Rain-Soaked Romance in the Real World
The rain-soaked scenes in this movie are nothing short of
visual intoxication. With the rain comes a feeling of renewal
and child-like exuberance
Mira Nair is a director who brings a sense of soul and
passion to her movies. As in her movie, Kama Sutra, you become
so absolutely entranced, you forget you are watching a movie and
imagine you are living within one of the character’s minds.
While the Kama Sutra movie is intoxicatingly erotic, this movie
focuses on contemporary culture and is a window into a world you
would otherwise never see unless you traveled to India. Together
with the writer, Sabrina Dhawan, she has woven the ancient
traditions of a Punjabi wedding with the life and pulse of
It is a more realistic expression of the culture and cares of
modern society. The R-rating seems mostly for swearing which is
at times comical although mostly unnecessary.
Delhi is a city where tradition collides daily with global
culture. Mira Nair focuses on the family relationships taking
place at an affluent farm-house on the outskirts of Dehli where
women sing and dance in intricate silky saris.
While this is mostly a family comedy/drama, the director
occasionally draws your attention back to the street life in
India. She celebrates the sensual pleasures of cinema, while
also succeeding in taking hold of your heart in the most
interesting way. There is a sense of intimacy as she delves into
the minds of her characters, revealing their hidden hopes,
dreams, anxieties and well-guarded secrets.
What is most fascinating about this movie is the familial
relationships. Family arrives from all over the world to attend
the wedding. The dialogue shifts effortlessly and between
English, Punjabi and Hindi reflecting the real India where
speakers often use both English and Hindi in the same sentence.
The story begins four days before the wedding. A lavish
garden ceremony has been planned at Aditis’s home. Almost
immediately, you are drawn into Aditi Verma’s (Vasundhara Das)
sorrow, her sense of loss during a moment in time where you
would imagine she would be opening a new door in her life.
Instead we see her ex-boyfriend (Vikram, her boss) closing a
door as he walks back into his life.
Aditi’s unmarried cousin, Ria (Shefali Chaya), watches her
plunge herself recklessly into marriage and warns her that she
might not want to divulge all her sexual secrets. Aditi hardly
seems concerned that she is leaving India for a life as a
housewife in Houston, Texas and that she has never met the man
she is about to marry.
Rita is soon to devulge her own secrets and this highlights
some intensely emotional situations where the devastating family
betrayal brings out the absolute best in Aditi’s father as he
has to decided between family loyalty and a strong moral
position. Some of the scenes in this movie show such intense
love and care, they will take your breath away.
Aditi finally meets Hemant (Parvin Dabas), who seems to long
for a pure innocent Indian bride who is a flower waiting only
for him to pluck her from this sea of custom and take her back
home to America. I would love to see Mira Nair take “Of
Marriageable Age” by Sharon Maas and turn it into a movie.
Hemant reminded me so much of “Nat” in her novel who was
also looking for a sweet innocent Indian bride.
What he finds is a slightly wilting flower, still longing
passionately for her ex-boyfriend. Drawn by destiny the couple
has submitted to their parents wishes and while they both have
known deep love, their commitment to this marriage is highly
romantic. There is a beautiful moment where Aditi’s fiancé
forgives her for not saving herself for him and admits that he
too has loved deeply and been hurt before. This moment brings
out such respect in Aditi’s heart and is a real turning point
in the movie.
Aditi’s father, Lalit Verma (Naseeruddin Shah) can’t
afford the ceremony and already the wedding planner has
requested an additional fee to waterproof the tent in case of
rain. As with any wedding, the wedding planner has to deal with
last minute anxieties and the Bride’s father is not at all
pleased with the marigold archway which is disintegrating before
his eyes as petals fall onto the ground, perhaps symbolic of his
daughter’s situation. He seeks solice in the arms of his wife
Pimmi (Lillete Dubey) and they share some extremely touching
moments that show their true love for one another.
