A foreign group of moviemakers have associated themselves with American-based film companies and the collaboration has brought a gem to the American screen. I have, after a slew of bombs from the big studio production companies, lost faith in Big Hollywood and have grown more faithful to the independent and foreign film world. There is more passion and more heart put into an independent piece that isn’t just chasing the almighty dollar but actually has a story to tell.
The story begins with a Hindu family preparing for their daughter’s wedding. We learn the marriage is an arrangement made with the family of a Houston businessman of Indian descent. As the bride-to-be is consoled by an unmarried but older cousin, she is torn between the man she loves and her family’s request. She figures that the man she loves, who is married, will never leave his wife so she might as well satisfy her family’s request and marry the businessman. But as the days to the wedding tick down in the middle of the monsoon season, tension arises and we are never sure if this wedding that is costing the father of the bride will even happen.
The entire movie is a beautiful serenade through the Hindu culture. Through their music and their language we are swept away into a culture that is rarely looked at, yet is very warm and welcoming. The array of characters is a delight. The hired wedding planner, Dubey, is an odd and amusing character that will make you laugh with his antics of trying to win the heart of a maid. The young boy of the film keeps more turmoil among the family but it is more humorous than dramatic. The actors have risen up to the challenge of entertaining a critical American audience and they have succeeded. Even the characters that we grow to hate (like an uncle with a horrible craving or an unfaithful and conniving husband) are still very well-acted. Just about everything about this film is light-hearted and intended to let the audience have a good time.
This film is full of drama, comedy and fun. The events leading to a Hindu wedding are fascinating and the people of this culture are a very optimistic and entertaining group. The family is something that Americans should admire. Above everything in their lives, their family comes first, a loyalty that many American families lack. It was refreshing to see what a family would do to keep all members happy. The script, a mixture of English and Hindu with subtitles, will keep you interested and smiling from the moment you finally understand what they are saying to the final rainstorm, which is the close.
I have only give two A’s so far this semester and this movie receives my third. I give this an A- for its exquisite portrayal of a loving, close-nit family and for taking me on an unforgettable tour of the Hindu culture. Even if you don’t enjoy foreign films, you should really love this picture. n