Monsoon Wedding

Bomb Rating: 

This movie has been generating some buzz and after seeing it, I can only conclude that the distribution company handsomely greased a few theaters and more than a few critics. I don't know which marketing director first discovered that a single whole fried ham delivered to Roger Ebert's doorstep could launch an attached movie from obscurity to acclaim, but rest assured that person has since been promoted to VP.

"Monsoon Wedding" reveals little more than the fact that "Love Boat" had a profound influence on Indian romantic comedies too. We have intertwining entanglements as Aditi Verma (Vasundhara Das) and Hemant Rai (Parvin Dabas) try to work out the details of their arranged marriage, while at the lower caste the wedding planner P.K. Dubey (Vijay Raaz) and family servant Alice (Tilotama Shome) find themselves mutually drawn. Remember, this is Love Boat, so in both storylines, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, then (spoiler) boy gets girl in the end. Not willing to leave well enough alone, director Mira Nair throws in a darker subplot to assert her artistic credentials -- it just ain't drama without some childhood trauma.

This movie looks like it was filmed on the Love Boat too, if the Love Boat were a dingy being pitched around by dueling tsunamis. The camera wobbles so much, the theater should have had motion sickness bags taped to the back of every seat. The end effect is akin to that of a home wedding movie filmed by a drunk uncle who refused to let the camera stop rolling.

A pervasive theme in "Monsoon Wedding" centers on the encroaching influence of American culture in Indian society. Apparently it passes for bold sociopolitical commentary to note that America is the 21st century Rome. First, that's not news (if you think it is, post it in the Forum). Second, it's not like we landed an invading force around the world and forced everyone at gunpoint to start using cell phones. Finland did that.

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