Monsoon Wedding

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Monsoon Wedding
Monsoon Wedding poster.jpg
Directed by Mira Nair
Produced by Caroline Baron
Mira Nair
Written by Sabrina Dhawan
Starring Naseeruddin Shah
Lillete Dubey
Shefali Shah
Vasundhara Das
Vijay Raaz
Tillotama Shome
Music by Mychael Danna
Cinematography Declan Quinn
Edited by Allyson C. Johnson
Distributed by USA Films
Release dates
30 August 2001
(première at Venice)
30 November 2001
Running time
114 min
Language English, Hindi, Punjabi
Budget US$1.2 million[2]
Box office US$30.8 million[3]

Monsoon Wedding is a 2001 film directed by Mira Nair and written by Sabrina Dhawan, which depicts romantic entanglements during a traditional Punjabi Hindu wedding in Delhi. Writer Sabrina Dhawan wrote the first draft of the screenplay in a week while she was at Columbia University's MFA film program.[4] Monsoon Wedding earned just above $30 million at the box office.[3] Although it is set entirely in New Delhi, the film was an international co-production between companies in India, the United States, Italy, France, and Germany.[5]

The film won the Golden Lion award and received a Golden Globe Award nomination. A musical based on the film was in development and was premiered on Broadway in April 2014.[6] The film was premiered in the Marché du Film section of the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.[7][8]


The film's central story concerns a father, Lalit Verma (Naseeruddin Shah), who is trying to organize an enormous, chaotic, and expensive wedding for his daughter, Aditi (Vasundhara Das), for whom he has arranged a marriage with a man, Hemant Rai (Parvin Dabas), she has known for only a few weeks. As so often happens in the Punjabi culture, such a wedding means that, for one of the few times in each generation, the extended family comes together from all corners of the globe, including India, Australia, Oman, and the United States, bringing its emotional baggage along.

The movie focuses on the struggle of Pimmi and Lalit for their daughter's wedding, with help from Pimmi's sister Shashi and her husband CJ. Tej Puri (Rajat Kapoor), Lalit's wealthy brother-in-law, arrives. Lalit is grateful to Tej for helping the family to start a new life after the Partition of India left them penniless. Now Tej offers to pay for Aditi's cousin, Ria Verma (Shefali Shah) to attend university in the U.S.. But Ria, whom Lalit took in along with her mother after her father died, stays away from Tej and grows concerned when he appears to be flirting with a younger relative, ten-year-old Aliya.

A few days before the wedding, Aditi has an affair with her old lover, her married boss Vikram. She subsequently confesses to Hemant. Though Hemant is initially angry, he is glad for her honesty and - as the affair only reminded Aditi why she stopped seeing Vikram - is confident that they can put it behind them and be happy together. Meanwhile, P.K. Dubey (Vijay Raaz), the wedding planner, falls in love with Alice, the Vermas' servant. Aditi's little brother Varun (Ishan Nair) plans an elaborate dance for the pre-wedding party with another cousin, Ayesha (Neha Dubey), but Lalit worries that the boy is too effeminate and wants to send him to boarding school. The night before the ceremony, Varun refuses to dance and Ayesha performs alone. After a series of jokes and dances, Ria catches Tej taking Aliya for a drive. Ria stops them from driving off and takes Aliya away from him, proclaiming for all to hear that he had molested her as a child. Some of the women disbelieve her, attributing her accusations to her unmarried status. Emotionally distraught, Ria leaves.

The next day, Lalit goes to Ria and pleads for her to return to the wedding, admitting that he can't possibly imagine what she's gone through but also saying that he can't disown Tej: he is family, and they go back a long time. Nonetheless, Ria agrees to return. Hours before the wedding, however, Lalit changes his mind and tells Tej and his wife (who is Lalit's sister) to leave the wedding and the family, as he will go to any lengths to protect them. Tej's wife protests "For such a small thing!", but Lalit insists.

During the wedding ceremony, after Aditi and Hemant are wed, Dubey and Alice get married as well, with the help of the Vermas. Ria moves on from her past life, and appears to become attracted to another family member. All is well and everyone happily dances to the music.



The soundtrack includes a qawwali by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, a ghazal by Farida Khanum, a Punjabi song by Sukhwinder Singh, an old Indian song by Rafi, a folk dance song. The film includes an Urdu ghazal, Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo (Don't Be So Stubborn About Leaving Today) sung by Pakistani artist Farida Khanum.

All music composed by Mychael Danna (except where listed).

No. Title Music Length
1. "Feels Like Rain"     0:28
2. "oh kanjara ve [you rascal]" (Performed by Sukhwinder Singh) Sukhwinder Singh 5:11
3. "Baraat"     2:13
4. "Aaj Mausam Bada Beimann Hai (*) [Today The Weather Plays Tricks on Me]" (Performed by Mohammed Rafi) Laxmikant-Pyarelal (*) 3:20
5. "Your Good Name"     3:38
6. ""     1:41
7. "Fuse Box"     2:31
8. "Mehndi / Madhorama Pencha" (Performed by Madan Bala Sindhu)   3:26
9. "Banished"     0:52
10. "Good Indian Girls"     3:41
11. "Fabric / Aaja Savariya" (Performed by MIDIval Punditz)   3:01
12. "Allah Hoo" (Performed by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan)   4:39
13. "Hold Me, I'm Falling"     2:57
14. "Love and Marigolds"     2:45
15. "Chunari Chunari (**)" (Performed by Abhijeet and Anuradha Sriram) Anu Malik (**) 4:08
16. "Aaja Nachle" (Performed by Bally Sagoo feat. Hans Raj Hans) Bally Sagoo 3:40
17. "Aaj Mera Jee Kardaa - (Zimpala remix)"     4:56
18. "Fuse Box - Alex Kid's Dub Remix"     6:14
19. "Fuse Box - Julio Black Remix"     3:03
  • (*) Originally featured in the Hindi film Loafer (1973)
  • (**) Originally featured in the Hindi film Biwi No.1 (1999)


The movie won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Mira Nair was the second Indian (after Satyajit Ray for Aparajito) to receive this honour.



Home media[edit]

This film was released on DVD in 2002. In 2009, it was released as part of the Criterion Collection.[9]

Stage musical[edit]

The film will hit Broadway in November 2015.


  1. ^ "Monsoon Wedding: Cast and Crew". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  2. ^ budget
  3. ^ a b "Monsoon Wedding". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (2006). Mercy in her eyes: the films of Mira Nair. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 166–7. ISBN 1-55783-649-3. 
  5. ^ Monsoon Wedding Company Credits
  6. ^ Garima Sharma (12 December 2012). "Monsoon Wedding to make Broadway debut in April 2014". Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Sony Classics, USA turn up Cannes buying heat". 
  8. ^ " US edition: Monsoon Wedding heads for the US". 
  9. ^ "Monsoon Wedding (2001) - The Criterion Collection". 

External links[edit]