Two weddings and a fun for all …
Until last week I hadn’t been to the theater to see a movie since Marc, Lori, Josh and I went to see Lord of the Rings. Not having read the book*, I didn’t find this movie all that interesting. Especially considering all the hype that surrounded it. But last week I saw two excellent—and very different—films that I enjoyed very much: Monsoon Wedding and Spider-man.
Monsoon Wedding is a film by Mira Nair, an Indian-born producer/director, who made her directorial debut in 1988 with the Academy Award-nominated Salaam Bombay! Monsoon Wedding tells the story of a modern Indian family coming together for the arranged marriage of Aditi and Hermant. But while the bride and groom are important characters in the film, Monsoon Wedding is not entirely their story. It is the story of family, and of the joy and pain that comes from being a part of one. It is about a father’s love for his children—as well as his departed brother’s—and the sacrifices he makes for their happiness. As cliche as it sounds, I laughed and I cried. I cheered and clenched my fists. This is a beautiful film on many levels, and I encourage folks to catch it. I know it will become a part of my DVD collection.
The other film I saw this weekend was Spider-Man. Now, I have never been a fan of the so-called summer blockbuster, and I was never a comic book reader, but Spider-man is not the traditional over-the-top action movie that seems to define previous films about comic book characters. For instance, for the first time in such a film, the superhero does not have his superpowers when he is introduced to the audience. This alone makes for a much more personal experience with the film and the characters. Another difference between this film and previous movies based on comic book characters is that the film doesn’t rely on special effects, outrageous plots, and sillier and sillier villains. Sure there are some really cool FX, but they aren’t ground-breaking, and they don’t overshadow the film’s story. At its core, this film is a love story, but it had a little something for everyone. For these reasons it is no surprise that it broke box office records this weekend.
* I have since read all three books, and then re-watched the first 2 movies. I liked them much better after reading the books.