Noces (A Wedding) doesn’t cater to the cliches towards mounting a sensational subject on-screen. Also, it is a multicultural film which portrays a Pakistani immigrant in an European State bound by her traditions from home.
Noces works in a claustrophobic environment, set mainly between Zahira’s apartment and her Father’s grocery store. The strength of traditions over modernism begins to smoke into Zahira’s life – eventually making it an emotional chamber. Cinematographer Grimm Vandekerckhove begins the journey from wide frames to frequent closeups and mid-shots. It speaks about the character arc, the emotional trauma withheld in their eyes. Must say, Director Stephan Streker plays smartly with the female protagonist Zahira, with whom we slowly empathize.
While introspecting the multiculturalism facet, it does create identifiable problems like the ones with Zahira (a Pakistani lively on her own terms). Patiently as the film courses, the paradise of integration arises as problematic, but then the co-existence happens everywhere with people regardless of race and religion mix up in a Western School – temples of multiculturalism? Love is a powerful emotion for Zahira, but there are circumstances more powerful than it and the strength of traditions lies upon its beliefs over many generations – Zahira is the essence of a tragedy who writes, “Time can heal everything. We have to wait”.
Zahira is juxtaposed with her elder Sister who has compromised with her traditions. Then a Brother, who supports her in every way, remember he’s the man of the house. And the parents, who want to flag or hold their traditions from home on a new home ground. Such characters close to reality work in Noces without any melodrama, but minor flaws in terms of characterization probe the narrative though never hinder it like the openness of the parents in the opening portions.
The only major drawback was the sudden introduction of an important element right in the middle, which pretty much was an explicit hint at its use down the lane. Featuring Lina El Arabi who displays a diverse emotional range and Iranian actor Babak Karimi (A Separation, The Salesman) who brings the nuances of a torn Father between his offering and the orthodox traditions, these two actors bring out an intimate conviction required to light a not-so-perfect wedding.
European Cinema always finds a place, upon its rich content, narrative and experimentation without going overboard – European Union Film Festival always offers a delicate cinematic experience. Noces (A Wedding) is an international co-production between Luxembourg, Belgium, France and Pakistan which was screened at the European Union Film Festival 2018.
SYNOPSIS: Zahira, 18, is close to her family until her parents ask her to follow Pakistani tradition to choose a husband. Torn between family customs and her western lifestyle, the young woman turns for help to her brother and confidant Amir.
Language: French, Urdu
Release: 24 August, 2016
EUROPEAN UNION FILM FESTIVAL, 2018
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