Customer Reviews


91 Reviews
5 star:
 (52)
4 star:
 (19)
3 star:
 (9)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars A Joyous Celebration (despite the secrets)
Mira Nair produced a film which is very entertaining, magical, and realistic in how it portrays the stresses and experiences associated with planning a modern wedding in India. The bride is a college educated beauty who has some liberated ideas and behaviors ... but she is also the the only daughter of her parents, a child of her culture. She agrees to an arranged...
Published on June 14 2006 by Erika Borsos

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous movie ruined by crass commercialism
Let me begin by saying that Monsoon Wedding is an utterly fantastic film. Everything everybody else said to praise the film in their reviews is absolutely correct.
Why am I giving such a terse review and such a low rating, then?
Well, as some of you know, DVDs have a mode where they can disable most of the user controls -- you can't fast forward or search...
Published on Nov. 13 2002 by Irfon-Kim Ahmad


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous movie ruined by crass commercialism, Nov. 13 2002
By 
Irfon-Kim Ahmad (Toronto, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Monsoon Wedding (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
Let me begin by saying that Monsoon Wedding is an utterly fantastic film. Everything everybody else said to praise the film in their reviews is absolutely correct.
Why am I giving such a terse review and such a low rating, then?
Well, as some of you know, DVDs have a mode where they can disable most of the user controls -- you can't fast forward or search backward, you can't skip to a different chapter, you can't even enter the DVD menu.
Most movies use this strictly for the copyright notice. This doesn't bother me at all.
The Monsoon Wedding DVD, which I just purchased and brought home and sat down with a friend who had never seen the film to watch, uses this mode to force you, each and every time you want to watch your copy of Monsoon Wedding, to watch a trailer for another movie and a commercial for the Monsoon Wedding soundtrack.
Even if you've seen these commercials a thousand times, still, you have to pay your dues and sit through the advertisements before you'll be allowed to watch your movie. Not only can you not skip them, you can't even fast forward through them.
You'll know every word of these commercials as well as you know the movie. In fact, one could say that they've been more or less integrated into the movie by tying the two inextricably, except that at least with the movie you can skip to chapters you like or watch only parts, whereas theres no way around these if you wish to watch the film.
...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Joyous Celebration (despite the secrets), June 14 2006
By 
This review is from: Monsoon Wedding (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
Mira Nair produced a film which is very entertaining, magical, and realistic in how it portrays the stresses and experiences associated with planning a modern wedding in India. The bride is a college educated beauty who has some liberated ideas and behaviors ... but she is also the the only daughter of her parents, a child of her culture. She agrees to an arranged marriage to the handsome son of a friend of the family... after a failed love affair (first secret in the film) from which she is not yet fully recovered. Aditi feels ready for marriage, so she tells her unmarried female cousin Ria who has some doubts about the matter. The unique traditions of the past are combined with modern touches - the past and present intertwine in unexpected ways to produce a beautiful and creative collage of whacky entertainment. The street scenes filmed in New Delhi symbolically represent the chaotic atmosphere, tensions and pressures of the preparations for a wedding. The plans are to create a joyous celebration ... to be remembered by both families ...and cherished for a lifetime. Family arrived from America, Dubai, and Australia ... to celebrate the blessed union of two young people in marriage.

Lalit Verma, father of the bride takes his role seriously, his personality, character, and approach provide many of the comic and serious touches in the film. He displays extraordinairy sensitivity to a family tragedy that is unexpectedly revealed (the second secret) and takes courageous action to deal with the problem directly. He proves to be a caring, loving father whose integrity ensures the wedding preparations continue as planned, allowing nothing to mar the perfection of the moment. He even asks for a temporary loan from business associates to meet mmediate "cash flow" problems as the costs keep mounting upwards. The casting for all the roles are superb. The music was incorporated into the story of the film, enhancing and emphasizing the emotions in many scenes. There was spontaneous singing during the "mehndi" ceremony when the women paint henna designs on the hands of the bride. There was a haunting solo sung about the bride leaving the loving palace of her father ... to become a stranger to his house forever after marriage. Several enjoyable modern Indian techno sounds exploded throughout the film making the scenes more lively and enjoyable.

