The cinematography was sensitive, the lighting was fantastic, and the dialog sparse and expressive. Also it helped for me that it was about one of my favorite subjects in film: redemption. It touches on family, love, happiness, forgiveness, fear, deception. The characters evolve powerfully and believably, the contrasts between them are well chosen.
Overall the entire experience is just great. I love seeing movies like this. In fact, I’m going to go on a limb and say that I loved After the Wedding so much because I hated There Will Be Blood as much as I did. I tried watching that today and just couldn’t take it. It was pompous and arrogant, and the scoring was so irritating. Plus the lack of dialog for the first 15 minutes and the poor dialog for the next 30 just did me in and I turned it off. I don’t usually give movies 45 mintues, but hey, it won so many awards.
And herein lies one of the major differences between European cinema and American cinema for me: subtelty and sparseness in filming and dialog do not come across well in American movies that are big budget and highly produced. When you attempt that, it doesn’t come out rich and dense with meaning, it comes out flat and empty, and lacking something significant (like…a soul).
You want to see a good American movie, see Arranged, it’s rich, it’s interesting, the dialog is great, and even though it’s not big budget it’s about a great subject and acted very well.
I think anyone would love After the Wedding, there’s so much to relate to, so many hooks for you to like it, so many nooks and crannies to store your memories, and attachments. Two things were really interesting to me: how much the director’s focus on the eyes of the characters lent to my experience empathizing with what they were feeling, particularly when they were saying something significant, and instead of having a shot of their face, you only had a shot of their eyes, or of one of their eyes.
(for some strange reason, the song “It’s Raining Men” shows up twice in the movie, bookending it in a really odd and comical way)
So anyway, see it and tell me if you think i was right!