Monsoon Wedding

Movie review by
Teresa Talerico, Common Sense Media
Monsoon Wedding Movie Poster Image
Poignant Indian tale of family, love, and culture.
  • R
  • 2002
  • 114 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

The movie tells the story of a tight-knit, essentially happy family in India. Overall, the characters are good and loving people, although they do fall prey to temptations and flaws such as adultery and brief bouts of cowardice. A character revered as the family "hero" for his financial generosity is outed as a pedophile and then ostracized.


A man shoves and swats at his employees when they have wrongly accused a woman of stealing. Police harass a couple whom they have discovered necking in a parked car; they surround the woman, and their mocking interrogation of her has an ominous feel. A woman is slapped.


A film dubber demonstrates her skills on a talk show, translating a sex scene in which a woman is "talking dirty." Couples are shown flirting and/or kissing passionately. A man and a woman make out in a car. A wife attempts to initiate sex with her husband, but is rejected. A male character is revealed to have molested his niece when she was a little girl; the same character (off-screen) teaches another child how grown-ups kiss.


Some profanity, the mildest being "bastard," the worst, "motherf---er." A character continually refers to a younger man as "idiot," a running gag that comes across as more playful than cruel. The film also contains some Hindi slang.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Some guests drink alcohol at various wedding celebrations. Several characters smoke cigarettes or cigars. A man quips, "America makes everyone quit smoking."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this is essentially a romantic drama with some comic scenes, it also addresses serious issues such as child molestation and adultery. A woman confronts someone who molested her in childhood because she fears he's moved on to another family member. Nothing is shown. Another woman going into an arranged marriage tries to have one last tryst with her lover in a car and is stopped and harassed by police. Overall the movie focuses on an admirably caring family and blooming romance.

User Reviews

Parent of a 6 year old Written byLB2010 June 14, 2010
Teen, 17 years old Written bymicki April 9, 2008
Teen, 16 years old Written byHappilyEverAfter July 24, 2010

Very enjoyable!

I really liked this film. I thought it was very sweet and it explored some interesting things about Indian culture. The only thing that parents should be concer... Continue reading

What's the story?

MONSOON WEDDING takes place over several days leading up to a wedding. Upper-class parents Lalit and Pimmi Verma (Naseeruddin Shah and Lillete Dubey) have arranged for their daughter, Aditi (Vasundhara Das), to marry Hemant (Parvin Dabas). A modern working woman, Aditi agrees to the antiquated concept only to untangle herself from an affair with a married man. The Verma home bustles with workers and relatives. Various romances develop, the most endearing between housekeeper Alice (Tilotama Shome) and wedding planner, Dubey (Vijay Raaz). As the wedding day nears, complications arise. Aditi, conflicted over her upcoming nuptials, sneaks away to see her former lover. Meanwhile, the anxious father of the bride frets over everything and grapples with a horrible family secret unveiled on the eve of the wedding.

Is it any good?

Director Mira Nair's tale of family, love, and culture in India is a joy to experience. You're riveted from the moment the infectious Bollywood-esque music booms over the opening credits to the wildly romantic and satisfying conclusion. The film explores Indian culture and how characters both preserve that culture and shake it up. It also reveals contrasts: modern and traditional, young and old, rich and poor, East and West, appearance and reality.

Alice and Dubey's moments together are awkward and sweet, while Dubey's interactions with his workers provide much of the film's comic relief. These characters also serve as a contrast to the wealthier family that employs them. The way Aditi's father handles the dark family secret shows the fierce loyalty that binds this family and drives its story. And, of course, romance and love bloom throughout, as vibrant and delicate as the marigolds that brighten the film's landscape.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the various contrasts in the film, particularly those between younger and older people, and modern versus traditional Indian culture. Toward the end of the film, a woman describes how people must step up to the plate and "fight the battle." How do various characters demonstrate this philosophy throughout the film?

Movie details

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