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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Le Mariage des moussons" )

directed by Mira Nair
India 2000

Cultures and families clash in Mira Nair’s exuberant Monsoon Wedding, a mix of comedy and chaotic melodrama concerning the preparations for the arranged marriage of a modern upper-middle-class Indian family’s only daughter, Aditi. Of course there are hitches—Aditi has been having an affair with a married TV host; she’s never met her husband to be, who lives in Houston; the wedding has worsened her father’s hidden financial troubles; even the wedding planner has become a nervous wreck—as well as buried family secrets. But Nair’s celebration is ultimately joyful and cathartic: a love song to her home city of Delhi and her own Punjabi family.

***

Perhaps the movie “Monsoon Wedding“ could be re-titled an “Ode to the Punjabi Life Style in Delhi” ! Mira Nair, with such directorial credits as “Salaam Bombay”, “Mississippi Masala“ and “The Perez Family“ has certainly created an ode which pays tribute to both her Punjabi family roots and to her original native city of Delhi.

The main story line is a straight forward one of an Indian wedding complete with it’s attendant characteristics of color, costumes, culinary delights, music, dancing, flowers, garlands and the groom riding on a horse back to meet his bride to be – in other words, a complete package of Indian culture.

However, Mira Nair has done a deft job of exploring a few other themes in the movie –

1. Relationships – The approach to arranged marriage as seen by the bride who is still in love with her married ex-boy friend and waits till the last minute to agree to marry the groom. The groom, an Indian living in the U.S.A who is shocked to realize that his bride to be would have been in love with someone else while agreeing to an arranged marriage. They do overcome their mutual reluctance and start to fall in love with each other. A neat lesson that before you marry someone, love does not have to be in full bloom but that there be a willingness to accept and love each other.

Excerpt from Albert Michael's review on DVDBeaver located HERE

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: August 30th, 2001 - Venice Film Festival

Reviews       More Reviews        DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Madman - Region 4 - PAL vs. Universal - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Film Four / VCI - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Peter Ax for the Region 4 and  Ole Kofoed for the Film Four / VCI DVD Screen Caps!

1) Madman - Region 4 - PAL LEFT

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Film Four / VCI - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Madman Entertainment

Region 4- PAL

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Film Four / VCI
Region 2 - PAL

Criterion (2-disc) - Spine # 489

Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine # 489

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:49:16 (4% PAL speedup) 1:54:16 1:49:08 (4% PAL speedup) 1:54:16 1:54:28.278
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.56 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.95 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.43 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.55 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,207,785,984 bytes

Feature: 24,668,190,720 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Madman

 

Bitrate:

Universal

Bitrate:

 

Film Four / VCI

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion

Blu-ray

Audio Audio - Dolby Digital 5.1, DD 2.0
(cant find to set to 2.0 in menus :/)
Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1

Dolby Digital 5.1, DD 2.0

Audio - Dolby Digital 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio English 3952 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3952 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core:
5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Subtitles English (compulsory - not burnt-in), None English (hearing impaired), French, Spanish and none English (not removable). English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Madman Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Behind the Scenes Featurette (7:58)
• Interview with Mira Nair (8:50)
• list of Awards
• Trailers for other madman releases
• soundtrack info/add
• trailer (for monsoon wedding) (2:13)
• Cast and crew info (text)
• Commentary


DVD Release Date: June 1st, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Director Commentary.
• Theatrical trailer 4:3 widescreen (1:25).

DVD Release Date: June 1st, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Film Four / VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Director Commentary.
• Behind the Scenes Featurette (7:58).
• Theatrical trailer anamorphic widescreen (2:36).
• Forced FilmFour Trailer (0:40).


DVD Release Date: June 16th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary featuring Nair
• Nair’s short documentaries So Far from India (1983), India Cabaret (1985), and The Laughing Club of India (2001), featuring video introductions by the director
• Nair’s short fiction films The Day the Mercedes Became a Hat (1993), 11’09"01—September 11 (Segment: “India”) (2002), Migration (2007), and How Can It Be? (2008), featuring video introductions by the director
• New video interview with actor Naseeruddin Shah, conducted by Nair
• New video interviews with Quinn and production designer Stephanie Carroll
• Theatrical trailer
• 30-page liner notes with essay by critic and travel writer Pico Iyer

 

DVD Release Date: October 20th, 2009
Custom
Case (see image)

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,207,785,984 bytes

Feature: 24,668,190,720 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary featuring Nair
• Nair’s short documentaries So Far from India (1983), India Cabaret (1985), and The Laughing Club of India (2001), featuring video introductions by the director
• Nair’s short fiction films The Day the Mercedes Became a Hat (1993), 11’09"01—September 11 (Segment: “India”) (2002), Migration (2007), and How Can It Be? (2008), featuring video introductions by the director
• New video interview with actor Naseeruddin Shah, conducted by Nair
• New video interviews with Quinn and production designer Stephanie Carroll
• Theatrical trailer
• 30-page liner notes with essay by critic and travel writer Pico Iyer

 

DVD Release Date: October 20th, 2009
Transparent thick
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 18

 

Comments ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray - October 09': With the production roots of the film being Super 16mm - we feel the dual-layered Criterion transfer has probably max'ed out the appearance quality via Blu-ray. Colors seem more vibrant with reds especially brighter and less orange. Grain is dramatically more visible and gives the overall canvas a very textured, and authentic, film-like look. This may be too heavy for individuals more used t glossy, smooth, visuals as found on modern films to 1080P. Detail tightens up and skin tones seem even more less-yellow as they warm up a further shade. Expectantly the Blu-ray gives a superior representation of the theatrical intent of the film's appearance. It's clean, gritty with vibrant, impressive, colors.  

