I", 68 characters and five plot lines
‘We don’t have an Oprah Winfrey in India; we don’t have the forum to discuss the taboo subjects’
To achieve all this. however. took weeks of planning and painstaking care. ‘We rehearsed for two weeks.‘ she says. ‘The last week before shooting we took the actors to the house. which was already dressed for the film. We had to be very organised because often we had to shoot two or three scenes a day. if not more. The actors had to be in a state of readiness at all times. which they became because they were like a family by the end.’
But after four successful weeks of filming. the project ran into disaster at the eleventh hour. X-rays damaged a substantial portion of the negative while it was en route from India to New York. where Nair lives and where she planned to edit the movie. ‘We lost 300 minutes of exposed footage.‘ Nair says. ‘liortunately. I got the message only after I had completed three days of Ayurvedic treatment in Goa. so I was in a state of bliss when I heard this.
The magical love of the wedding organiser
‘The one thing that was damaged in a huge way was the big dance number — and that was digitally restored at enormous cost to the insurance company. The other three scenes it was deemed cheaper to re-shoot. We shot them three months later when we had cut the film. When you do that you know what the film means.’
The crisis revealed another unexpected silver lining. Nair and her crew could now use artificial rain. The first time around. the tight budget meant that she had to lilm in the real rain. ‘livery time it started to rain. we would shoot.’ she says. Now. with the insurers picking up the tab. she could afford to fake it. ‘This way.‘ :Nair laughs. ‘we could get more rain in a monsoon wedding.‘
Monsoon Wedding GFT, Glasgow and Cameo,
Edinburgh, from Fri 18 Jan. See review.
1 :31 Jan 191.731) THE LIST 1 1