Zaza is a 31-year old Israeli bachelor, handsome and intelligent, and his family wants to see him married. But tradition dictates that Zaza has to choose a young virgin. She must be ... See full summary »
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Zaza is a 31-year old Israeli bachelor, handsome and intelligent, and his family wants to see him married. But tradition dictates that Zaza has to choose a young virgin. She must be beautiful and from a good family, preferably rich. Zaza's parents, Yasha and Lily drag Zaza to meet potential brides and their families. Zaza has no choice. He plays along with his family, advocates of the suffocating traditions of their Georgian Jewish heritage. But Zaza always manages to somehow get out of being engaged. What his parents don't know is that Zaza is already in love. Judith is sensuous, strong and intriguing. She's also a divorcée with a 6-year-old daughter. So Zaza has kept Judith a secret from his family. He will have to choose between respect of the strict confines of family and tradition, or the love of his life. Written by
Very Frank Exploration of Traditional Vs. Modern Pulls on an Israeli Immigrant
"Late Marriage (Hatuna Meuheret)" makes "Monsoon Wedding" seem like a commercial Hollywood flick in comparison in dealing with a similar theme -- families imposing traditional marriage on an adult son in today's world.
This film is an intense and heartbreaking examination of a Georgian Russian immigrant family pushing tradition on an older son in very modern Israel. Through a very gradual unveiling as we learn more and more about each member of the family and relationships, every character is strongly individually wrought, flaws and all, complex sympathies and all.
The blunt scenes demonstrating traditional relationships are paralleled with extremely frank contemporary ones.
I thought at first that the lack of a soundtrack virtually up until the closing scene was due to writer/director Dover Koshashvili's obvious minuscule budget. Instead the closing band music punctuates a bittersweet, ironic tension-builder as the audience waits anxiously to see how the central figure of Zaza/Dooby resolved his unresolvable philosophical, familial and romantic dilemmas amidst very competitive, strong-willed women.
The sub-titles are sub-par; it's awkward, for example, to translate "Shalom" as peace be with you as it's really more just colloquial hello.
(originally written 5/24/2002)
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