Along with the wedding, there are several stories interwoven within the fabric of the film ... The first and most important one is how the wedding plans for Aditi and Hermant could have unravelled after Aditit confessed her secret affair to him. While the two large tents are built in the backyard, garlands of marigolds {"the flower of love") are woven, and the cost of water-proofing the tents is being negotiated - P.K. Dubey, the cell-phone carrying, dot.com business entrepeneur wedding event manager, and *bachelor* falls in love with Alice, the young maid and housekeeper for the Verma family. Meanwhile, Varun, Aditi's brother practices a dance he will perform at the 'sangeet' (engagement party?) with Ayesha, a very attractive cousin from Dubai. However, just before the party he clashes with his parents over his future educational plans. They decided he will be sent to a boarding school. Ayesha has been flirting with Rahul, a handsome young relative of the Verma's from Australia. They have even exchanged kisses in the dark. He had witnessed her dance sessions with Varun who now refuses to do the performance. When Rahul will not take Varun's place, one of the older ladies overhears and quotes poetry to him about his failure to rescue a lady in distress. She tells him straight up to get off his @ss ... Some of the most sensitive scenes include Ria, when she clues in on certain behaviors between Uncle Tej and Aleja, a young girl of about 6 or 7. Ria exposes Uncle Tej and at the same time reveals her own shame at having suffered a similar fate as a child. Lalit wrestles with how to handle this delicate situation. He couragously banishes Uncle Tej and his wife from his house. The wedding ceremony is a blessed and dignified event. It turns out to be perfect, a celebration of pure joy ... exactly as planned. Erika Borsos [pepper flower]
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Once is Not Enough..., July 12 2004
By 
FLbeachbum (Ormond Beach, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
I rented this movie and enjoyed it so much that I immediately rewound it and watched it again; now THAT'S a first! And it was even better the second time around, as I didn't have to concentrate so hard for fear of missing something.
Cross-cultural/generational and traditional vs. modern themes have always been a favorite of mine, but here these ideas are explored in layered levels, w/ all of their subtle complexities. There is nothing hackneyed in this presentation. There are various subplots weaving throughout, carrying the viewer through many twists and turns at a perfect pace. Observing the wedding planner Dubey (Vijay Raaz) as he falls in love is especially sweet and charming and funny. Yet this film is by no means a frivolous fluff piece. It has its dramatic and unexpected moments, which serve to enrich one's understanding and empathy for the characters involved.
Oh, and did I mention that the music is delightful? Can't wait to get my copy of the soundtrack (it's on order) to play in the car. I'm also eager to view some of Mira Nair's other films, since she certainly did a superb job with "Monsoon Wedding".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars superb film that discusses universally important matters, April 27 2004
By 
D. Pawl "Dani" (Seattle) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Monsoon Wedding (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
This was the first film I saw directed by Mira Nair, and produced by her production company, MiraBai films. I had heard a great deal about her films, Salaam Bombay! (which I still need to see), Mississippi Masala (another beautiful treasure of a film that I plan to review on Amazon.com), The Perez Family and Kama Sutra. I was so happy to see this film for so many reasons. For starters, visually, it was beautiful to watch, and very engaging. Everything from the street scenes in the market of New Delhi with shots of young boys selling coconut slices, vibrant saris in multitudes of color, and beautiful shots of the architecture held my attention. The story was a great one, too. It was a real glimpse into the lives of two families coming together for a wedding celebration, and all of the baggage, controversy and eclectic friends that come along for the ride. The young couple is brought together through arranged marriage, and are just meeting about two to three days before the wedding is to take place. The young groom is a successful, handsome, intelligent and sensitive computer scientist form Houston, Hemant Rai (Parvin Dabas), and his bride is a young professional, Aditi (Vashundhara Das), who is caught between two worlds--the modern, more western world that says she can engage in premarital sex, keep a full time job, and even continue to sleep with her still-married boyfriend, and the world of traditional Indian values, that include the importance of familial closeness and arranged marriages. What world will she choose to live in? You have to rent this fine film to find out. Also, the subplots that are finely intertwined with the main story about the wedding preparations are very engaging. One is about the importance of redemption, and the other, about love's power to transform.
