The Wedding

The Wedding


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Kasia's big day was never destined to go smoothly. The video photographer is late and the usher drops the ring. Small mishaps which could happen to anybody; she takes them in her stride and is laughing as she leaves the church. But the long day of wedding celebrations has only just begun. Her father's desperate attempts to get things right can only lead to chaos; before it's over there'll be death, divorce, mutilation, absurd amounts of drinking, sexual misdemeanours and exploding toilets. And Kasia will have to acknowledge that the man she's married is not the man she loves.

So far, so farcical - and this is farce in the truest sense, with every attempt to set things right leading to further trouble. Yet it's far from slapstick. Eschewing the cheerful embarrassment of films like Father Of The Bride, The Wedding opts for a much darker perspective. Instead of laugh out loud ridiculousness it employs a dry wit, drawing its humour from the sheer absurdity of the situations in which its characters find themselves. Central to the story is Kasia's father Wojnar, initially unsympathetic but more and more likable as his desperation grows; yet even in his suffering, the humour remains.

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The Wedding is a delightful satire on Polish marriage traditions but much of what it features is so universal that people all over the world will be able to identify with it. The temporary loosening of the rules which applies on such a special day makes it easy for the wedding attendees to find themselves sucked into scandalous and criminal behaviour, and what seem like minor infractions have big consequences.

Everybody there has secrets and as these come to light their carefully structured lives collapse like a row of dominoes. What makes this so fascinating is that the film never seems contrived in the way most farces do. Each of the characters is richly developed and their actions all make sense within their own personal narratives. The ensemble acting is perfectly judged and the script brings disparate stories together to create a tale much bigger than the two hours it fills.

Don't be fooled by the title - The Wedding is not by any means a conventional romance. But if you enjoy observational comedy and character driven stories, this could be for you.

Reviewed on: 11 Dec 2007
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A wedding reception where everyone has a secret descends into dark farce.
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Director: Wojciech Smarzowski

Writer: Wojciech Smarzowski

Starring: Marian Dziedziel, Tamara Arciuch, Pawel Wilczak, Iwona Bielska, Lech Dyblik, Andrzej Beja-Zaborski, Pawel Gedlek, Arkadiusz Jakubik, Bartlomiej Topa

Year: 2004

Runtime: 109 minutes

Country: Poland


EIFF 2005
SSFF 2014

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