Bekim and Anita are preparing for their wedding and their future lives together, but their nuptials are slightly clouded by their families and their pasts. Anita has been waiting for news of her parents for years following the Kosovar War of 1999 and Bekim finds himself dealing with someone from his past that he never expected to return. The Marriage examines the relationship between not only the bride and groom, but also how their pasts are impacting their future.
We first see Bekim and Anita at an outdoor facility that those who are missing family members go to in the hopes that they will learn what has happened to their loved ones. This opening shares the deep struggles and sorrow that has shrouded Anita’s life as well as Bekim’s. When they return to the city and Bekim’s bar he is shocked to find his friend Nol there. He attempts to avoid introducing him to Anita, but eventually it is revealed that the two men used to live together in Bekim’s family home during the war. As the wedding gets closer Anita and Bekim begin struggling under the strain of the event, but Anita doesn’t see that there is something going on between her future husband and the person she thinks is just his friend.
The Marriage is beautifully performed by all of the actors involved. Starting very early on hints are made toward the nature of the relationship between Nol and Bekim. The two men are very close and are frequently touching each other in a casual way, which speaks toward intimacy. Beyond that Nol mentions that he has been broken up with by the love of his life and while Anita continuously refers to this person as a woman, Bekim also says girlfriend at one point, Nol hints at this identification being incorrect. We also get an insight into the pasts of both Anita and Bekim and in Bekim’s flashbacks we see that he and Nol were more than friends. The two men love each other, but Bekim, even as a young man, insisted that they would never be able to be together. As I watched the moments between Bekim and Nol I was struck by their connection in a way that made me exceptionally sad. While they love each other Bekim specifically doesn’t see how they can ever live the way that will make both of them happy. I do want to note that the film is in Albanian, but there are English subtitles. The Marriage is a beautifully performed and produced film that will definitely stir strong emotions in viewers.
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