Comparison of "Monsson Wedding" to "Heat and Dust"

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Despite differing in form, the film “Monsoon Wedding,” directed by Mira Nair and the novel “Heat and Dust,” by Ruth Prawler Jhabvala, have many similarities. Both of these texts convey an Indian world and the people in it.

“Monsoon Wedding” is a party arthouse, party Bollywood film which deals with the leadup to the wedding of two young people, Aditi and Hermant. It combines their story with that of Aditi’s father, Lalit, and his family responsibilities, as well as the events occurring in the lives of their servants, Dubey and Alice. This combining of multiple storylines into one cohesive narrative is one of the characteristics of Bollywood films.

The title of the film refers to the monsoon, or rainy season, in India. The majority of the film is set in the buildup to the monsoon, when the oppressive heat is at its strongest. This is metaphorically linked to the buildup of tension and anxiety in the days leading up to the wedding. The monsoon itself, like the wedding, symbolises cleansing and renewal before a new start.

One thing that sets this film apart from other Bollywood films is that it deals with taboo issues in its portrayal of Uncle Tej’s pedophilia. This is seen from the point of view of his pat victim, Ria. The audience is not told explicitly what is occurring, but through the use of shots of Ria appearing distressed followed by shots of Tej, it becomes apparent that something sinister is happening. This particular storyline climaxes with Ria’s public accusation...

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