Monsoon wedding”(2007), an award winning movie, directed by mira nair. Features widely known Indian actors, such as Vasundhara Das, Naseeruddin Shah and Vijay Raaz. The film is based on the autobiographical account of Mira Nair’s own family. ( Manish Gajjar 2002) It is about a stressed father, a bride-to-be with a secret, a smitten events coordinator, and relatives from around the world who create much ado about the preparations for an arranged marriage in India (IMDB).
The excellent exploitaation of symbolism, colour and costumes together with the contrast between modern and traditional India has been successfully depicted the Indian values and beliefs. Nonetheless, with the use of representations, and by dealing with the concept of love, cultures and gender, the film manages to capture the attention of its audience and to broaden its appeal to all corners of the globe The main Representations in the film are colours, symbolism and gender and class Colour This element plays a significant role in “Monsoon Wedding”.
They are shown frequently to portray the reality of India and give the audience a deeper understanding of cultural values and beliefs. Nevertheless, they also challenge the majority of people on their assumptions about contemporary Indian culture, as they reinforce the traditional Indian customs, whereby the modern values are also being portrayed. In India, orange and red connote absolute purity, innocence and love. Alternatively, white has the connotation of mourning and death (Hartley’s recourse centre).
This is evident in an early sequence of the film when Lalit, the father of the bride, is urging the wedding events coordinator, PK. Dubey, to decorate the wedding tent colourfully with orange and red. Whereas, Dubey insists on having the tent in white, the American fashion. This scene verifies how India applies different cultural symbolism in selecting colours compared with other cultures. In addition, this also provides evidence showing that Americanisation is gradually influencing India’s modern perspective and culture. Symbology
Furthermore, Symbology also plays an important role in representing the India’s cultural aspects. The Marigold flower is one of the significant symbols in “Monsoon Wedding” and is shown frequently thought out the film. Marigolds are one of the traditional flowers used in garlands and offerings in South Asia. Known in Hindi as gendha, marigolds are widely used in all kinds of rites and rituals. It represents and symbolise marriages, celebrations, romance and more (plantcultures 2008). When marigolds were used to decorate the wedding tent and the garden, this is evidence of their traditional value.
Moreover, the scene of PK Dubey eating a marigold after an encounter with Alice indicates love and passion will grow. Therefore, marigolds are used to position audiences to understand the concept of love in the film; hence, it represents the importance meaning and value of marriage in Indian culture and society. Gender and Class These two aspects are also one of the key elements in “Monsoon Wedding”. The convocation of Varun and his father clearly demonstrate how Nair has reflects the India caste system (Mrdowling2005) within the movie.
In the film, Varun, the bride’s brother, desires to become a chef. It is, however, a disappointment to his father, Lalit. The caste system has prevent Varun from fulfilling his dream, simply because becoming a chef will lower his status. In contrast, Nair challenges the dominant caste system by showing the romance between PK Dubey and Alice, the maid. The relationship between them two is discouraged by Indian society simply because they are in different social status. However, in the movie, the relation between them was accepted.
It is shown in the ending sequence, where the Verma family invite them to join the celebration. Therefore, the film efficiently represents the traditional class discourse and introduce the new evolution for status acceptance. Demographics Censorship According to MPAA(Motion Picture Association of America), “Monsoon Wedding” is R-rated in India. Also, it is rated M15+ nationally in Australia. These give evidence that the film is aimed at adults. Firstly, the movie deals with the concept of love and romance mainly from the females’ perspective. This will, therefore, be a focus for female audiences.
Secondly, the film may discomfort some audiences by the use of strong language, and also sexual scene and theme such as child abuse and paedophilia. Lastly, The language used in “Monsoon Wedding” jumps between Hindi and English. This therefore, may allow Western audiences to learn more about Indian culture and values. Thus, the demographic is not narrow but covers people internationally. In addition, knowing that only about three percent of India’s population (upper class) speak English. (Jason Baldridge 2002). Consequently, a reasonable high level of education is necessary for Indian viewers to understand the film.
The Positioning to the audience “Monsoon Wedding” has many aspects which privilege a wide range of discourses and beliefs. The film invites and positions audiences to have a positive view of the whole of India. Moreover, “Monsoon Wedding” is a comedy-romance Genre, based on a wedding. Thus, the mise-en-scene comprises the features of vivid colours, music and costumes that symbolise romance and celebration. Accordingly, The film invites the audience to celebrate marriage and love. Conclusion This movie is full of vivid colours and music, representing and symbolising the traditions of India.