Of the many indie hits this year, Monsoon Wedding can probably be considered the first in the trend. Dramatic and slightly comedic, a mixture of American and Indian cultures and languages, Monsoon Wedding effectively breaches the line between foreign and domestic films.
Monsoon Wedding is about - you guessed it - a wedding in New Dehli, and all the relatives are pouring in. Some prefer the traditional, others Western style, but they are all intertwined, all connected by their family heritage. There is drama between the bride and groom; they have only known each other for a few weeks, and she is seeing another married man. There is also an uncle, a family friend, who holds a deep dark secret; one of the sisters knows what it is, and is on the verge of revealing it. Then there's the wedding designer, who has fallen in love with the family's maid...
Monsoon Wedding was not what I was expecting. Having seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the runaway hit of the year (produced for under $5 million), I was thinking along the lines of a goofy comedy that harmlessly poked fun at traditional ways. Instead, Monsoon Wedding analyzes the way India is modernizing. It is more of a drama than a comedy, although it does have funny aspects.
Had I know what Monsoon Wedding would be like, I probably would have enjoyed it a little more, but after all is said and done, I still liked it. It could have been a little funnier without losing the serious parts, although some of the jokes may not have transferred well from the Indian version. Subtitles just don't do jokes justice, although thankfully Monsoon Wedding isn't dubbed.
It's not a movie that one can watch repeatedly, but Monsoon Wedding is a good film with many storylines to choose from.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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