Monsoon Wedding (2001) directed by Mira Nair
In honor of my friend who just got married today, I decided to go ahead and continue the wedding theme by picking a foreign wedding movie. But first I want to comment on the difference between the typical American wedding everyone's been to and weddings from other other cultures. Today I attended my first ever Arabic wedding and it's easily the funnest wedding I've ever been to. American weddings are subdued proper affairs, perhaps even boring, while Arabic weddings are literally a celebration. They dance, cheer, sing and party all night long. It's kind of funny because I was one of three or four Asians in a room of 600 Arabic people and they made me feel like a part of the celebration, like I belonged with them. It was a really cool experience, something I won't forget.
It was a pleasant surprise to watch Monsoon Wedding, which is about an Indian wedding and seems equally festive and fun. The wedding isn't until the very end, but I found myself smiling at the sheer joy everyone seems to be having. The dances in the film reminded me a lot of the dances I did today.
The story begins a couple days before the big day when everything is being put together. Nothing seems to be ready yet and it's causing the father of the bride a lot of stress. The pure chaos and dysfunction going on throughout these scenes are a perfect set up for the film's comedy. The film has an infectious energy to it and keeps things bouncing along, juggling from story to story, romance to romance. Orbiting around the bride and groom's love story are satellite romances. My favorite one is the obnoxious wedding planner falling for the hired help. There is a tenderness to those scenes that is so sweet.
There are serious issues in the film interspaced between the comedy. A couple things threaten the wedding all together. One is the bride's self doubts and the other is the climax of the film that I won't reveal here. Once that is resolved, as it obviously will, the party is able to get started and all the hard labor and tension built up throughout the film can finally be released in the joyous party, even if it is pouring rain outside. The monsoon isn't enough to ruin their day.
I really liked this film. Maybe I'm just in a good mood after going to my friend's wedding, but I was really into it. All I know is if I get married, I'd want it to resemble a party like the end of this film rather than a exchanging corsages at Jr. Prom.