too spicy, like Mulangtany Soup, a perfect blend. If any Indian Film Maker (more like Non Resident Indian Film Maker) who can make best of the masala, that would be Mira Nair. The story is superbly woven, with characters that are indelible. The cell phone wielding Dube, played by Vijay Raaz (a new find from Nair) and his love interest, stand out and shine. With all the melodies and enchanting choreography in the Hindi films, her choice of a mediocre "Chuiniri-Chuniri" number is not only sad, but shows immaturity in her knowledge of Hindi films. This is a movie that shows the vibrant colors, the intricacy of the intimate relations with gay abandon. It is not surprising that this is the only Indian movie that has been seen by more people outside India, than in India-to the tune of thirty million-that is testament to the talent of Film maker, in the caliber of Mira Nair.
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7/10
Good movie
gg222_8x5 February 2002
Here's a movie which is not made for arty cinema lovers per se. It captures the craziness surrounding a typical North Indian wedding. I liked the lead characters since they were credible and interesting. They were so normal people unlike mainstream Indian cinema from Bollywood. It made me chuckle at times. -gg
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Wet bride, cheerful film
henger-24 September 2001
This film was screened at the Venice Film Festival and I saw it there. When I came out of the theater I was happy, this film filled me with music, colors, a positive attitude towards life. It shows that it is possible to make a good film without special effects or sex scenes or blood dripping everywhere. If you have a story to tell, then you may have a good film, and Mira Nair has made it. The film is crowded with characters, the members of a family gathering together for the marriage of a young woman in New Delhi: we trace their stories, retrieve facts and feelings about their lives, get to know them, even when drama is behind the corner and the past seems to mix with the present. The family is not without flaws, yet the marriage is eventually celebrated as monsoon rain pours down to wash away their faults. Wet bride lucky bride, we say in Italy.
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Wonderful Hollywood-Bollywood mix!
dreamer-3510 October 2004
This movie caught my attention accidentally this afternoon on TV and it held me till the end.I've always appreciated highly the rarity of unexpected film pleasure.This kind of surprise is surely unique.I've read about this movie before so it didn't take long (actually 20 minutes) to find out what I was watching!Anyway , it's a really delightful film. Colourful both in image and emotions.Modern in its own strange way.By all means worth seeing.

I'd say it's a great Hollywood(40%)-Bollywood(60%) mix.The one with exceptional direction , cinematography and on screen performances.

This first impression compels me to award it with a rating as high as 8,5 out of 10.
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Colourful and fun but the busy ensemble approach prevents it being emotionally involving until late in the day
bob the moo23 August 2004
In India during the monsoon period, an arranged marriage brings two different families and many different classes together in a colourful celebration of love. However with a bride and a groom who have barely met one another, a father trying to organise an event that is spiralling out of his original budget and a love triangle that threatens to disrupt the whole affair. Add to this a shifty contractor with a crush on the maid and the whole thing screams 'vibrant'!

Of course at times this is all it seems to scream – and that's a bit of a problem because it is hard to really be consistently engaged by this rather freewheeling affair. The various strands vary from the amusing to the interesting to the inane. The problem is that the film goes for a collection of characters and story lines all around the one wedding and not all of them work as well as one another. It was still pretty interesting and become more cohesive towards the end but I was not as drawn in and impressed as I had expected to be – to be honest Die Hard was on the other channel and it was a real effort to ignore the luring calls of that great movie and stick with this.

However what the film does manage to do pretty well is deliver a very vibrant film which, for the majority of its running time, gives a lively and busy impression of this part of India and is enjoyable mainly because its energy and pace. It is a little bit inconsequential for large parts and it made it difficult to stay with but the final third gets better and becomes more meaningful and involving. The film was billed as a Bollywood film but it is not really what I expected from a film placed in that band – however I was actually happy that the film ran under 3 hours and wasn't heavy with the usual songs that all sound the same to me. The cast also do better than the usual Bollywood lot and deliver the best they can with the material. Standouts for me were those playing the bride, the bride's father and Raaz's PK Dubey – funny and sensitive!

Overall this is a Bollywood movie for those that dislike Bollywood movies. The ensemble approach produces a sense of fun and a good but prevents it getting involving until the final third when, I suppose, it does come good. Despite these problems it is still colourful and fun and worth watching once for what it is.
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8/10
Beautiful, wonderful!!
Violet Weed5 December 2006
I loved this movie! The first reviewer did such a good job, I won't bother going on and on (well, okay, just a bit.) It was a very human movie. BUT I gave it an eight rather than a ten because I thought it pandered to 'Hollywood' a tad too much. The pedophile ... too much over the top. Too 'Hollywood writer cr*p'. The girl making out in the car with her married lover... same thing. Maybe it's a bollywood thing.... bollywood Hollywood, perhaps they are more alike than not.

However, the scene where the 'good' uncle makes the 'bad' uncle (and his wife) leave... so very human, and such a very human handling of the 'bad uncle's' behavior. If this film had been made by Hollywood rather than Bollywood, the 'bad uncle' would have been arrested, but first he would have been beaten to a pulp by the young girl's 'kinfolk'. Probably better that it is a bollywood film -- not quite so predictable.

The Dubay guy... you start out disliking him and then he sees Alice... badaBING go the STRINGS of his heart, and then suddenly he has a different face.... he's someone you can imagine loving. Amazing transformation.

This movie is a woman's movie, for sure. I must run now, and tell all my women friends about it.
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