The Lexi cinema released some of their movies online for free due to the spread of Covid-19, and I was drawn to Monsoon Wedding, coming from an Indian family and becoming besotted with the beautiful array of colours that donned the movie cover.
There are numerous reviews on this particular movie, so I wanted to try something different.
I decided to watch the trailer for Monsoon Wedding and pick out one storyline to analyse when watching the movie. There was one character in the trailer that I hoped to learn more about from the small glimpses I saw of him: an Indian man who appeared to be angry, alone and dismayed with his life until he is surrounded by friends and falls in love. He is also seen vicariously eating an orange flower, which intrigued me.
Trailer can be accessed HERE
From watching the movie, and in particular through following the story of the character I sought to learn more about from the trailer, I can safely say that I would highly recommend this movie. It is a very feel-good movie with captivating storylines and hilarious moments.
The movie revealed that the man from the trailer is called Dubey, and his team of three other men and himself were hired as wedding planners for the main character, Aditi’s arranged marriage, which was organised by her dad, Lalit Verma and his wife, Pimmi to Hemant Rai, the son of a family friend.
The Vermas' female maid first meets Dubey when she accidently bumps into Dubey with a tray of glasses and smashes them. They both find orange flowers on the ground and begin eating them. I discovered after some research that these orange flowers are marigolds. They are used frequently to make garlands for weddings and festivals, as well as being offerings for Hindu gods and goddesses. They are also known as “a poor man’s saffron,” stressing the class divisions between Dubey and the Vermas.
Later on, Dubey is eating dinner with his team when the servant asks Dubey for his empty water bottle so she can refill it, to which he says thank you. It is at this moment that Dubey begins falling for the maid and visits her as she is tidying the Vermas' kitchen. We finally learn that her name is Alice.
Whilst decorating for the wedding, he sees Alice happily trying on a necklace given to Aditi, as well as a bindi and anklet. He smiles at her adoringly from the window. She remembers her reality and sadly takes it all off. The men he works with shout at her as they think she is stealing, to which she flees the room before she can witness Dubey fighting them. He comes to speak with her, but she walks away angrily.
We are given an insight into Dubey’s home life. He lives with his mother in a small squalor place, and the loneliness he feels radiates off of him. It is unlike the beaming smile laced upon his face in the scenes prior to this.
His friends eventually apologise to Alice and the end culminates with them getting married in a simple ceremony, standing in stark contrast to Aditi’s more elaborate wedding. However, the wedding is more than enough for both Alice and Dubey, with the latter gifting her a necklace similar to Aditi’s, which she tried on towards the beginning of the film.
In fact, there were several opposing parallels between Aditi and Hemant’s love story and that of Alice and Dubey’s. The first two were lauded throughout for their good looks and wealth, whilst Dubey was treated pretty poorly by Aditi’s dad who continually shouted at him and Alice was invisible, serving as a maid until Dubey noticed her beauty, which was shielded by her occupation and background.
It was sad that I was not able to see as much of the couple as I would have liked, which is probably because of colourism in Bollywood, but it pays an ode to the fact that love does not discriminate. It can be felt by all. Alice and Dubey’s love was so pure and highlighted how the two things they both wanted — beauty and acceptance — were things they already had, but only discovered when finding each other. Love is one of the few things that can help us get through difficult times, so please watch this film if you are in need of a good laugh, cry and distraction from reality.
I am keen to see which other movies the Lexi cinema has uploaded onto their website. I implore you to have a browse too. You will not regret it!
Link to the Lexi cinema website can be accessed HERE
AUTHOR: Danielle Desouza
I am a 21 year old Politics and Communication Masters student at LSE, makeshift musician and aspiring political broadcaster. I am a staunch supporter of both gender and racial equality, being female and Indian. I want to edge closer to this goal daily by bringing to light injustices, through all forms of journalism.