Review by Michael Jacobson
Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey, Shefali Shetty, Vasundhara Das, Vijay
Raaz, Tilotama Shome
Director: Mia Nair
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1
Features: Trailer, Making-Of Featurette, Commentary Track
Length: 115 Minutes
Release Date: September 24, 2002
know itís a risk. But what
marriage isnít a risk?Ē
can take you by stormÖif you donít believe that, then maybe itís time you
went to a Monsoon Wedding.
by Mia Nair, this is a buoyant romantic comedy set against the lush backdrop of
India as a family frantically tries to prepare for their daughterís arranged
marriage. The only problem is that
the girl, Aditi (Das), has secretly been having an affair with a married
television star for some timeÖnot exactly the right foot to start a marriage
the film carries such an effervescent sense of magic, you tend to believe
anything is possibleÖeven love in a
relationship that exists because of
parents bargaining. The spirit
comes mostly from the numerous wonderful characters, from Aditi to her loving,
anxious parents Lalit (Shah) and Pimmi (Dubey), who demonstrate throughout what
long lasting love is all about, to the hapless
wedding planner Dube (Raaz), a man
who had thought romance had passed him by until he fell hard for the family
housekeeper Alice (Shome). Aditiís
cousin Ria (Shetty) holds a secret that things may not all be right in the
family. And so on.
the brideís family. The groomís
family come later, and though we donít get to know them as well, their
flamboyant sense of style leave a lasting impression.
There are many stories at play here, and romance is definitely in the air
as the bad weather sets in.
have compared the film to the works of Robert Altman, in that there are many
characters to get to know and overlapping dialogue, but he never made a film
with quite this tone, especially considering the way the people constantly go
back and forth between English and native languages (sometimes in the same
sentence!). But the love for India
and her people is a touch that comes from Nair.
The country itself comes across as beautiful, and the women even more
soÖI donít think Iíve ever seen so many lovely women in one film before!
If thatís what India is really like, I may have to consider movingÖ
lift your spirits, make you smile and touch your heart all at the same
timeÖand thatís before the life giving rains even begin to flow.
very pretty disc, though I donít know why Universal decided to forgo
anamorphic enhancement on this one. All
the colors of India shine through with this transfer; itís a veritable
cornucopia. The wedding sequence
itself is an absolute feast for the eyes, with its wide range of tones,
well-contained colors, sharp images and crisp lines.
Only one or two darker segments show a touch of softness and less
definition. For the most part, this
is a superior offering, though.
best part about the 5.1 audio (Dolby Digital and DTS) is the music.
The percussive Indian sounds come booming through the subwoofer, and both
front and rear stages open up to accommodate the enveloping orchestration.
Crowd scenes sound particularly good too, and there are more than a few
of them here. Dialogue seems clean
and clear throughout, and dynamic range is definitely formidable.
disc contains an informative and engaging commentary track by Ms. Nair, who
discusses not only the film but the culture from which it came in good (and
sometimes amusing) detail. There is
also a trailer and a short featurette, containing some interview clips with Nair
and her cast members.