Monsoon Wedding is a 2001 Indian comedy-drama directed by Mira Nair. As the name suggests, the film follows the lives of a dysfunctional upper-middle class Indian family prepping for their daughter’s wedding in Delhi. On the outside, Monsoon Wedding seems like any other Indian family-drama but as the story progresses you will realise that the characters and their stories are layered with emotions and they make you feel right at home as if you’re attending a wedding in your own family.
Cast & Crew
I was watching an interview in which Mira Nair stated that Monsoon Wedding was shot over a period of 30 days, which is a huge accomplishment in itself, but what intrigued me more is that maybe that’s why the chaotic nature of an ‘Indian wedding’ reflected so well throughout the movie. And maybe that is exactly what Mira Nair was aiming at, where the filmmaking makes you a part of the story, and in this case makes you part of the Verma family and their big-fat Punjabi wedding. Also, a huge shoutout to Sabrina Dhawan for writing such amazing, funny and relatable characters with such interesting backgrounds and storylines.
The comfort of Monsoon Wedding doesn’t just lie in its storytelling and characters. For me it also comes from the soundtrack, which has been beautifully composed by Mychael Danna. Monsoon Wedding also features some original tracks, and ever since I’ve seen the film it’s become really hard for me to visualise these songs in any other video or setting. It feels as if they were composed just for Monsoon Wedding’s narrative. The songs and the themes are the soul of this movie.
Okay, so now let’s get to the cast of Monsoon Wedding which is as illustrious and epic as it can get. You can check out the IMDb list to see what I’m talking about. Monsoon Wedding is the ensemble that dreams are made of, where some of the best actors from the Indian film industry share screen space and give life to this simple story. It’s also extremely hard to pick a favourite character because each one of them has embodied their roles so well and with such perfection. The casting for each character is so spot on and if you look at it closely then you will realise that back in 2001, when this movie was shot some of the actors weren’t as renowned as they are right now. So realising their potential back in 2001 and getting them onboard is truly the work of a visionary.
My Take Are you a 90’s kid?
Are you still fixated on “hindie-pop” music?
Do you sometimes still wish to go back and experience the early 2000’s?
Then Monsoon Wedding is just the right movie for you!
It was probably the year 2010, and I was still a teenager when I first saw this movie and it took me on a time travel experience. The only difference was that I was reliving the “beginning of the century” as an adult now. And boy do I miss that era where globalisation was taking a turn towards “glocalisation” and we were adapting to so many cultural shifts that seem so normal and basic now. Maybe that’s why I keep going back to this movie because it induces a feeling of comfort and nostalgia to a time that seemed simpler and much more fun.
But I guess there’s more to this movie than memories that keep drawing me back to it. It’s the characters and their raw and unique personalities that make me a part of the Verma family. It’s their intimate moments where the whole clan is sitting at the dining table after an exhausting day of prepping for the wedding, getting drunk while singing old-hindi songs, that makes me feel warm and brings a smile to my face. Then there are characters like Dubey ji and Alice with the most precious and innocent love story, that still makes me mushy and emotional.
Monsoon Wedding is a mix of emotions that are subtle but also extremely poignant. It won’t be fair to categorise this movie just as a family-drama because it’s much more than that. It’s also a celebration of the bond that a close knit family shares along with the ups and downs of emotions that come with a crazy big-fat Indian wedding. And the end is so wholesome and heartwarming that it’s bound to make you smile and feel the joy of every character and story coming to a full circle. The Delhite in me also loved the fact that just like an actual Punjabi wedding, this movie also culminated with a kick-ass Punjabi song because let’s face it that a “North ki shaadi” isn’t really complete without a Bally Sagoo banger. Monsoon Wedding is a joyful trip down the memory lane and a perfect watch for anyone who wishes to revisit and relive the beginning of a completely new and different era.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.