Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monsoon Wedding (2001)

Genre : Romance, Comedy, Family Drama, Musical, Desi.
Language : Hindi, Punjabi, English.
Country : India, USA.
Cast : Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey, Shefali Shetty, Vijay Raaz, Vasundhra Das.
Directed by : Mira Nair
Music : Mychael Danna; Sukhwinder Singh (‘Kawa-Kawa’ Song).
Run Time : 114 min
Release Date : 30th August, 2001

Synopsis :
Monsoon Wedding” is an exuberant family drama set in the Indian Punjabi culture, where ancient traditions and modern dot-com lifestyle combine to present a unique and perfect chemistry. As the romantic monsoon rains loom, the extended Verma family reunites from around the globe for a last-minute arranged marriage in New Delhi. ‘Monsoon Wedding’ traces five intersecting stories, navigating different aspects of love and crossing boundaries of class, continent and morality. It celebrates a contemporary India never before seen on screen!

The family's hopes, anxieties and long-guarded secrets emerge amid chaotic wedding preparations, and are juxtaposed with arresting montages of real-life Delhi. The relentless summer heat mirrors the story's building intensity as the city anticipates the cooling torrent of the monsoons. And when the rain comes, the cathartic downpour brings romance, revelation and liberation!

Plot :
Monsoon Wedding’ is a celebration of the sensual pleasures of cinema, of love at any age-anytime, and of the importance of family. It also pays affectionate tribute to a city where weighty tradition collides daily with global culture and the dot-com age, yielding an unusual and melodious harmony!

The plot of the film is set in the modern upper-middle class of India, where the modern and western lifestyles mix with the old family traditions. Lalit Verma (Naseeruddin Shah) is a concerned father, busy in organizing an enormous, chaotic, and expensive wedding for his daughter Aditi Verma (Vasundhara Das), for whom he has arranged a marriage with Hemant Rai (Parvin Dabas), a NRI engineer from Houston, Texas. All the relatives from both the families, some from distant places like Australia and America, are gathering at New Delhi during the monsoon season to attend the wedding.

The bride, Aditi Verma, is nervous as she has been having an affair with her married ex-boss Vikram (Sameer Arya). The film also includes several parallel subplots - Ria Verma (Shefali Shetty), the unmarried cousin of the bride, was sexually abused by her uncle, Lalit's brother-in-law and the family's patriarch, Tej Puri (Rajat Kapoor), some years earlier and she finally speaks out to prevent his abuse of her younger cousin, Aliyah. The wedding contractor P. K. Dubey (Vijay Raaz) falls in love with the family's maid, Alice (Tillotama Shome). The bride's brother, Varun, struggles with his father's disapproval of his longing to be a chef, and his angst at Varun's lack of conventional Indian masculine characteristics. Ayesha (Neha Dubey), the youngest marriageable relative of the bride, flirts with Aditi's cousin Rahul (Randeep Hooda), who has just returned from Melbourne. This is all set within the four days preceding the wedding, predominantly at the Vermas' house.

These four-day arrangements and celebrations will see clumsy organization, family parties and drama, dangers to the happy end of the wedding, lots of Bollywood music and even a parallel love story of the funny wedding planner, P. K. Dubey with the shy housemaid, Alice!

■ Nick Rogers of states that “Not content to merely direct traffic of intersecting characters, Mira Nair never lets the scurrying ensemble lag or their stories flag. ‘Monsoon Wedding’ is one of the most culturally savoury, joyously exotic comedies since ‘Strictly Ballroom’." (Sep 19, 2010)
■ Josh Ralske of All Movie Guide says, “It’s not just a touching, funny, multi-layered drama; it’s an exuberant love poem to a city and a culture in transition.” (Oct 30, 2002)

■ Kevin N. Laforest of Montreal Film Journal says, “By the last shots of the family members dancing and laughing, I was as happy as them!” (Sep 7, 2002)

Cast :
■ Aditi Verma, Bride (Vasundhara Das)
■ Lalit Verma, Bride’s Father (Naseeruddin Shah)
■ Pimmi Verma, Bride’s Mother (Lilette Dubey)
■ Ria Verma, Bride’s Elder Cousin (Shefali Shetty a.k.a. Shefali Shah)
■ P. K. Dubey, Wedding Contractor (Vijay Raaz)
■ Alice, Bride’s Maid (Tillotama Shome)
■ Varun Verma, Bride’s Brother (Ishan Nair)
■ Aliyah Verma, Bride’s Youngest Cousin (Kemaya Kidwai)
■ Ayesha Verma, Bride’s Young & Hot Cousin (Neha Dubey)
■ Hemant Rai, Groom (Parvin Dabas)
■ Mohan Rai, Groom’s Father (Roshan Seth)
■ C. L. Chaddha, Bride’s Maternal Uncle (Kulbhushan Kharbanda)
■ Tej Puri, Lalit’s Brother-in-law (Rajat Kapoor)
■ Rahul Chaddha, C. L. Chaddha’s Son (Randeep Hooda)
■ Vikram, Bride’s Ex-boss (Sameer Arya)

Awards :
1. It won the Golden Lion Award at the 2001 Venice International Film Festival.
2. It won the Lanterna Magica Award (C.G.S.) at the 2001 Venice International Film Festival.
3. It won the Producers Award at the 2005 Independent Spirit Awards - Caroline Baron.
4. It won the Best Foreign Film Award at the 2001 Canberra International Film Festival.
5. It was nominated for the 2001 Golden Globe Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.
6. It was nominated for the 2001 BAFTA Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.
7. It was nominated for the 2001 European Film Academy Awards for Screen International Award.
8. It was nominated for the 2001 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.
9. It was nominated for the 2002 The British Independent Film Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.
10. It was nominated for the 2002 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards for Best Foreign Film.
11. It was nominated for the 2003 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

Ratings : = 7.2/10; = 4/5; = 4.3/5; = 2.5/4; = 7.9/10
[Source : Wikipedia, MirabaiFilms, IMDB, AllMovie, Amazon, All-Reviews, RottenTomatoes]

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