Rain has an important role in cinema, it can be used as a plot-enhancer, a mini deus-ex-machina in order to add drive to a story and provide a perfect background for lots of emotions played out along a story-line. Hitchcock once said: in every good love movie there is a train, but this famous quote needs to be modified.

In every good movie there is rain.

Manhattan—Woody Allen’s classic relationship drama/comedy. When the two lovers, played by Allen himself and Diane Keaton, walk through Central Park, they get caught up in a sudden deluge. They run to the Space Museum, holding newspapers over their heads. They get soaked. They stand in a dark, intimate hallway of the Space Museum and as they catch their breath from running, while they are standing there, dripping with rain, Keaton suddenly sexy in her wet t-shirt, they are falling in love. Something between the two changed within seconds. And this change was brought about by rain. Nature provides the perfect antidote to Allen’s relentless talking, analysing and intellectualising and simply overwhelms both of them with feeling.

Monsoon Wedding by Mira Nair. In this film rain is needed to bring truth to a family where painful secrets are kept hidden. Only after all the lies within that family have been uncovered the bad past is being washed away by the onset of the Monsoon. The wedding can finally take place, the family is reunited in a new, fresh, truthful way. Hindi film generally uses monsoon rain very often to change the plot. The protagonists quite often dance in the pouring rain, singing simultaneously as they declare their love. It conveniently adds an erotic touch of the film, since the wet garments of the lovers become increasingly see-through.

The Graduate by Mike Nichols. When young Benjamin attempts to tell the truth to Elaine, the girl that he loves, he runs through pouring rain towards her. Both him and Elaine’s Mother (who fiercely tries to stop Benjamin from revealing their affair to her daughter), get soaked in the rain, and in a remarkable scene both the ex-lovers’ faces are dripping wet, as if they had been crying while the dirty secret was revealed.

Passport to Pimlico, by Henry Cornelius. This is a British film of the early fifties which takes a different twist on the function of rain. Contrary to the more general use of rain as a metaphor of emotions, in »Passport to Pimlico« strong rain ends the madness of the people of Pimlico and restores them back to reason and common sense (the madness having been that the people of Pimlico believed they were of French descent and belonged to the Continent).

In the Mood for Love by Wong Kar Wai uses pouring rain as a device to bring the two lead characters together. Mr Chow and Mrs. Chan, who have met for the first time, share a cab home. He gets off early, in the pouring rain and catches a cold. She will nurse him the next day, their sentimental encounter has begun.


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