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Bollywood Reviews
Review of the week - Monsoon Wedding
Punch Line: Bonds of Love
Click here for more reviews - By Mini

Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Roshan Seth, Vasundhara Das, Shefali Shetty, Vijay Raaz, Neha Dubey, Parvin Dabas
Director: Mira Nair

Monsoon Wedding is uncompromisingly Indian - it is set during a Punjabi wedding, so how much more Indian can you get? The wonderful thing about it is, it does not look at an India like an outsider and clutter the frames with easily palatable oriental exotica of sadhus, snakes, elephants and vermilion. And so the Indian audience does not have to feel naturally defensive and can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

The film is about contemporary India - a contemporary upper middle class home getting ready for a marriage. The Varma household is in a tizz as there are just four days left for Aditi's marriage to suitable NRI boy Hemant Rai.

The tent houseman, Dubey, is serene even as Lalit Varma, the father of the bride, is going ballistic at the amount that still needs to be done. The film follows five stories - that of Aditi and her married lover, Ria the radical writer and her dark past, the teenage lust story between vivacious Ayesha and the foreign retrrned Rahul the comfortable love between Lalit and his frazzled wife Pimmi and finally the sweetest of all the love between Dubey and the maid Alice.

The credit for keeping tight control of the stories so that none goes haywire should go to scriptwriter Sabrina Dhawan and the crisp editing. The sound track is a mixture of nostalgia and garage music with a healthy dollop of Punjabi pop. The film has been shot with a steady cam to highlight the intimacy of a wedding in the family and at the same time to capture the exuberance of the ceremonies.

Of the cast, the senior actors - Naseeruddin Shah is his usual brilliant self as Lalit, Lillete Dubey is adorable as Pimmi, Kulbushan Kharbanda is great as Chadha (we all know a Chadha uncle, good natured and a wee bit boring). Roshan Seth as the groom's father and Shefali Shetty as the tortured Ria are great. The fresh faces are a revelation and leading the pack is Vijay Raaz as Dubey. He is the tough guy with a soft romantic kaju barfi for a heart. Neha Dubey as feisty Ayesha, Vasundhara Das as child woman Aditi and Parvin Dabas as Hemant go through the paces with the ease of veterans.

The film is excellently scripted and the little touches that are so contemporary India are delightful like the bit about the millennium look for the shamiana or the one about Dubey moving into event management or even the one where Lalit sits with piles of bills.

Mira Nair described Monsoon Wedding as "the ultimate love song to Delhi" and the shots outdoors so effectively capture the beauty and the bustle of this ancient yet modern city. The film is multi-layered with certain dark echoes but spread over all that is this incredible feeling of bonhomie that willy nilly brings a grin to the face.

Courtesy: The Hindu

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