Best Movies by Farr

Monsoon Wedding

The Rundown: "Monsoon Wedding"

What's It About
Wealthy Hindu father Lalit Verma (Shah) and his wife Pimmi (Lillete Dubey) are frantically trying to finalize preparations for the lavish arranged marriage of their daughter Aditi (Das) to Hemant Rai (Parvin Dabas), an engineer from Houston. An events planner is hired, relatives start flying in from far-flung locales all over the world, and emotions are running at a high pitch. The only problem is that Aditi's got grave doubts, and, against the advice of her cousin Ria (Shefali Shetty), scurries off to rendezvous with her former lover. Will wedding bells ring?
Why we Love it
This exhilarating Punjabi comedy of manners by the talented Mira Nair ("Salaam Bombay!") fuses Bollywood-style antics (and one extravagant dance sequence!) with crisp social observation. As chaos consumes the tradition-minded Verma and Rai clans, all bets are off-and some new ones are made - on who's pairing up with whom. Declan Quinn's roving camera spotlights the large and eccentric cast, but standouts are Shah and Vijay Raaz, the marigold-chewing nuptials planner who has eyes on a comely maid. Addressing the collision between West and East, as well as class differences in the hustle and bustle of modern Delhi, "Monsoon" is a buoyant, multifaceted work that's as thoughtful and rich as a weighty novel.

Where can I find the movie?

Available on Amazon
DVD, Blu-ray, Digital Download
1 hour 55 minutes

FarrNotes: Secret Behind the Scenes Trivia to Wow Your Guests!

  • The entire movie was shot in around 40 days!
  • "Monsoon Wedding" won the Golden Lion — the highest prize at the Venice Film Festival. Director Mira Nair was the first woman to win this award, and the second person of Indian heritage.
  • The main lead actors started out in the reverse roles! Originally, Cary Grant played the bishop and David Niven the angel. However, when new director Henry Koster viewed what had been already shot and instantly knew the two actors had been cast in the wrong roles, and had to make the switch. (Though Grant took some convincing — he wanted the title role!)
  • Some of the original footage of the wedding was ruined by an airport x-ray machine. Funds had to be raised so these scenes could be re-shot some months later.
  • Nair dedicated this movie to her Punjabi relatives in New Delhi. She says: "We Punjabi are the butt of many jokes, for we are an aggressive, loud people, peasant people, known for our lusty appetite for life. The Punjabis are to India what the Italians are to Europe. The film is an homage to major vulgarity."
  • "Monsoon Wedding" was filmed on a hand-held camera, to capture the fast-paced fluidity of Indian life.
  • Nair's family helped out by bringing large home cooked meals to the set every day.
  • In the taxi, we see a sign in the back window that says "CNG." That's because Delhi requires all taxis to run on Compressed Natural Gas because it creates less air pollution than gas or diesel.
  • Many of the paintings, costumes, and furniture used in the film were on loan from Mira Nair's family.
  • The photo used of Surinder, Lalit's late brother, was actually a picture of Mira Nair's friend who had recently died.


Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Courtesy of: TheRoastedRoot
  • Mira Nair likes to think of "Monsoon Wedding" as a Masala — a coming together of cultures and attitudes for a celebration of love of all kinds.

Gulab Jamun

  • Courtesy of: Divyas Culinary Journey
  • Finish your meal off with this classic Indian dessert — Gulab Jamun — the Indian donut hole that’s a staple at any celebration!

Drinks & Cocktails

Madras Cocktail

Cocktail courtesy of Ruhlman.

Even angels enjoy a perfectly mixed drink, and sophisticated seraph, Dudley, orders himself a Stinger. A classic 40s cocktail, a Stinger blends brandy and crème de menthe for a warming, wintery tipple.

  • 1 ½ oz Vodka
  • 3 oz cranberry juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
Pour the vodka and cranberry juice into a highball glass. Stir well. Top off with orange juice.

What's The Score?

The perfect soundtrack for your movie night!

  • The Very Best of Ravi Shankar:: The very best from the man who brought Indian music and the sitar to the Western world.

What to Wear?

The Best Movies by Farr Wardrobe Department

The wedding uniform for a Punjabi celebration would require Saris for women and tunics for men. If you don't have a classic sari hanging in your closet, you can go halfway with a beautiful pashmina. Drape over one shoulder, and you're ready to hit the dance floor!

Shop the Look
  • Collection 59 Cashmere/Silk Pashmina Wrap Scarf
  • $112
Get it at Bloomingdales

PS. Don't forget to share photos of your big night on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with #BestMovieNights!

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

  • 2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced.
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 teaspoons fresh turmeric, peeled and grated*
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup full-fat plain yogurt
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour*
  • Serving Recommendations:
  • Ginger and Turmeric Aromatic Rice
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Pine nuts
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, turmeric, jalapeno, all of the spices, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  2. Add the raw chicken to the bowl and mix together.
  3. Pour everything into a crock-pot and set on the lowest setting for 4 to 6 hours, until meat is cooked through. (If cooking on high, check after 2 hours, and continue checking every 30 minutes thereafter. It should only take between 2 and 3 hours).
  4. 30 minutes before the tikka masala is finished cooking, whisk together the heavy cream and tapioca starch in a small bowl until all of the clumps are out.
  5. Add the cream mixture and yogurt to the crock-pot and stir well. Replace the lid and finish cooking, stirring occasionally. The longer the mixture sits, the thicker it will become. Note: if necessary, raise the heat of your crock-pot to high.
  6. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro, a dollop of plain yogurt, and turmeric ginger rice.

Gulab Jamun

For Jamuns
  • Milk Mawa Powder, 1 cup (Or just regular milk powder)
  • All purpose flour, 1/2 cup
  • Baking Soda, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Unsalted Butter (Room temperature), 2 tablespoon
  • Milk, to make dough (around 6 tablespoons approximately)
  • Oil for deep frying
For the syrup
  • Sugar, 2 cups
  • Water, 2 cups
  • Cardamom, 3-4 crushed
  • Rose essence, few drops (optional)
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine Milk mawa powder, all purpose flour and baking soda.
  2. Then add the butter and mix well. Then add milk little by little and keep kneading till a smooth dough is formed. Let it rest for half an hour.
  3. Then equally divide the dough and grease the hands with butter and roll them into balls.
  4. Mean while, prepare the sugar syrup. Add the sugar and water together and boil it for few minutes, then add the crushed cardamom and boil for some more time and turn off the heat. Add few drops of rose essence, if you need and mix well.
  5. Now deep fry the dough balls in medium heat till they turn golden brown color. Keep turning the jamuns in the oil, to attain uniform color through out.
  6. Remove from the oil and drain in the paper towel. Finish frying all the jamuns.
  7. When the syrup is still warm, add the fried jamuns and let it soak for at least 2- 3 hours.
  8. Serve the soaked Jamuns either warm or chilled depending on your preference.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"