Don't miss it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Ho-hum Wedding., Feb. 25 2004
This review is from: Monsoon Wedding (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
So far as my own point of view goes Mira Nair was quite at an advantage since the last film of her's that I'd seen was 'Cumasutra: A Tale of Lewd' after which any effort would have been an improvement. I do not intend to say here that I liked the film, but I certainly could not dislike it as much as that earlier piece. As for the question of the film bagging Venice's Golden Lion, I will say that it was entirely because of a western audience delighting in the exotic-ness of a third-world film interpretation of the Hollywood/British ensemble romantic comedy.
The film shoots itself in the foot at an early stage with its pathetic attempts at thrill humor (women comparing breast sizes, smart-ass children spying adults naked, an incongruous sequence of a TV debate on censorship where a fat dubbing artiste is called in to recreate the dialogue of a copulation sequence). The plot revolves around a wedding in a rich n' loud Punjabi family whose sundry members include a worried Father-of-the-Bride, his wife, the daughter who's having an affair with a married man, assorted sexually desperate and pedophiliac relatives and the aforementioned smart-ass children. The story moves about in a very predictable way, often painfully so, and at its 120 odd min length asks for too much of your patience. Trimming it down by 45 min wouldn't have improved the quality of the film, but there would have been that less of it to endure. The slapstick element in the form of a romance between the housemaid and the wedding contractor could have been mildly amusing in a film of much better overall quality but like most other elements of this film, it begins to grate. Various models and NRI-recruits display their typical vacuousness and it is left to a handful of seasoned actors to salvage as much of this venture as they can.
So is there any silver lining to this cloud? I'd like to say yes:
Naseeruddin Shah as the bride's father makes for a picture of dignity in this unholy pastiche. Although one could not ever count it among his more striking performances, it goes without dispute the film benefits immeasurably from the experience and essential solidity of this thespian. He builds a rapport with the audience bit by bit and uses this intimacy to lend a touching credibility to his dramatic scenes towards the end of the film.
Lilette Dubey as his wife lends very good support and it's nice to see an Indian film that features sexual intimacy between middle-ageds without sensationalizing it.
Shefali Chhaya as an ex-victim of the pedophiliac relative is sincere but hampered by utter cliché.
One person who seems to have had fun with this film is composer Mychael Danna. The credit titles roll with an amusing blend of typical Punjabi Baaraat and Western March music. Shots of city traffic (while nice to view, wholly unrelated to the film's plot and adding nothing to it) are punctuated with well executed inspirations from Indian classical music and a wonderful thumri plays as the background to a rather tiresome car-sex scene. If Danna himself has composed these then he represents the Western equivalent of our Vanraj Bhatia, being able to easily fuse the music of disparate cultures. To reflect its Punjabi ambience though, some brain-chewing songs have been imported from other sources for sequences including a horrifying one where a younger relative dresses up as a veritable street-walker and prances to a ludicrous beat while her elders and assorted suitors beam on (the former proudly and the latter lustfully).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars How the monsoon rains wash us all clean, Jan. 27 2004
By 
Daniel J. Hamlow (Narita, Japan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The Verma family are quite under stress, especially the father Lalit. His only daughter Aditi is getting married, a traditional arranged marriage as done in India, but with a twist. The groom, Hemant Rai, is a computer programmer living in Houston, and for Aditi, this is a chance to enter a new world. However, her parents don't know that she has a married lover, Vikram Mehta, a broadcaster for a current affairs programme, and she's counting on him to divorce his wife. And everything about Indian weddings, down to the gatherings of various relatives, the ceremonial engagement rituals, the overbearing loud talk and laughter, is all there (q.v. Bend It Like Beckham). Aditi finds Hemant to be a decent and nice guy, but when push comes to shove, she finds that she doesn't want to start something based on lies and deceit.
Lalit has hired P.K. Dubey as the Events Manager, decorating the trees and bushes with marigolds, arranging the tents, etc. He is quite a shrewd businessman and a character who's made lots of money. Something in him changes when he sees Alice, the Verma family's hired kitchen maid. Alice's a quiet, timid, but pretty and simple girl, and as time passes, he has an attraction to her. It causes P.K. to realize he has managed 150 to 175 marriages, and the pleas of his mother to get her a daughter-in-law causes him to wonder if it's time to abandon his lonesome vagabond lifestyle and settle down with a decent, simple girl.
