Review: ‘Monsoon Wedding’ Is a Hit Film, but Not a Great Musical

Matthew Murphy

What strange weather the musical adaptation of Monsoon Wedding (St Ann’s Warehouse, through June 25) is. On one level it is an unsurprisingly faithful adaptation of Mira Nair’s acclaimed and award-laden 2001 movie about families gathering for an arranged marriage in Delhi, India, with various personal and culture clashes attached; Nair has conceived and directed this production, with a book by Arpita Mukherjee and Sabrina Dhawan (who wrote the screenplay) and music by Vishal Bhardwaj.

Some of the key revisions have reportedly been around elevating female voices, particularly around a harrowing storyline of child molestation. “We’ve made a concerted effort to have the women question the patriarchy and speak up,” Nair told The New York Times. “Other characters who are afflicted by this don’t shove it under the rug; they make decisions in their own lives that reflect that they will not accept this behavior, which we didn’t have before.”

But the issue isn’t the voices and what they say (in fact the plot mechanics in that storyline still ultimately defer to a key male voice and patriarchal power); it is that the storyline itself feels so bizarrely tacked on to a musical otherwise lightly focused on romance and the craziness of organizing a flash set of nuptials.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Source: The Daily Beast

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