Marriage (Israel/France; 102min.)
directed by: Dover Koshashvili
starring: Lior Ashkenazi; Ronit Elkabetz; Moni Moshonov
says: "A disturbing film. What a disparity between the trailer and
the film! I had written LATE MARRIAGE off as a stupid comedy until Janet
"The mores of these Soviet Georgians immigrants in Israel do not allow a marriage between a younger man and an older woman, especially a divorced woman with a child. Very interesting to me, as this was a contentious issue for a friend of mine (her son, in the clutches of such a woman!), and in my own family (my nephew).
"Michael and Ellen are right about the ambivalence: I left the theater not knowing what is right. Koshavili is exposing 'the tyranny of tradition' said one review. And yet, it's not one-sided. So many conflicts within each character: those who support the tradition most strongly were themselves made unhappy because of it, but still feel its ultimate rightness....
"I hadn't noticed the stillness of the camera until I read Laura's review. Now I certainly remember it, in the scene between Zaza and the 17-year-old marriage prospect, in the very long sex scene, etc.
"Very well done." 4 cats
says: "On the way out of the movie, Michael noted that the movie billed
itself as a comedy. I never would have thought that! I found the inability
of the main character to follow his heart and be with the one he loved to
be depressing so I had to rethink the movie. I guess I can see that, maybe,
if I knew more about the culture (Georgian Jews living in Israel), I may
have seen that the film was an exagerrated slapstick. I'm not sure yet what
the director was trying to say either, but it was fascinating to catch a
glimpse of the clannish, tradition-bound culture that this particular group
"Oh yes, since I still can't quite figure out whether to laugh or cry..." 3 cats
"Georgian born Israeli writer/director Dover Kosashvili's feature debut
won nine Israeli Academy Awards. This simply shot character study of tradition
in the modern world takes place entirely in six small apartments - that
of Zaza, his parents', their neighbors' and the matchmakers' within the
same complex, that of the family of a bridal prospect and Judith's. It's
telling that while there are only three exterior locations used, two are
asphalt parking lots whereas the exterior outside of Judith's building is
an exotic palm tree-lined sidewalk. Kosashvili places his camera and leaves
it to simply record the interior action." 4 cats
For Laura's complete review: "http://www.reelingreviews.com/latemarriage.htm"
interesting that Nathaniel mentioned both this film and
MONSOON WEDDING as two of the best films of 2002 since both of these
films look at the same subject in different cultures with vastly different
"Like Mira Nair's glorious and uplifting MONSOON WEDDING, Dover Kosashvili's LATE MARRIAGE looks at marriage from the sometimes conflicting ideas of love vs. tradition. Zaza is 31, and his parents keep setting up interview after interview with prospective brides. The problem is, unbeknownst to his family, Zaza is already in love... with Ilana, a 34 year old divorcee with a young daughter. When the secret is revealed, Zaza finds himself torn between love for this woman, and the traditions and love of his family.
"It seems that Kosashvili is saying that life goes on, and that the cycle of tradition is very difficult to break. Whether he feels this is a good or bad thing is a little uncertain, or perhaps open to interpretation. Needless to say, unlike MONSOON WEDDING, which ends with an exultant high note despite some serious subplots, LATE MARRIAGE takes a darker, more cynical view of the struggle between older traditions and the emotions of youth. As the film's tagline states, "Sometimes love doesn't conquer all."
"The acting by the two principals, Lior Ashkenazi as Zaza and Aya Steinovits Laor as Ilana, is terrific, as they must convey the drama and emotion of a difficult situation. The older generation, while conveying very serious issues, is played slightly more for laughs with exaggerated threats and drama. Zaza's mother, curiously enough, is played by the real-life mother of the director, and her portrayal comes off very real... perhaps because she is not an actor.
"I highly recommend LATE MARRIAGE, and hope many of you manage to catch it." 4 cats
"Though Zaza or 'Dooby' as his girlfriend calls him, is a grown man
who everyone treats like a boy, they're angry that he doesn't grow up.
His family is maddened by his indifference to the bridal candidates they
present to him. At the age of 31 his bachelor status has gone from embarassment
to mini-scandal. Zaza himself is nonplused at their frustration. He has
his own reasons. As we soon discover, Zaza's divorcee girlfriend is angry
that he won't come clean about their relationship. Eventually, as is always
the case, the truth will find a way out into the open. Zaza loves his
girlfriend but he knows that his family won't approve. And how conditional
exactly, is his family's love?