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Mira Nair: If Monsoon Wedding were made today, it would focus on pursuit of money

The director said the critically-acclaimed Monsoon Wedding (2001) has become a period film in this day and age.


The critically-acclaimed Monsoon Wedding (2001) has become a period film in this day and age, its director Mira Nair said on Friday.

Based on romantic entanglements during a traditional Punjabi Hindu wedding in Delhi, the 2001 release, which won the Golden Lion award and received a Golden Globe Award nomination, also had child abuse, middle class aspirations, adultery, and a distinct picture of the country's underbelly.

Nair, one of the panellists during a discussion on India 70 years into independence, was asked how she would see the movie if it was released in 2018.

"Monsoon Wedding has almost become a period film in a certain way even though it was in 2001. You don't have homemade wedding anymore, just starters," the 60-year old Indo-American filmmaker said.

Giving an example of how her husband (Mahmood Mamdani) while attending a sangeet ceremony in the city recently found it hard to fathom there was actually no one singing, Nair said families today are only pursuing money and that is killing everything else.

"My husband is not from here and he attended a sangeet the other day. He said 'sangeet tha toh maine socha log gayenge' (I thought people would sing in sangeet ceremony)... so there is no longer anybody who sings in a sangeet except Shah Rukh Khan, who has flown in or whoever is the latest flavour of the moment, if you're rich.

"If you're not, you will be pounded by these DJs who kill you. So in the pursuit of money, there is enormous levels of things that are affected. Transport, traffic, cars, pollution... all of that. But essentially also not time.

"The levels of stress are enormous. The health of the family also (is going down)," Nair said.

On if Monsoon Wedding (2001) were to be a contemporary film, she said it would "focus on the pursuit of money and what comes with the pursuit is a sense of actually not having any time and enormous amount of stress... in every angle of the family".

"It is no longer that the men go to work and women sit at home. Everyone is on the make in a very direct sense. It impacts several things," she added.

Nair has enthralled the audience all over the globe with films like Salaam Bombay! (1989), Mississippi Masala (1991) and The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2013).