Monsoon Wedding, 2001

Directed By: Mira Nair

I almost called it quits on this movie after watching half of it and I’m so glad I didn’t! My mistake was trying to watch it after I got home from work at midnight… exhaustion and subtitle reading do not go hand-in-hand. At first I was turned off how by completely un-Bollywood it was, but I should have know to expect that, since I knew going into it that it was more like an Indie-film than a B’Wood extravaganza.

What saved it for me was the quiet, subtle romance of the wedding planner and the house servant. How precious are they! Especially when he is watching her (in a very voyeuristic type way) as she tries on her employer’s jewelry and pouting in front of the mirror. It was just “choo chweet” and touching that you couldn’t help but root for them.

The other story lines for me were a little banal, but that’s just me craving for the main couple to start prancing about the Alps and speaking poetry to each other about their love. You can’t have everything, but this movie was fulfilling in many other aspects.

Monsoon Wedding reminded me of my high school days (which have long since left me) and how I worked for a catering company that specialized in Indian Weddings (my answer to “how did you get hooked on B’wood?”) and the shaadis we’d put together in days that would last for a week. The dancing, the singing, the music, the food, the family, the flowers and the rain. Oh yes, the rain! It made me smile to see bits and pieces of those days in this movie and be a part of it (if just vicariously and reminiscently) all over again.

I can’t forget to mention that Lillete Dubey is in it and she does a fantastic job, she is just fun to watch and I enjoy that she looks like a real person, not over styled and over make-upped. Naseeruddin Shah was also very touching as the doting father figure (and I should have known he was in Main Hoon Na, except I couldn’t place him).

Forcing Realism on a determined Escapist was tough at first, but the effect was brilliant. My dil was squished and happy and I had a smile on my face. A-One, Monsoon Wedding, A-One!

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