Monsoon Wedding - movie review (April 13, 2002)

This is the story of an upper-class family in New Delhi and the arranged marriage of the only daughter. The nuptials are complicated by a secret being kept by the daughter and various issues involving different family members, including a long-kept and buried secret.

I had a great time watching this movie. The colors are vibrant, and the costuming is beautiful. It was very interesting to learn about the customs and traditions involved in a wedding in India, but intertwined with all this newness are stories that are pertinent to everyone, regardless of cultural background. Ultimately, the film is about love (what it means, how it comes about) and family.

The only complaints I have about the film concern the languages and camera movements.

Both English and Hindi are used throughout, with subtitles for the Hindi and sometimes even subtitles for the English when spoken heavily-accented. I wish they had either chosen to use all Hindi and subtitled the entire film or used all English and given the viewer the chance to get used to the accents. It was a bit distracting to have to switch between the two languages and only having subtitles part of the time.

Much of the film is shot using a hand-held camera, and the constantly jerky movements are something that I particularly dislike. It works at times, but mostly, it just ends up being a distraction for me. I've seen hand-held camera work that's not jerky or nausea-inducing, but unfortunately, such is not the case here.

This film is a definite recommend from me, but given its art house nature, will be a bit difficult to find, but definitely worth it.

The film is directed by Mira Nair, who also previously directed "Mississippi Masala".


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