Monsoon Wedding

Monsoon Wedding

4.7 22
Director: Mira Nair

Cast: Mira Nair, Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey, Shefali Shetty


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Following up on her controversial erotic drama Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, Mira Nair directs this charming family drama about a very chaotic Indian wedding. Lalit Verma (Naseeruddin Shah) is a wealthy father who is trying to see that his daughter Aditi's wedding goes off without a hitch. Though familiar with Western ways, he has little patience with them and is


Following up on her controversial erotic drama Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, Mira Nair directs this charming family drama about a very chaotic Indian wedding. Lalit Verma (Naseeruddin Shah) is a wealthy father who is trying to see that his daughter Aditi's wedding goes off without a hitch. Though familiar with Western ways, he has little patience with them and is dead set on seeing the nuptials done properly and traditionally. Disillusioned with her long time relationship with Vikram -- a man who is almost twice her age -- Aditi (Vasundhara Das) suddenly agrees to submit to an arranged marriage with Hemant, an engineer from Houston. Yet as the ceremony nears, she gets cold feet and returns to see her former lover -- even though it could spell disaster for everyone involved. Meanwhile, Aditi's comely 17-year-old cousin Ayesha is coming to terms with her blossoming sexuality and has her sights set on Rahul, another relative who is a college student in Australia. Then there is Rai -- also Aditi's cousin -- who has a shocking revelation to make. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto and Venice Film Festivals. At Venice, Monsoon Wedding won the prestigious Golden Lion award.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Stuart Gazzo
The marriage of Indian culture and family drama make for gratifying entertainment in Monsoon Wedding, the art-house hit from director Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay!). The colorful story -- think reds and oranges -- concerns a high-strung father, Lalit (Naseeruddin Shah), planning the arranged marriage of his daughter Aditi (Vasundhara Das) amid a flurry of chaos and catharsis. The bride-to-be's feet are on the cold side, as she still isn't over her affair with a married man. Meanwhile, Adit's cousin Ria (Shefali Shetty) feels the stress of being older and unwed. With dashes of both Robert Altman and John Cassavetes, Nair deftly handles a hodgepodge of characters, while the docudrama feel of her active handheld camera lends realism to the proceedings. Much like Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet, Monsoon Wedding offers a glimpse of Eastern culture but also transcends it with universal family themes. Sublime touches of Bollywood sentimentality serve as the frosting on this multi-tiered cake. Especially delicious is the romantic subplot involving one the family's servants (Tilotama Shome) and the wedding planner (Vijay Raaz), who has a penchant for eating marigolds. Not quite a musical, but with a noticeably festive soundtrack, Monsoon Wedding is not only the perfect blending of Indian and American independent cinema but a sweet and emotionally honest story as well.
All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding is a warm embrace of a movie, a bright splash of romance and familial feeling. From the explosion of color and music that marks the opening credits, Nair builds a sense of anticipation for the whirlwind of romantic comedy and drama that marks her film. Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Monsoon Wedding shares its cultural richness and sweep with her previous films. As in Salaam Bombay and Mississippi Masala, life seems to seep in from the edges of the frame. Sabrina Dhawan's script carries the Nair trademarks -- strong supporting characters, and a good ear for how people speak and interact. The script was further developed through intensive rehearsals with the cast and crew. The story is deceptively simple, but touches on issues of class, child abuse, and cultural difference, all in seamless deference to the drama. Assisted by a large and talented group of actors, including personal friends and family (for example, the filmmaker's own nephew, Ishaan Nair, plays the bride's younger brother, Varun), Nair has created a film of intimate detail and universal appeal. One standout in the cast is Vijay Raaz, who plays the buffoonish, but, as it turns out, shyly romantic, marigold-munching Dubei. Raaz manages to make this dual personality completely credible. There's a regrettable patness to the film's coda. But for the most part, Monsoon Wedding honestly captures the spirit of modern Delhi -- the mix of languages (English, Hindi, and Punjabi), the blend of traditional culture and modern technology, the proximity of upper and lower classes, and the influence of Bollywood movies on everyday life. It's not just a touching, funny, multi-layered drama, it's an exuberant love poem to a city and a culture in transition.
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman
The old-world-meets-new mesh is incarnated in the movie's soundtrack, a joyful effusion of disco Bollywood that, by the end of Monsoon Wedding, sent my spirit soaring out of the theater.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding is one of those joyous films that leaps over national boundaries and celebrates universal human nature.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
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Special Features