Other attractions involve Rahul, who has come from Melbourne to attend the wedding, who falls for the sensuous Ayesha, who will do a dance at the wedding.
However, other conflicts come into play. Ria, an adopted daughter who wants to be a writer, seems tense at the presence of an Uncle, Tej, whose family the Vermas are indebted to. She gets a bit nervous when he sees her with Aliya, a young preteen girl. The antics of Varun, their chubby and sensitive son, and his desire to be a chef and rehearsing for a dance for Aditi's wedding frustrates Lalit, who wants his son to more of a man and threatens to send him to boarding school. And when P.K.'s helpers see Alice trying on jewelry in the mirror in a moment of wishful fantasy, they label her a thief, which strains things between P.K. and Alice.
Like the parents in the later Bend It Like Beckham, the Vermas are displayed as disciplinarian and strict, but loving parents. Lalit tells his wife that everything he has done has been for their children's happiness, and that he's willing to take on any trouble and any sorrow for them. Despite the expense, as the mother Pimmi says, since it's their only daughter's wedding, nothing's a waste of money.
If Mohan Rai, the groom's father looks familiar, that's Roshan Seth, who played Nehru in the Gandhi movie-bio as well as the villainous Chattar Lal in the second Indiana Jones Movie.
Intercut with the trials of the Vermas are scenes of Delhi in monsoon season, people in cars, people dragging carts on concrete streets, a mixture of the modern and ancient in the global age. Which leads to this. What of India's role in this global Internet world? As a guest on Vikram's programme states, "just because India is global, why accept everything" at the cost of losing their ancient culture and traditions? When Hemant asks for a tea with no sugar, his friend and person on duty instantly equates no sugar with being American. America may be a land of modern luxury and opportunity, but at the cost of losing one's culture. Why accept everything indeed?
Michael Danna's score and the Hindi songs here add to the atmosphere of this foreign treat, as do the colourful costumes. As for why this is called Monsoon Wedding, well, monsoons are unpredictable in what they do. They come during a certain season, they cause great havoc and destruction, but in the end, the rain cleanses all, and life begins anew, as it does for the Verma family and the newlyweds.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars My vote for movie of the year, Oct. 26 2003
By 
Travis Benson (Calgary) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Monsoon Wedding (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
Perhaps even movie of the decade. This movie is acted beautifully, written skillfully, and directed miraculously. This movie has an almost hyper-realistic feel at times, the cinematography, choreography, acting, lighting, pace, plot, and drama are all perfectly balanced. This movie has almost the feel of a wedding video, realistic, sometimes heartwrenching sometimes heartwarming, it soars above the rank and file of the hollywood miltibillion dollar machine.
This movie is brilliant despite (or perhaps because) wasting no time or money on special effects, explosions, gunfights, or general cheesy movie tricks. what one finds instead is a genuinenesss of spirit that involves the veiwer in the lives of the people. This is the story of a man living in the new "dotcom" India who is set to give his only daughter the wedding of her dreams. With side plots, humour, and fun, this movie is guaranteed to please. If all this doesn't prove that Mira Nair is one of the greatest directors of our age, then perhaps the fact that the whole thing was filmed in thirty days will convince you. This film is a masterwork, many directors will work for a lifetime without achieving half this level of excellence.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of loss and hope, Oct. 22 2003
By 
Daniel S. Russell "syzygy121" (Blacksburg, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Monsoon Wedding (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
This charming film is a wonderful glimpse into the boisterous and ebullient Punjabi culture. We get to see preparations for a wedding, with all the politics and family-wrangling that must go on, but we also get to peer behind the scenes to the loss and the grief and the little joys encountered along the way.
Unlike "Greek Wedding" which often seemed to be succumbing to ethnic caricatures, the characters here are very real, both vulnerable and resilient. The acting is superb, but so many charming people in the cast doesn't hurt either.
The film is like a snapshot of a week in the life of these two families coming together. The ending is upbeat but it leaves many questions unanswered.
The direction is great with only a few uneven spots where the film drags a bit. But overall it is very watchable and even re-watchable.
