Magazine article The Spectator

Night of Disaster

Magazine article The Spectator

Night of Disaster

Article excerpt

Tthe Wedding 15, Key Cities

Honestly, Polish films. They come over here, open in cinemas -- our cinemas; your local Odeon -- and, if that weren't enough, they are smart and they are funny and it shouldn't be allowed. What is the government doing about this? Does the government even know exactly how many Polish films are actually coming over here, and stealing our audiences? It's obscene.

Why doesn't someone put a stop to it? I, for one, would not be recommending The Wedding if I could help myself, but I can't.

Alas, self-discipline has never really been my thing.

The Wedding is, thankfully, no My Big Fat Polish Wedding, which would be very tiresome indeed. Even the Greeks couldn't pull that off. Instead, it's a bracingly misanthropic comedy that's blacker than black, if you can have blacker than black, Can you?

I think you can. Further, if you read Vogue, you will already know it has been suggested as the new brown. Anyway, it all takes place in one night; one very, very long night, which progresses like some drunken vision, as hammered and as unsteady on its feet as the wedding guests. This is not, by the way, a film about how wonderful families are, but about how brilliantly wretched and vile they can be. It ends as the morning sun comes up by which time you, too, will be yearning for a good, cleansing scrub in the shower.

The central character is Wieslaw Wojnar (played by Marian Dziedziel, for what it's worth), a well-off, landowning peasant who wants to show off in his village by hosting a wealthy wedding for his beautiful daughter, Kasia. 'There is money so there is everything, ' he boastfully declares. There is an orchestra, food, a hired hall and plentiful vodka, which is Slovakian, actually, because it's cheaper and more sensible considering it is drunk 'for the kick, not the taste'. Most importantly, though, he has brought the happy (not! ) couple an Audi TT which, once presented, appears to turn on the groom considerably more than his bride. My, how he lovingly caresses that car. Trouble is, the car has been procured though a local gangster who, in return, wants the deeds to some land belonging to Wojnar's unco-operative and constipated father-in-law, who will not come out of the toilet. …

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