Decent Films Mail > Mailbag #23

Re: Monsoon Wedding (2001)

Until last night, I have told everyone I recommend Decent Films in that you have never steered me wrong. I am still stunned that Monsoon Wedding could have been on your A-minus list!

My problems with the film are only in the first 20 minutes, as that is all my husband and I could stand, so perhaps a miracle occurred and it got better.

The language was horrible. The only think worse than hearing the F word, is having to read it on screen. The humor was incredibly juvenile — about breasts, underpants, etc.

The voices were screeching for the majority of the time, and maybe it is my ADHD, but between the Indian mixed with English and the subtitles, I couldn’t possibly sort out what was going on (aside from some juvenile potty humor).

Everyone is due a bad decision from time to time, and I have to say this is yours. I will rue the day that Monsoon Wedding showed up in my Netflix queue.

Otherwise, thanks for all the rest of the wonderful films you have steered us toward. I am praying for you in the deaconate program — how we need solid leaders! God bless.

I’m sorry for your unpleasant experience with the first 20 minutes of Monsoon Wedding. Suz and I have seen it at least three times, and enjoy it immensely. I think it’s a beautiful film, despite some of the abrasive content.

On that score, looking at my content advisory, I realize I could have done a better job warning you about the content issues. For what it’s worth, that review was written early in my career, and while I still agree with the substance of it, as my writing has developed I’ve gotten a bit more precise in my content advisory notices, which might have saved you an unpleasant experience here.

I do think if you’d stuck with it you might have seen more clearly what I value in the film, though that might not have redeemed the experience for you. For instance, the skeevy talk-show host who has the older woman reading the bedroom dialogue is having an affair with the engaged heroine, which ends on a disastrously humiliating note that illuminates the degrading, tawdry character of adultery. The goofy wedding planner is sweetly humanized by his tongue-tied infatuation with Alice the maid. And there’s a painful but deeply moral subplot in which a character is forced to go against tradition and family ethos to stand up for an adult victim of child molestation.

Be that as it may, I’m always happy to hear from readers who disagree with me about any of my reviews. I’m not the pope of movies, and I do make mistakes! Please feel free to tell me if you find any others.

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