REVIEW: The Wedding Plan

23 05 2017

As one afflicted by chronic singleness syndrome (mostly by choice, or for lack of trying – look, this isn’t about me, ok?), many of the emotions along the journey in Rama Burshtein’s “The Wedding Plan” felt all too familiar. There’s the isolation of being an adult who hasn’t found a life partner as everyone else finds theirs, the impatience and judgment of everyone around you, and the occasional spurts of anger directed at the cosmic authorities for imposing what feels like a curse.

Burshtein’s protagonist, Michal, treks on towards the goal of a wedding in the ultimate act of defiance against these internal and external pressures. She holds a date for her nuptials on the final day of Hanukkah without a groom in place. Trusting in both her own charm and determination as well as divine providence, Michal bends the will of love to her own timeframe.

Michal’s oft-hapless desperation lends some levity to “The Wedding Plan,” though labeling Burshtein’s film a “rom-com” doesn’t do the experience justice. This trek towards the altar assumes continued gravity as Michal puts the cart before the horse in the matter of love. The unconventional move garners a wide variety of reactions from Michal’s suitors, though Burshtein’s lens on events also collects valuable information on her female counterparts. The men of this orthodox Jewish society espouse patriarchal beliefs, but the women also internalize and parrot them. One woman tells Michal that of course all men want an obedient wife; Michal, and Burshtein by extension, cast back a doubtful and inquisitive glance. 

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