The New Delhi wedding of Aditi (Vasundhara Das) to American resident Hemant Rai (Parvin Dabas) has her family in an uproar. Her father Lalit (Naseeruddin Shah) and mother Pimmi (Lillete Dubey) want everything to go perfectly for the perfect couple, but are mystified by some of the actions of Aditi (who is still carrying a torch for a married lover). Her unmarried cousin Ria (Shefali Shetty) adds to the confusion by revealing a very unseemly family secret. Trying to keep things on track is the manic wedding planner P.K. Dube (Vijay Raaz), who becomes besotted by the family maid, Alice (Tilotama Shome).
Director Mira Nair brings her familiar deep humanity to this colorful family comedy. She floods your eyes with vividly hued flowers, saris and food, and your ears with piquant Hindi-English dialogue and bhangras, that catchy, highly danceable Punjabi folk-pop music. To put it baldly, Monsoon Wedding is a collision of Robert Altman and Bollywood. Some of the humor, especially involving the wildly mugging P.K., is excessively broad, but then Nair can make you catch your breath with a gorgeous shot of Alice, secretly preening before her mistress' mirror. (Declan Quinn's cinematography, often handheld, is a real asset.) Nair keeps the disparate threads of the many interfamily relationships under control and shows just how universal dysfunction can be. (Lalit, in the interests of parental concern, tries to dominate not only his wife and daughter, but his young, effeminate son, as well, with disastrous results.)
Shah has just the right amount of authority, tinged with humor. Shetty is all too convincing as that ubiquitous element of every cinematic wedding: the wet blanket who brings inappropriate drama right in the middle of the proceedings. Das, a popular recording star, has a doll-like prettiness but not much in the way of acting technique. (One often wonders about the implications in Asian films of casting performers like her, and quite a few others, whose features definitely tend towards a white standard of beauty.)
Terrific biopic about world-class mathematician and social misfit Alan Turing, who, in spite of a painful struggle with his homosexuality, helped the Allies break the code of the Nazis' Enigma machine. More »
Darker, less action-packed first half of the final installment of the popular franchise moves from arenas to rubble aplenty as Jennifer Lawrence’s super-heroine is called upon to serve her beleaguered and much-destroyed nation as propaganda instrument and leader. Fans of the books and previous two films get a less flashy palette here, but the engaging characters and strong story return to stir interest for the scheduled November 2015 finale. More »
» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.
ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION
Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.
Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.