Feb 26, 2009

Rachel Getting Married

Rachel Getting Married blew me away. I was expecting interesting. Entertaining. Even nice would have done. But this Jonathan Demme film is explosive, harrowing and thoroughly enthralling. Anne Hathaway is a revelation and the ensemble acting is superb. This is realist drama at its best, heavy on emotion and heavy on life. It is a small film, with big ideas. It is the best film that I have seen this year.

Rachel Getting Married is set in Connecticut over 2 and a half days. Kym (Anne Hathaway) is leaving a drug rehabilitation centre to attend the wedding of her sister Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt). The wedding is being held at Rachel's father's (Bill Irwin) stately home in the country side. Paul Buckman is a gregarious, spirited individual who works in the recording industry. Conversely many of the guests at the wedding are from a musical background, including the groom to be Sidney (Tunde Adebimpe). Over the course of two days leading into the wedding and during the wedding, we learn of all the dramas and issues that confront the family. Kym is abrasive and surly, struggling to fit back into her family. She constantly fights with Rachel over many things and often their father is playing the peacemaker. Paul is remarried to Carol (Anna Deavere Smith), whilst the mother of the girls, Abby (Debra Winger) is in another relationship and appears distanced from the family core.

The screenplay by Jenny Lumet unfold beautifully as we sink deep into these multi faceted characters. We learn of their passion and their joy. Their heartbreak and their shortcomings. There is one scene in particular that is terribly moving, where we learn of a tragedy that has driven a wedge straight through the family. But it's not all doom. It is a wedding after all. The setting is beautiful. There is a constant flow of music through out the film and the ceremony is original and touching. We even see Robyn Hitchcock sing post wedding. This is definitely a film that wears its heart on its sleeve. It is brimful of guts and glory. Truth and tragedy. The only slight quibble would be that a couple of scenes could have been trimmed. Demme let some improvisation occur and it perhaps goes too far at times. But the quibble is only slight, for the rewards from this film are great. It truly will affect your heart.

The two common criticisms that I have heard about the film I find unfounded. One concerns the hand held cinematography. It does appears shaky at first, but after a couple of scenes it had left my memory. In fact I think it suits the film, giving it a documentary feel. As if the audience was watching a home movie. The other one is that the main characters are unlikeable. Kym is unsympathetic at times, but she also possesses a lot of grit and charisma and strength. Anne Hathaway is superb in this role, drawing out the full amount of emotion that is required in such a demanding role. Whilst Rosemarie DeWitt is epic as her older sister. It is a complex role that requires many shades and hues and she pulls it off with aplomb. This film is not perfect, but it is perfectly real, which makes it essential viewing.

5 Comments:

  • At February 26, 2009 , Blogger avagdro said...

    Thanks for sharing.Wish all the wedded couples a great joyful life ahead.

    lol:)
    Send online gifts to Chennai | Send online gifts to Bangalore

     
  • At February 27, 2009 , Anonymous clare said...

    I saw this the other day. Also needs to be said that Tunde Adebimpe should not quit his day job, he was terrible. I agree its redeeming factor is its 'realness' but it sucked in alot of other ways, some unnecessary scenes, also no growth/change in any of the characters, which is a bit frustrating.

     
  • At February 27, 2009 , Anonymous clare said...

    I saw this the other day. Also needs to be said that Tunde Adebimpe should not quit his day job, he was terrible. I agree its redeeming factor is its 'realness' but it sucked in alot of other ways, some unnecessary scenes, also no growth/change in any of the characters, which is a bit frustrating.

     
  • At February 27, 2009 , Blogger Wayne said...

    Clare,

    Thanks for the comment. I would agree that Tunde is not the next Phil Hoffman. But I wouldn't say he was terrible. Also, considering the movie was only set over two days, I am not sure how much growth/change was possible. Having said that I thought there were scenes that showed the characters adpating and reacting each other.

    I loved this film, but each to their own I guess.

     
  • At April 26, 2009 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I could not disagree more with Clare in regards to Tunde's acting - it was beautifully subtle and graceful. My favorite scene in the entire movie was his wedding vow. The simplicity and honesty of his voice was enthralling. I had to listen to it over and over again because it made me really believe in the pure love he felt for his wife. And that is what I consider to be grand scale acting. What a fantastic, fantastic movie!!

     

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home