Dover Kosashvili’s first feature Late Marriage so boldly confronts stringent cultural traditions it’s a minor miracle it never becomes glib. Thirty-two years old, Zaza (Lior Loui Ashkenazi) is still “without full-time pussy”—or so think his parents, Yasha (Moni Moshonov) and Lily (Lili Kosashvili). Zaza is in love with the strong-willed Judith (Roni Elkabetz), a divorcee with a six-year-old daughter, Madona (Sapir Kugman). Theirs is some of the most lighthearted, organic fucking you’re likely to ever see on the big screen. The non-Georgian Judith, though, is less than ideal wife material, not because her “uterus can’t stand Zaza’s sperm” but because she’s four years his senior. Sporting a good luck charm made from the foreskin of an 8-day-old baby boy, Zaza’s mother hopes to marry her son to a local 17-year-old with aspirations of becoming a fashion designer. It’s no wonder that Zaza comes to question God’s existence when marriage has come to resemble something not unlike a Medieval barter (phrases uttered here include “Did you close the deal?” and “Go get the girl”). In the film’s comedic highlight, Lily throws her foreskin charm under her potential daughter-in-law’s bed. She’s hopeful but also oblivious to the pervasiveness of motherly desperation: Judith’s mother places the charm in a container with a half dozen other similar mementos. After invading Judith’s home, Zaza’s entire family judges the cleanliness of her kitchen, her groceries and her love for Zaza. Yasha also threatens to kill her, which means Kosashvili’s commentary becomes increasingly difficult to watch. Kosashvili never shies away from poking fun at the tyranny of his religion’s traditions though it becomes increasingly difficult to tell when the satire ends and reality begins. Still, Kosashvili joyously suggests it’s all about obeying the cock. Before Zaza falls to pieces at his wedding ceremony, he bows before his father and worships his place of origin by kissing his crotch. Allegiance comes at a price and Yasha accepts his son’s gesture, though he’s conservative enough to warn his son not to similarly thank his mother.
- Magnolia Pictures
- 100 min
- Dover Kosashvili
- Dover Kosashvili
- Lior Loui Ashkenazi, Ronit Elkabetz, Moni Moshonov, Lili Kosashvili, Aya Steinovitz, Simon Chen, Sapir Kugman
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