THE WEDDING PARTY
Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
When the father of the groom and the owner of chateau have a disagreement on the quaility of the food, all hell breaks loose. Hostages, firearms, and a wedding day nobody could forget.
Is it good movie?
First things first, do not judge the German satire The Wedding Party by the DVD box cover. It is a sorry excuse of marketing designed to sell the film. A blood spattered bride and the party itself looking like they were doing some kind of half-assed Monty Python sketch. This is not a dumb comedy with blood and guns, this is a smart, extremely compelling satire on man’s need to win and not accept responsibility. When Mark and Sophie (Arne Lenk and Lisa Marie Potthof) and their wedding party arrive at a huge cheteau owned and operated by Franz Berger (Uwe Ochsenknecht) a man that Mark’s father, Hermann (Armin Rohde), is trying to buy away his business. So with this tension is already on the rise, Hermann knows the chateau is on the verge of closing down but Berger’s pride will not let him sell. And as they party gathers for food, and the appetizers are not fresh according to the mother, shite starts to hit the fan. When Hermann angrily exits the restaurant and inadvertently leaves his wife and his son’s blushing bride in behind after refusing to pay the bill, things get ugly. What could have been your typical violent comedy is a surprisingly believable descent into violence as the two men try and come out on top.
It’s rare to see such a smartly played satire that doesn’t go for cheap laughs and isn’t going to extreme violence in lieu of character. But this rich and extremely well acted and directed tale is all about the reality of the situation. How far would someone go not necessarily being a bad person, but trying to save some sanity in an insane world. Now if this is sounding a bit too intellectual don’t worry, it is a fast paced flick that will keep you involved. There is even word of an American remake in the future called Blood Wedding. With that said, do yourself a favor and find this film. As I said, the acting is top-notch all around, even from the smaller characters. There is not one moment I didn’t believe in any of these folks, and most importantly, I cared about them. Each one of them making mistakes, if only one of the men at odds had really just thought about the situation, if only Mark would have stood up to his father, what would have happened? That is why The Wedding Party shines. These characters are all very real and the location is splendid. There is so much to love here including the smart direction by Dominique Deruddere who avoids getting too technical but visually tells the story in an involving way without having to show off. He keeps the pace moving without sacrificing story and character which is a major achievement for a film like this.
Video / Audio
Video: This is a very nice Widescreen 1.85:1 transfer whether we are looking at the magnificent chateau or an gunfire and explosions.
Audio: The 5.1 Dolby Digital is quite nice. This is a great looking and sounding DVD. Too bad about the extras…
As I mentioned, too bad because there are none; we have Trailers for “The Wedding Party”, “Strange Circus”, “Evil”, “Next Door” and the “Danger After Dark Box Set”. It is too bad indeed because a film this good should have a least a commentary track or making of featurette.
The Wedding Party is a smart, compelling satire on pride and the downward spiral that hate and anger can pull us into. Yes, it has humor but not necessarily the laugh out loud kind, it is much more reality based. I highly recommend this film especially if the remake happens, because if they destroy it by taking away the humanity there is still the original. Everything works here, including a couple of wonderful performances from father and son, Arne Lenk and Armin Rohde. But take it from me, all the performances here are strong. This is one wedding you won’t want to miss.