Paper: A Review of the Film, Monsoon Wedding

Director Mira Nair carefully combines American style narrative and culture with Indian tradition and heritage. The film centers around the wedding of Aditi and Hemant. Weddings are universal ceremonies that people of any culture can relate to. However, Nair adds a flair of Indian tradition by making it clear that it is an arranged marriage. This technique is very successful because it attracts a larger audience and it also gives an insight into what makes Indian tradition unique. Near the beginning of the film, Aditi engages in a conversation with her sister, Ria, about the arranged marriage Ria brings up the fact that Aditi is still in love with her ex-boyfriend and that an arranged marriage with Hemant might not be the best idea. Aditi questions Ria, "What do you know about passion?". In response, Ria retorts, "How about marrying for love". There is a conflict that is brought to attention. Arranged marriages are socially accepted and sometimes even encouraged in Indian society. However, Ria represents the more "Westernized" idea that love and free-will is the central ingredient to a marriage. The style that stands out the most is the juxtaposition of English and Hindi. The characters switch in and out of both languages. This makes it more engaging to Western audiences and at the same time, it doesn't lose its Indian audience. Another style that is obvious is the presence of music. The gathering of the whole family is linked with a lot of dancing and music, which sets up an upbeat and exciting mood. A lot of Indian films are heavily music-oriented and director Nair does justics to the traditional setup of Indian cinema. The music also helps balance out the dramatic aspect of the film, such as the developing romance between the characters and the betrayal of a friendship. Monsoon Wedding is filled with Indian and Western traditions. At times, the two ideas clash but in the end, it blends together and resolves conflicts. From the "white tent" being a western design, to the traditional saris the women wear, Nair has combined the two themes ever so elegantly. ...