I would recommend watching the DVD with the English subtitles turned on. This helps with some of the thicker accents among the cast.
A very likeable and memborable film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo Mira!, Sept. 12 2003
By 
"mobby_uk" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Monsoon Wedding (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
Monsoon Wedding is a masterpiece. Rarely I watch a film and come out with a sense of well being, totally satisfied, but with Monsoon Wedding, the joy of watching films, and enjoying cinema as an art form of the most sophisticated kind was rekindled.
If watching movies is compared to eating out, then I do enjoy my pizzas and pastas and burgers, but once in a while when I decide to have a gourmet meal, the difference is immediately felt:
Moonsoon Wedding is similar to a gourmet meal which you know will not happen too often, but when it does you will totally savour it.
This film is multi-layered, deep, funny and poignant, all blended together finely in a rich Indian canvas full of colour and life.
The wedding preparations of the arranged marriage of an upper class Indian beauty (Actress Vashundara Das, who does more playback singing for Bollywood movies and little acting) to an Americanized Indian, becomes a social backdrop that reflects on one hand the Indian culture it comes from, and the complex family relationships that can be common in many cultures on the other.
Most surprising is the issue of child abuse that was totally an unexpected element/sub plot of the film, but handled powerfully and with care,with top acting from Shefali Shetty(the once abused child who rightly suspects that the same relative is doing it again to another child) and Naseeruddin Shah (her decent devoted uncle who raised her and the father of the bride).
Another subplot which was handled very smartly and which added a lot of humour, was the class issue, as we get to see a sample of the Indian working class through the love story of the servant girl 'Alice' and the wedding arranger (an excellent Vijay Raaz).The visible transformation of Raaz as he realizes his feelings for Alice is at times bittersweet and heartwarming, and their developing relationship provide us with unforgettable scenes.
The genuis of Nair, is the fact that Monsson Wedding is not sentimental: the emotional scenes are not long enough to fall into that trap, yet their impact and message is all the same to the point.
Moreover, I loved the hand held shots of Delhi, which as brief as they were,not only succeeded in capturing the colour of the city but somewhat its soul as well.
Monsoon Wedding is first and foremost a director's film, from one of the most talented filmmakers these days,a film that should certainly be in your collection, to go back to it once in a while and savour it like the finest gourmet it is . Bravo Mira!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars You are all invited to a wedding...., Sept. 8 2003
By 
This review is from: Monsoon Wedding (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
Film Director, Mira Nair ("Salaam Bombay!","Mississippi Masala") has done it again by bringing us this very entertaining comedy/drama about family, titled "Monsoon Wedding".In this almost Altmanesque, movie we follow four days leading up to to an Indian families'wedding. There are multiple storylines, which unfold as we watch various members, friends, acquaintances and employees of the Verma family get ready for the impending nupitals of their eldest daughter.This includes the Bride, who is trying to convince herself that an arranged marriage is the path to take, while still being in love with a married man.A story line revolving around a female cousin (Shefali Shetty) who holds a dark family secret and finally decides she must take a stand before it is to late.Then there is the touching and almost magical romance between the wedding planner (Vijay Raaz) and the families' maid (Tilotama Shome).This is all presided over by the families' totally stressed out, patriarch (Naseerudin Shah), who seems to be at wit's end trying to keep everything from imploding.This father may be brusque, short tempered, and screaming a lot, but by the end of the film he proves to us how much he really loves his family.'Love of family' seems to be the movie's theme as we watch the various parties, ceremonies and customs. Sure, there are all sorts of little psycho-dramas being played out.That happens in all families no matter what the country or culture.But in the end, just about everybody gets swept up away by the joyfulness of the celebration.You really feel like your at a wedding!The script to this film is complicated and involving. It's captures your attention as you try to figure out who is related to who and what the relationships are. The acting is first rate especially from Naseerudin Shah (the bride's father) and Vijay Raaz (the event planner).The film makes brilliant use of it's cinematography, which just explodes into vibrant color (lots of reds and golds) giving the story an almost magical flavor by the end. Finally, I have to mention the wonderful dancing and music which greatly enhances the film. This is a very entertaining comedy/drama which I highly recommend!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Monsoon Wedding (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français) [Import]
CDN$ 10.91
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews