Monday, 3 June 2013

Monsoon Wedding (2001) Review by Shivom Oza - Join The Celebrations!

3.5/5 Stars

Indian weddings are, more often than not, known to be dramatic. If it's a Punjabi wedding happening in Delhi, the drama multiplies. Moreover, if it's an arranged marriage interspersed with ego clashes, financial troubles, bitter memories and incessant delays, there's chaos! Welcome to Mira Nair's 'Monsoon Wedding'!

The film is a complete entertainer, filled with drama, emotion, romance, lust, song-and-dance, deceit, betrayal, breach of trust and loads of laughter. At no point, do the aforementioned elements hijack one another, and that is what makes the film an engaging watch. 

Lalit Verma (Naseeruddin Shah) is a worried man. Having taken up the responsibility of taking care of his daughter Aditi's (Vasundhara Das) marriage with an NRI, Hemant Rai (Parvin Dabbas), Lalit finds himself troubled by financial, family-related, work-related and organizational problems. 

In addition, his wife Pimmi (Lilette Dubey) keeps nagging him, his elder daughter Ria (Shefali Shah) is yet to come to terms with a traumatic childhood incident, the 'contractor' 'P.K' Dubey (Vijay Raaz) keeps demanding money without producing results, his elder brother Tej (Rajat Kapoor) burdens him furthermore by insisting on providing more funds and the no-good Rahul (Randeep Hooda) keeps bugging him with his inefficiency. Lalit is a troubled man. Will he be able to pull off the 'Monsoon Wedding'? 

The film treads the fine line between subtle and over-the-top. To imagine an actual marriage (in real life) to be as dramatic as this one, would be a bit far-fetched. The marriage in the film lasts for four days, and within this limited time period, Mira excellently captures relationships. Be it Lalit's changing equations with his wife owing to his growing responsibilities, Ria's moment of vindication and her family's acceptance, P.K Dubey's harmless flirting with the house-help Alice (Tillotama Shome), Hemant and Aditi's acceptance of each other among so many other instances, all of them incorporate realistic settings, dialogues and performances. 

The music of the film (Mychael Danna) is fantastic, and goes well with the 'dhoom-dhaam waali shaadi' concept. Sabrina Dhawan has penned an excellent screenplay, showing the more liberal side of Indians living in metropolitan cities. The only other film to do the same was 'Dil Chahta Hai', which released during the same year. As far as performances go, not a single cast member disappoints. Notable efforts by Naseeruddin Shah, Vijay Raaz, Shefali Shah and Tillotama Shome, lift this film to another level. The final 30 minutes of the film are absolutely delightful. Yes, all the dots do join, and in the most celebratory manner! 

Join the celebrations!

Shivom Oza

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