Monsoon Wedding

  • Review Date: February 28, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 114 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Poignant Indian tale of family, love, and culture.
  • Review Date: February 28, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 114 minutes





What parents need to know

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.

Not applicable
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."

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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 -- 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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:February 22, 2002
DVD release date:September 24, 2002
Cast:Lillete Dubey, Naseeruddin Shah, Shefali Shetty
Director:Mira Nair
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:114 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language, including some sex-related dialogue.

This review of Monsoon Wedding was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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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 concerned about their kids seeing is that the film alludes to the fact that the main characters' family friend had molested one of the daughters in the family when she was young and is recognized to be about to do it again to another young girl. It is pretty creepy and disturbing.. something families should talk about afterwards. But other than that--great film!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 12 years old December 22, 2008


great love story!!! i loved it!!! no violence, some sex, and some language but overall i thought it was excellent!!!!! prbbly better 4 kids over 13. It does have some sex talk mostly when the neice tells her uncle that a friend of his is trying to make out wit a child like he did to her when she was younger.


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