is a return to form for Mira Nair, director of 1988's Salaam Bombay!
Nair's gift for observation of the everyday and her love for her characters make for a delightful film, which spins a web of family relationships that knit and break during a wedding at a perfect pace. The excellent performances exceed the often stereotypical roles on offer (including the incomparable Nasiruddin Shah as the harassed father, Kulbhushan Kharbanda as the comic uncle, and Shefali Chaya as the orphaned cousin). Nair's sympathetic eye for the unnoticed and the harassed is at its best with the tender romance between the servant and Dube (Vijay Raaz), the marigold-munching, upwardly mobile wedding coordinator, who brings pathos and humor to the often unseen servant classes. The handheld camera gives a docudrama feel to this celebratory look at the upper-middle-class Hindu Punjabi joint family, while paying tribute to modern Indian public culture of music, television, and, of course, "Bollywood." --Rachel Dwyer