P.K Dubey (Vijay Raaz) is responsible for the wedding and
seems rather jaded and seems to have a penchant for eating
marigolds which actually are a bit spicy. He has planned so many
weddings and has yet to find his own true love. Alice (Tilotama
Shome), the Verma’s maid shows him a small kindness and gets
I found the Marigolds to be of interest. Marigolds have at
different times stood for sacred affection, life, fertility,
protection from evil, jealousy, faithfulness, and submission.
These flowers make their appearance throughout the movie and
seem to be symbolic in many ways. They are considered to be
sacred and said to cure the trembling of the heart. This might
be why Dubey keeps eating them as he is falling in love with
Monsoon Wedding will leave you feeling refreshed and
longing for a sense of family and tradition in your own life.
This is a beautiful expression of culture, creativity and
connection with an emphasis on rain, romance and relationships.
Monsoon Wedding (Score)
= Haunting & Exotic
Monsoon Wedding is one of my favorite movies. The story is
contemporary but has a very traditional appeal. It has all the
elements of a good story and lots of romance.
The music varies dramatically through the movie. It is really
a mosaic of music that mixes beloved love songs from old Hindi
films with bawdy celebrations songs. And then there is the
haunting “Your Good Name” which I could listen to all day. I
also loved “Fuse Box,” “Banished” and the tribal beat in
“Mehndi/Madhorama Pencha.” They must have really known we
would like “Fuse Box” as there are three versions or one
original and two remixes.
The music is used in the same way the characters in the movie
would use the music. They use the music to celebrate, mourn or
You have such contrasts throughout the soundtrack it really
does keep this very interesting. “Hold me, I’m falling” is
terribly romantic and is piano played in such a delicate way as
to inspire dreams.
What a contrast. Then you hear “Aaja Nachle” which throws
you into a sort of modern frenzy of sounds and interjection of
words and fast phrases.
Definitely a soundtrack to own if you have seen the movie. If
not, then this might make you want to see Monsoon Wedding.
~The Rebecca Review
Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Umbrellas of Cherbourg
An Umbrella Opera, August 20, 2005
Umbrellas of Cherbourg is quite a few levels beyond a
musical due to the operatic elements and fairytale sets. The
summery pallet of pastel pinks and blues contributes to the
childlike wonder and innocence in this romantic classic.
The wallpaper is magnificent and the sets are decorator dreams.
The placement of umbrellas throughout the movie creates a
magical element and seems to echo the protection Geneviéve
(Catherine Deneuve) craves from her true love and how none of us
are truly protected from the rains of true love which can drench
us in overwhelming desires.
Geneviéve experiences passion with Guy and after one experience
becomes pregnant. Her mother handles the situation fairly well,
and instead of delving into moral lessons, Jacques Demy focuses
on the exaltation of love and a subtle acceptance of life's
challenges. He has also beautifully woven kindness and
eventuality into the complex human experience.
Do you have a new box of tissues? The score was written to
induce a tearful response. Not only does it succeed, it
"excels" in this task. The music is dreamy and
comforting all while taking you through a very human experience.
Umbrellas of Cherbourg is filled with sweet dreams, snow, rain,
fantasy candy-colored sets and difficult decisions which seem to
be made more by circumstance and financial considerations.
Camera techniques are blissfully creative and characters wander
from room to room in a natural flow of experience. Singing
continues throughout, creating one of the most memorable musical
experiences in cinema.
~The Rebecca Review
Lippincott Burgundy Silk and Lurex Umbrella
Whispering Waters Moodtape
Whispering Waters is a series of artistically captured water
images designed to soothe the soul and bring instant calm to
your day. Shot on location in Yosemite National Park, the scenes
are beautifully serene. The natural landscapes are set to an
original piano score and the water images range from majestic
waterfalls to delicately peaceful streams. As water cascades
down sheer walls and one images fades into the next a sense of
calm descends on you making this a very relaxing escape when you
are in need of solace. Many of the images would only be
accessible to the most adventurous hiker so the stunning beauty
is eloquently captured as water cascades into hidden pools
surrounded by lush vegetation. If you enjoy the Moodtapes,
"Serenity" is also a beautiful journey into nature.
, June 5, 2007
~The Rebecca Review