For a film that is so loaded The Wedding Song does not say a lot. Karin Albou structured the film from story to acting with an intimate design in mind.
The story is simple: a tale of the friendship between Myriam (Lizzie Brochere) and Nour (Olympe Borval), and how it grows in the face of their stark differences and the world that is rapidly changing around them. While Myriam is thrust into an arranged marriage in desperation to shield herself from the war, Nour’s “love” marriage traps her within the prejudice views of the times. Design was the cornerstone of this film and its failure. Albou’s design defines the good, the bad, and the ugly of The Wedding Song.
The good: The many layers of a woman’s coming of age are beautifully intertwined with the lesser known hostilities of a War that defines so much of who people became. Albou’s design and technique of the layers of intimacy between two friends in the heat of World War II is so particularly crafted in front of your eyes that your emotions are taken from simple homes through the ages that defined it.
The bad: The craftsmanship and design are forced through every scene. Although beautifully crafted and unique, the story is hard pressed for a slice for everyone to identify with. What makes coming of age stories special are the people we see in them and this art, with its specificity, lacks empathy.
The ugly: The Wedding Song is a heavy-handed art film and the design that faults it defines it. Albou has brought together so much of life and its unpredictable nature into each character set scene and action that it demands an active audience.
In short this film is a beautiful story with a lot of detail but a curtailed base. In the long run it will find itself as a winner with critical thinkers but not with the targeted bathetic audience.