Monsoon Wedding (2001)

Monsoon Wedding Movie Review…………………………………………………

Monsoon Wedding Movie Review

Monsoon Wedding is a 2001 Indian film directed by Mira Nair. It is a pretty good, but still flawed movie that could have been much better.

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These are my children,

and I will protect them from myself even if I have to

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Monsoon Wedding Movie Review…………………………………………………

We follow an Indian wedding in New Delhi and all its traditions as the cousins from all around the world come to attend it. I liked that the film realistically portrayed one Indian wedding and everything that comes with it. It was well executed and the film works as a strong, sometimes even emotional drama. There are some discussions and conversations that are so good here.

However, what I didn’t like is the film’s lack of focus. Having in mind that it has such a large number of characters in it, I guess I should forgive them for that. But still I wished for a clearer and more focused narrative. For example, the sexual abuse that happened in this family came out of nowhere and although it does have its tragic effect, it was still thoroughly underutilized and needed much more screen time just for itself.

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Monsoon Wedding Movie Review…………………………………………………

As for the characters, they are mostly really well developed for the short time that they received. I loved the parents, they are the most memorable and well realized of the bunch and the scenes between the two were very strong. Of course everything surrounding the marriage with the daughter was also well executed. But everything with the wedding planner was frustrating to me as he is such an annoying, pointless character and I disliked that part quite a bit.

Monsoon Wedding isn’t an Indian film, but it is a coproduction between different countries and that is evident in its execution and tone. The film is certainly very Indian in the wedding scenes and especially in the music as it utilized on their traditional music and dances, but it is quite American in its characterization and especially in the dialogue which contains more curse words than you would expect from India and its erotic sequences and talk about sex and abuse.

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Monsoon Wedding Movie Review…………………………………………………

It is very well directed by Mira Nair and is so well acted. The acting is strong across the board with each and every performance being satisfactory. The script is also pretty strong and I liked that it dealt with a lot of different things such as arranged marriage, the costs of a traditional marriage, the future of the children as well as sexual abuse. The film works as a pretty solid and sophisticated examination of its subject matter and I guess that it is immensely relatable to Indians in particular. But it still feels universal enough in its themes and emotion that everyone from all around the world should enjoy it like I did. Some scenes were even touching and romantic. Overall, I really liked Monsoon Wedding, but I just wished that it was less convoluted, more focused and it would have been much better. Some scenes were also too laidback owing to its slow pace.

Monsoon Wedding executes its subject matter really well with a strong script filled with many interesting themes. The performances are very good across the board and most of the characters are well realized. The film definitely lacks focus and is filled with too many characters and subplots, but it mostly managed to make use of them all with some scenes being quite emotional and powerful and the overall film being very dramatic and ultimately satisfactory.

My Rating – 4

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Baahubali: The Beginning (2015)

Baahubali: The Beginning

Baahubali: The Beginning Review

Baahubali: The Beginning is an Indian historical fiction film directed by S. S. Rajamouli and starring Prabhas. It is one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time and it truly is such a fun, charming experience.

The story itself is quite fascinating and although it is a typical story seen countless times, it is still infused with trademark Indian qualities which make it fresh and unique. I really found the first act a bit too difficult to comprehend as the actions and the overall storyline wasn’t properly explained. But it got better in the second and third act and the plot became much more engaging and much better realized.

The characters are all solid, but could and definitely should have been better developed. The protagonist is too typical, but I really found Avanthika to be such a great and likable character that is also such a strong female character. And all of the women here are so well realized which was a surprise as they were better developed and certainly more interesting than their male counterparts.

As is the case with Indian films, this one also has a distinct style which is achieved by a lot of singing and very big tonal shifts that happen quite often. And while that can be distracting and it does take its time to get there and for you to get used to it, I still liked it in the end as it provided many new flavors to this story.

First, let’s talk about the war and action aspects of the story. Yes, the end battle is most certainly extended beyond any reasonable running time, but it is still epic and so entertaining. The action sequences are phenomenal in Baahubali as they are not only well choreographed, but also at times inventive and immensely engaging. Every fight sequence is great here with the sword fights being so well executed. And the camera movements are great, letting you see everything properly. That definitely helps the movie a lot.

Next up is the romance. I loved it! Yes, I found that aspect to be the best here which was really unexpected for me. It is simply magical and the whole movie is like that, but the romance at the center of the story is so well done that you wish that there was more of it. The highlight for me was the moment where he exposes her feminine side in a scene that is undoubtedly the best and most memorable one in the entire film. That sequence is accompanied by a song that isn’t annoying for once, it is visually astounding, even poetic and above all very erotic, but wonderfully so as it isn’t overly sexual, but sensual and energetic and done just right.

But the musical elements unfortunately did not work for me as I found the music annoying and not accompanying the scenery or the time period properly as it was too modern and too fast. But the songs are just very annoying and not one of them is particularly memorable or distinguishing itself from the rest of the pack. The musical aspect was the weakest one here.

Baahubali: The Beginning is technically astonishing. The visual effects are just amazing and the kind of effects that I adore. It always looks bright and colorful and it’s always polished and looks great. The scenery is mesmerizing with many breathtaking shots that just never seized to amaze me. The waterfalls, the caves, the nature, the clothes and everything here is so bright and detailed and just beautiful to look at. The score is also really good and the tone is in the end quite solid for an Indian film. The dialogue could have been better, but the direction is great and the pacing is excellent with the appropriate amount of running time as the movie is truly epic in scope and possesses terrific world-building. It is emotional at times, but not as much as I expected it to be. But the imagination is evident and I just loved this world. The humor is also there and although the movie can be at times too silly with its ridiculous action scenarios, it was still incredibly entertaining and just so effervescent from start to finish. And it is also memorable and authentic and so epic that I am excited for the conclusion a lot.

Baahubali: The Beginning has weaker musical elements, the characterization could have been better and is at times too silly, but it has absolutely amazing mix of superbly executed and entertaining action and wonderful romance with a couple of truly poetic scenes. It is also unforgettable, authentic, so imaginative and filled with terrific special effects, mesmerizing imagery, beautiful score and it is just so engaging and so charming from beginning to end.

My Rating – 4

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      Interior & Exterior Stills from Baahubali: The Beginning

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