Criterion's lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 3952 kbps takes just as big a leap from the SD-DVD as the image quality does. There is far better range, with deeper bass - notable in the party and music sequences although not being an action film the separation remains limited to the film's intent. Dialogue is still scattered a bit and this remains a function of the production - no fault of the transfer. As usual, Criterion includes optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

The extensive extras are duplicated on the DVD as discussed below with the shorts in HD and a Blu-ray specific Timeline feature - appearing as a pop-up menu (accessible via the red remote button) with bookmarking available with the green remote button. As opposed to having the extras housed on 2 DVDs you have them all available on the one Blu-ray. The liner notes booklet is also included.

So, is the Blu-ray worth the upgrade? Well, it's $3 cheaper than the DVD package and improves in every single area - so this is obviously what we recommend. The film tends to come to life more with the HD resolution - in both video... and audio. It's surely the best way to see Monsoon Wedding in your home theater.

***

Essentially the Criterion looks the best but I expect the forthcoming Blu-ray to be the biggest difference between the editions. The NTSC Criterion transfer is the only one that is both anamorphic and has totally removable subtitles. It is on a dual-layered DVD, progressively transferred and 16X9 enhanced. Unfortunately this original comparison is quite old and we shrunk the other anamorphic captures to about 720 pixels wide, so have done so with the Criterion as well. It doesn't hinder the color comparisons though with the Criterion being both brighter and with more natural flesh tones. Contrast is also superior although detail doesn't improve an extravagant amount. The Blu-ray should fill in some gaps on the visuals - stay tuned.

The Criterion audio is expectantly acceptable - without an abundance of separation but is quite clean and crisp throughout. The Criterion English subtitles are optional.

Where Criterion vaults ahead, as usual, is in the extras. Mira Nair gives a decent commentary on many facets of production. She has a very pleasing voice that fans of the film will enjoy indulging in the full-length optional commentary. The Laughing Club of India from 2000 is a 4:3 35-minute documentary that explores the power of laughter through the strangely popular phenomenon of laughing clubs in contemporary Bombay. You may choose an optional director introduction that runs about 4-minutes. Naseeruddin Shah is interviewed (2009) by director Nair for 21-minutes and he talks to her about his experiences onstage and in film. Cinematographer Declan Quinn and production designer Stephanie Carroll talk about creating the look of Monsoon Wedding for about 10-minutes - shot in 2009. There is also an anamorphic theatrical trailer running 2-minutes on disc one.



Disc two contains six other short films by director Mira Nair divided into 'Documentary" (2) or "Fictional" (4) and all offer an optional introductions by Nair. So Far From India runs almost 50-minutes and is the story of Ashok Sheth - one of many Indian immigrants working in subway newsstands in New York City. This documentary follows his first journey back home to Ahmedabad, where he is forced to confront the conflicts between his ancestral culture and his new life in America. India Cabaret is almost 1 hour and examines the line separating "good" and "bad" women in Indian Society, specifically by focusing on the dancers at a Bombay strip club, a frequent patron, and his stay-at-home wife. The Day the Mercedes Became a Hat is less than 12-minutes is a tale of one family as they leave South Africa on the day of Chris Hani (South Africa's Communist Party leader) funereal after his assassination in April of 1993. 11’09”01-September (Segment 'India') is based on the true events surrounding the September 11th, 2001 disappearance of Salman Hamdani, a young Pakistani American man from Queens NY. This films portrays his Mother's struggle with terrorist allegations, her own fears, and her son's fate that day. It was pre-determined to run 11-minutes. Migration runs just shy of 20-minutes and is part of the four-film series on the Aids epidemic in India. This short examines the virus as Indian society's greater class leveler following its transmission through interweaving stories that link urban and rural India. How Can It Be will runs 9 minutes and is one of eight shorts commissioned by the United Nations on themes concerning global society. This film explores gender equality through the story of Zainab and Arif - who live with their son Munna in Brooklyn. Zainab makes the complicated decision to leave her protected life and follow her heart. Included is a 30-page liner notes with essay by critic and travel writer Pico Iyer.

I really enjoyed the short film supplements on the Criterion and look forward to seeing the film again in 1080P resolution as I expect the color vibrancy to standout even more prominently. Please stay tuned for as we add the Criterion Blu-ray to this comparison as soon as we can.   

 Gary Tooze  

 


DVD Menus

(Madman - Region 4 - PAL LEFT vs. Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Film Four / VCI - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

Criterion Disc 1

Criterion Disc 2

 

Criterion DVD package

 


 

Screen Captures

1) Madman - Region 4 - PAL TOP

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Film Four / VCI - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 


1) Madman - Region 4 - PAL TOP

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Film Four / VCI - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Madman - Region 4 - PAL TOP

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Film Four / VCI - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Madman - Region 4 - PAL TOP

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Film Four / VCI - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Madman - Region 4 - PAL TOP

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Film Four / VCI - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Madman - Region 4 - PAL TOP

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Film Four / VCI - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Madman - Region 4 - PAL TOP

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Film Four / VCI - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray captures

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion Blu-ray

Sound:

CriterionBlu-ray

Extras: CriterionBlu-ray
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Madman Entertainment

Region 4- PAL

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Film Four / VCI
Region 2 - PAL

Criterion (2-disc) - Spine # 489

Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine # 489

Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 

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Gary Tooze