Romanian theatre artist and filmmaker Horațiu Mălăele’s Silent Wedding had little overtones of the kind of deadpan politically charged black comedies that the Romanian New Wave is most renowned for; the more prominent influence here, instead, was Kusturica’s boisterous signature style and grandiloquent splash. A bucolic farce that gradually, and in darkly funny ways, escalates into a grim tragedy, this is a fantastical fable centered on a rambunctious, gregarious, closely-knit village where – as Bohumil Hrabal would’ve said – time stands still, which gets converted into a ghost town due to the village folks’ inability to dampen their joie de vivre and carefree defiance. Set in 1953 in a lively little village that loves to eat, drink, fight, fornicate and be merry, and is glibly unconcerned with the political forces of the world outside, prepares for a raucous wedding of a young couple – who’ve been romping cacophonously everywhere from open farms to secluded sheds – with music, leery jokes and a grand feast. However, on the day of the wedding, they are informed that a week of national mourning has been announced on account of Stalin’s death and hence any celebrations during this period would be treated as high treason. The villagers, therefore, plan for the titular silent wedding in the middle of the night – an elaborate gag that is bound to end in disaster. Chronicled through flashbacks, wherein the dull, drab, gray present was juxtaposed with the magical, overblown past shot in saturated colours, the film, with its ensemble cast, was enjoyable for its madcap, risqué and oftentimes hilarious comedic elements, albeit tad limited by its simplistic morality, tone bordering on caricature, pastiche of Fellini’s masterful Amarcord and over-the-top goings-on.
Director: Horatju Malaele
Genre: Comedy/Black Comedy/Political Satire/Ensemble Film