Starring Naseruddin Shah, Lilette Dubey, Shefali Shetty, Vasundhara Das, Vijay Raaz, Pravin Dabas, Kulbushan Kharbanda, Tilotama Shome
Directed by Mira Nair
An Indian movie winning the Golden Lion award at the Venice Festival is big news indeed. But strangely, it was neither the much-expected Lagaan or Asoka that did the trick. It was a small flick named Monsoon Wedding from Mira Nair.
And I am happy that here is a movie that shows the way that Indian movies should take in order to reach the global audience and win their praises - the traditions, the customs intact...showing it all with a nice pinch of realism. That is exactly where it strikes a chord!!
Monsoon Wedding brings to the screen, a very moden picture where the traditions and customs meet the urban, niche, dotcom lifestyle which both silently co-exists in the streets and lanes of New Delhi.
The premise is simple. A New Delhi businessman Lalit Verma (Naseerudin Shah) and his family is going through the last minute chaos as the wedding day of their only daughter Aditi (Vasundhara Das) is just a few days away.
In flies their relatives from all over the globe, and also the bridegroom and his family from US.
And the rest of the movie just shows us what the family goes through till the knot is tied - Aditi's premarital affair that is threatening the marriage, Aditi's elder cousin Ria (Shefali) and her dark secrets that she struggles to keep under the lid, and an hilarious love track between the 'mandap' decorator P.K. Dubey (Vijay Raaz) and the household main Alice.
So though it might not look like it has a strong storyline to support it, trust me,it is all in there and the tight screenplay from Sabrina Dhawan makes a lot of difference.
The dialogues are a mix of english and hindi, keeping a lot of realism intact.
This is certainly the perfect answer to a trend that was sparked off by the Barjatyas' Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, but here is all that very same family get togethers, and ceremonies but all with a great dose of realism that you rarely find in movies from India.
The only time they put in the commercial style of romance into the flick is in the love track between Dubey and Alice, and that is what exactly keeps that track lively and humorous.
Though there are several artists in the big pic, only few remains strong at the end of the ride. Nasserudin Shah as the father is splendid and pulls the role with conviction. Shefali as the elder cousin also pulls out her complex character with such ease. Vasundhara Das is just about okay while Lilette Dubey once again shines in her role. Vijay Raaz is undoubtedly the 'find' of the movie and hopefully he will get more of such 'gem' roles in the future.
Music wise also, that one track, Kawa Kawa from Sukhvinder is enough to get your moods on an upbeat. One of the best tracks of this year, without a doubt.
Mira Nair, has no doubt done a splendid job, and thankfully there is nothing pretentious in here like her last Kamasutra. A marvellous simple movie, done justice to in spite of the hand-held cam. She has handled the subject with the right mix of fun and seriousness.
Monsoon Wedding is a fine movie, which is up there with the likes of Lagaan, though it might not have the expected dosage of songs, dance, and thrills as you find in a Bollywood flick. But the movie has a heart and a soul, and this is one of the finest of all those Hinglish movies that you have seen over the last two years from India.
Monsoon Wedding is undoubtedly this year's finest, and deserves to be seen. A movie one must never miss. Mira Nair, take a bow!!