“The rains are coming and so is the family.”
Monsoon Wedding, premiering in Geneva at the Smith Opera House on Thursday, August 15, is a colorful, exuberant celebration of modern-day India, family, love, and life. Combining traditional ideas of marriage and family with the realities of modern life, Monsoon Wedding is an outlandish and energetic film from director Mira Nair.
The majority of the film takes place inside the home of an extended Punjabi family living in New Delhi who has gathered together for the arranged wedding of Adita (Vasundhara Das). She is to marry Hemant (Parveen Dabaas), a man who works in the United States. This means leaving her family home to go live with him, and though Adita says she welcomes the new opportunity, it is clear that she already feels homesick. Also at issue is the fact that she is still in love with her former boss, Vikram (Sameer Arya), a television producer who promises to divorce his wife but never does. Though Adita is careful to hide her true feelings from her family, her sister Ria (Shefali Shetty) worries that she is marrying for the wrong reasons. Ria has issues of her own. She wants to go to school in the United States and become a writer, but her family would prefer her to follow a more traditional path, and they claim that money is the reason. Meanwhile, the rebellious wedding planner, P.K. Dubey (Vijay Raaz) is falling in love with the family maid, Alice (Tilotama Shome). Sparks also fly between two of Adita's cousins, Ayesha (Neha Dubey) and Rahul (Randeep Hooda), who meet at the wedding and find that their conflicting values are a good challenge for each other.
Monsoon Wedding is the first film to explore the mostly English-speaking upper-middle class of contemporary India. It portrays this milieu with humor and affection, while examining, in an unpreachy fashion, daring topics of class and changing sexual mores.
Monsoon Wedding will be screened August 15, 16, 17 and 18. Showtimes are 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Running time is 1 hour, 54 minutes. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. All seats on Thursday are $3. In English, Hindi and Punjabi with subtitles, it is rated R.
The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street in Geneva. Call 315-781-LIVE or toll-free 1-866-355 LIVE for additional information.