May 22, 2022 7:09 am

Movie Premieres: Black Wedding: A Russian Horror Story With Too Many Ramifications

black wedding (Privorot: black wedding, Russia/2020). Direction: Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy. Film script: Natalya Dubovaya, Ivan Kapitonov, Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy. Photography: Anton Zenkovich. List: Yana Yenzhayeva, Konstantin Beloshapka, Ilya Yermolov, Varvara Borodina, Igor Khripunov, Sabina Akhmedo. Distribution: Impact Cinema. Qualification: suitable for ages 13 and up. Duration: 94 minutes. Our opinion: regular.

A desperate young woman after discovering that her partner is unfaithful turns to a disturbing sorceress who prescribes a bloody ritual to rebuild their shaky relationship. But things don’t go as planned and the presumed solution -related to the title wedding- ends up turning into a nightmare.

The trigger for this film by a Russian filmmaker who has been outlined in a decade of career as a specialist in horror (he already has seven feature films framed in that genre) is simple, in fact much more elementary than its development, loaded with themes and turns of the screw to the point of bordering on mannerism: the question of the clash of classes in contemporary Russia, artistic creation and its connection with politics, fatherhood and motherhood, jealousy, toxic love… Too many issues for a single plot. But Svyatoslav Podgayevskiy also introduces narrative lines linked to the narratives of Russian folklore, revealing an ambition that is difficult for him to sustain with cinematographic resources.

For a film about obsessive love affairs and the problems derived from possession obsessions – the topics that the director himself declared he had in mind for this project – the overabundance of information overwhelms and, above all, distracts. The work of photography and montage saved this story from complete shipwreck, which required a more precise focus, instead of so many plot ramifications.

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