Late Marriage

"Excellent"

Late Marriage Review


The man and the girl go to her bedroom. She says she wants to be a designer and shows him her sketches. Her talent is evident, and somewhere beneath her exotic good looks lies intelligence. They talk about their ideal mates. She says, without irony, that she wants to marry a rich man.

Welcome to the world of arranged marriages, as shown in director/writer's Dover Kosashvilli's compelling debut film, Late Marriage. A man in the middle of countless matrimonial negotiations, Zaza (Lior Loui Ashkenazi), is a 31-year-old doctorate Russian born student who can't settle on any woman despite the help of his relatives. That's because he's seeing (and supporting with his parents' money) an attractive, slightly older single mother, Judith (Ronit Elkabetz).

The movie's main plotline isn't introduced until a good thirty minutes or so into the movie, which opens with a visit to Zaza's aunt and uncle's home and later with a trip to a potential bride's (the hopeful designer) apartment. These scenes serve as scathing critiques on marriage and beyond. Zaza's aunt and uncle bicker endlessly, and there's little trace of love in their conversation. The visit with the bride's family resembles a business meeting, as Zaza's dad spouts off a list of his son's possessions -- a new refrigerator, a big screen TV. Each party seems more concerned that these people are joined together by brand names, not love.

Though these scenes work, they also devour time and thus lead to continuity problems with Zaza and Judith. One night they're engaged in secret, sweaty sex that goes on seemingly forever. The next, he's playing with Judith's young daughter. There's no logical progression in how Zaza becomes part of the family picture. And when two carloads of Zaza's family members come to confront the illicit couple it seems even more surreal, especially since we haven't seen half of these people before. I initially thought it was a mob hit.

However, with material so powerfully presented, minor mistakes can be overlooked. When Zaza's family barges into Judith's apartment, spouting threats and knocking over things, we know that happiness is the last part of the marriage equation. As his family makes plainly clear, it's all about image and meeting family standards that are, who knows, how old and out of touch. After all, these are people that still believe in the validity of love charms.

One hackneyed plot device used in television and movies focuses on the overbearing parents who are hell-bent on seeing their children wed and with kids. Here's a movie that dares to look beyond the easy comedic and dramatic possibilities. There is no love conquers all, it's just not programmed in the psyche. Late Marriage takes a look at an Old World, passionless arrangement in a way that is at once so biting and so brutally honest that you chuckle first, then shudder.

Aka Hatuna Meuheret.



Late Marriage

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 24th October 2001

Box Office USA: $1.2M

Distributed by: Magnolia

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 56 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Dover Kosashvili

Starring: as Zaza, as Judith, as Yasha, Lili Koshashvili as Lili

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.