Monsoon Wedding:; Director Mira Nair's 2001 feature in a new, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by Nair and director of photography Declan Quinn; Audio commentary featuring Nair; New video interview with actor Naseeruddin Shah, conducted byNair; New video interviews with Quinn and production designer Stephanie Carroll; Theatrical trailer ; Seven short films:; The documentaries so far from India (1982), India Cabaret (1985), and The Laughing Club of India (2000), and the fiction films The Day the Mercedes Became a Hat (1993), 11'09"01 - September 11 (segment: "India") (2002), Migration (2007), and How Can it Be? (2008), all with video introductions by the director

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Naseeruddin Shah Lalit Verma
Lillete Dubey Pimmi Verma
Shefali Shetty Ria Verma
Vasundhara Das Aditi Verma
Parvin Dabas Hemant Rai
Vijay Raaz P. K. Dubei
Tilotama Shome Alice
Rajat Kapoor Tej Puri
Neha Dubey Actor
Kulbhushan Kharbanda Actor

Technical Credits
Mira Nair Director,Producer
Caroline Baron Producer
Arjun Bhasin Costumes/Costume Designer
Stephanie Carroll Production Designer
Mychael Danna Score Composer
Sabrina Dhawan Screenwriter
Allyson C. Johnson Editor
Caroline Kaplan Executive Producer
Declan Quinn Cinematographer
Jonathan Sehring Executive Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Monsoon Wedding
1. Logos/Opening Credits [2:52]
2. Father of the Bride [3:25]
3. Secret Affair [3:54]
4. Family Arrives [8:09]
5. Presenting the Groom [5:47]
6. Ria's Plans [7:45]
7. "Exactly and Approximately" [9:52]
8. Caught in the Act [5:44]
9. "No Men Allowed!" [5:50]
10. Good Indian Girls [5:20]
11. Troubled Hearts [3:40]
12. Apologies [5:54]
13. Night of the Sangeet [10:38]
14. An Accusation [10:03]
15. Family Portraits [7:37]
16. Two Weddings [7:52]
17. End Credits [5:14]
18. Color Bars [4:38]


