Distracting fare but lacking insight and even, to a degree, relevance
Using interviews, archive footage and reconstructions this documentary looks at the mass wedding of 4000 strangers, carried out by the Moonies in Madison Square Garden. The film goes through the wedding process from the choosing of partners by Reverend Moon through to the bizarre sexual rituals required when it came to consummating the relationship.
If the title doesn't give it away, perhaps it is worth me saying that this is a documentary that quite revels in the not-too-serious rubbernecking approach that similar trashy documentaries tend to do. However the film doesn't have the dignity to go for all out mocking but rather wears a cloak of seriousness as if somehow this will be a really insightful film. Taking it at its word, I came to it out of interest but found less of an investigation and more of a simple description of events. This makes for a semi-engaging film simply on the basis of what happened but I did wonder what the film really adds that justifies me watching it as opposed to just reading a description of the events somewhere. Well, I'm not sure of the answer because the film does nothing with the contributions and access to people involved to justify having them.
OK, without any effort we learn a bit about the people but only once does this happen to any worthy degree. I watch the end of the film as the couple describe the relationship they stayed in without any sense of intimacy or even contentment and thought "how depressing" beyond this thought the film doesn't probe or explore. It seems to have nothing to say on the subject other than just showing us it. This is disappointing and once I got the idea that this was all a bit weird (as if we didn't know this already) then there was really nothing else to be had.
The story itself is weird enough to distract but it is a real disappointment to see how little interest it has in the people and the bigger picture and ultimately the lack of insight and relevance just left me becoming increasingly bored with it.
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