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Monsoon Wedding 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is flush with colour, but not just chromatically, but emotionally, intellectually, and culturally. Nair uses both professional talent and non-actors, minimal use of dollies in favour of hand-held cinematography, and best of all, every single scene is on-location this is a studio-free movie, a real rarity today. At least 5 main plots (and at least 3 sub-plots) play out simultaneously, but Nair manages to keep each one distinct yet interrelated. The characters are rich--no one is purely evil, no one is purely good. The stories are easy to understand because they actually play out in real life every day! Nair puts everything in this movie tragedy, romance, humor, and drama. How this movie escaped more critical acclaim is beyond me!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw Monsoon Wedding yesterday on Pay-Per View. I have to say it was great acting and great directing. Just a great movie that anyone of any nationality should see. Just PERFECT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is incredible, the first time I watched it ended up being three times in a row, once with the director's commentary turned on. An exciting story. All the characters are so special and the acting is superb. This wedding pulls you in and pushes you along at high speeds with the music blaring and the windows down!!!!! Highly recommended, a must see!
Guest More than 1 year ago
No matter what culture or background you are from you should be able to relate to all the elements of this movie. It captures Indian life events abroad in a very realistic but magnified way. This movie can seem disturbing to some indian nationals but it portrays an honest and open look at life as it is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Monsoon Wedding is one of the best foreign comedies.The songs,the dancing,& the tradition that is shown in this movie are wonderful.There isn't one bit of the movie that is unintresting.All the scenery & dialoge is delightfully amusing.From beginning to end this movie is FUNNY and completely ENJOYABLE!
Guest More than 1 year ago
See Monsoon Wedding! It is so much fun, such great music, and wonderful stories. Everyone can relate to the storylines. It is my favorite movie of 2002.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Saw this about six months ago and it has STUCK. A delightful combination of the illusion of travel abroad to exotic India and an almost voyeuristic glimpse into the chaos and angst inevitably associated with a big family wedding. Beautifully acted and directed with an interesting and upbeat soundtrack. Not an errant artistic note sounded anywhere.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For some reason, the previews for this movies did not pull me in when it was in the theatres. But the critics loved it so I decided to rented it on DVD. Now, I can't stop recommending it to everyone. It starts out slow, but stick with it because as you get to know these people you'll fall in love with them. It's a big family and they supply enough comedy to make you laugh out loud and enough drama to break your heart. Great music, great ending, great movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having watched Nair's previous efforts such as Kama Sutra, I knew I was going to witness another twisty tale that hopefully would enlighten. The movie starts and takes you straight into wedding preparations. The main characters are introduced although or rather shoved at you and you have to work it out yourself who is who and what is what. The most exciting thing about the start of the movie is the colour and atmosphere which really comes across vividly. The Film moves sharply from one character to another trying to convey almost a docudrama vision. This is basically what Monsoon Wedding is. A fly on the wall type people analysis combined with the modern culturual values of Delhi India. The modern Delhi/Punjabi family is disected and analysed with any prejudgment. Nair uses vivid colour to contrast with some of the sub plots which are quite dark. Nair uses this to great effect as when the film closes there is a sense of a new beginning for the family and although happiness is in the air, it certainly is not done the traditional Bollywood way. Monsoon Wedding excels in delivering the colour of India and the atmosphere created in this pseudo art house type film shot in super 16MM shows the big boys how to do it. It is not without flaws as it certainly is a quirky movie that manages to hold attention with some fine performances by the actors. Not your usual family melodrama.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Five story lines put together to form one great movie. Comedy and Love balled up together.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must say I am mystified as to why this movie would be slotted as a comedy. Though it certainly has it's comic moments, it contains adult themes that are truly disturbing...child abuse, incest and adultery, not to mention quite a bit of adult language. In other words, don't watch it with your mother, like I did, thnking it's going to be ''My Big Fat Indian Wedding''. I found the storyline complex and fascinating, truly unpredictable. The movie is simply gorgeous to look at. The actors that play the couple to be married, and the young servant woman, are breathtakingly beautiful. The dancing, the music, and the apparent lust between some of characters makes for one of the steamiest movies in memory. Watch it with someone you love.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like Bend It Like Beckham you will love this one. It is more complex and entertaining. It has multiple plots of love and intrigue. I found this movie a breath of fresh air and the steaminess of love all at the same time. You will see many forms of love and relationships in this movie and they all work to tell one story of a family. Definitely worth seeing!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is NOT a big Bollywood extravaganza. Rather, it is a small but lavish production on the emotions swirling around a family on the eve of the eldest daughter's arranged marriage. With bridging scenes shot in the streets of Bombay, the film absolutely transports you. It can be confusing the first time around, as you put together names, faces and relationships; watch it again, because it is worth the second viewing, and you will able to focus less on the subtitles. "Monsoon Wedding" gives us characters more subtly drawn and more round than those of many Indian films--an absolutely delicious movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Didn't really know what to expect from this one and was pleasantly surprised. Basically, this film consists of four or five intertwining stories surrounding an arranged marriage in India. It seems like the multiple story device in filmmaking has become the norm since the success of Pulp Fiction. It definitely works well here. For two hours I felt like I was absorbed into the Punjabi Indian culture. The characters in this film were very authentic. In fact, it almost had a documentary feel to it ... and I briefly wondered if the director had cast her own family and friends as the lead parts and filmed the preparation of a real wedding. Certainly this film helps to dispell the ridiculous notion that the "best" filmmaking originates from America, and particularly Hollywood. Of course, most people who hold that notion probably think that "Billy Madison" was a work of art. At any rate, its refreshing to see that a film like this can come out of India and really be as good as any project developed in the U.S. during 2001. Finally, this is not a negative comment, but a word of caution: The characters jump back and forth between speaking English and their native language... and for the first few minutes this is annoying. However, the viewer can quickly adapt to reading the subtitles when necessary, and it doesn't really affect the presentation. Trust me... I have a short attention span, and if I can take it then I bet you can too. In fact... this language shift eventually adds to the authentic flavor of the film. I certainly recommend this movie as something different and refreshing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mira Nair is brilliant director I mean who makes a film 30 days!! Couldn't believe it. Fantastic production values, mind, not like many other Indian movies I've seen. And down-to-earth realistic, not like Bollywood. Yes, there is singing and dancing, but in context, not every five minutes! I have nothing against Bollywood, but I'm glad to see that there is a higher standard of Indian film-making out there. Having seen most of her films, I await eagerly for more of her view of her home land. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in customs and traditions of cultures other than one's own. This movie addresses marriage, family, falling in love and the hurts and joys which make it all worth while.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Natural! Realistic and captivating! The actors were able to draw you into their culture and convey the emotions and anxieties in family reunions. I was particularly impressed by Miss Shetty and Vijay.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 11 year old daughter and I own this movie and we love it. We have loaned it out to several friends who all say they have enjoyed it too....
Guest More than 1 year ago
Meera Nair brings out the drama that goes behind social rituals in India. She has directed her actors with ease and made them live their characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this film...can't count the number of times I have watched it. I love this family. once you sort out who the various characters are, along with their varied plot lines, you will be forever hooked! watch it along with nair's commentary (at least once.) you will learn so much about this wonderful culture. the characters, the clothing, the music...all beautiful!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago