Published Sep 15, 2008Baltasar Kormakur seems to take an almost perverse pleasure in mirroring decidedly quirky characters that follow their gut instincts regardless of the consequence with ones that worry entirely about how their actions will impact the greater good. They riddle this film as they did his previous efforts, the far superior The Sea and the weaker 101 Reykjavik. Bizarre behaviour, along with simultaneously venomous and compassionate interactions, give his movies a very distinct feeling that, if embraced, make for a thoroughly enjoyable romp through human complexity and unresolved issues.
While thin on plotting, White Night Wedding is rich with philosophical questions and ideological musing without bridging over into the world of pretentious Linklater tripe. It struggles only with sustaining the emotional connection it occasionally strives for, which stems partially from a fractured time-shifting narrative that can often be hard to follow.
Based on the Chekhov play Ivanov, White Night Wedding follows Jon (Hilmir Snaer Gudnason) on the night before his wedding to a former student named Thora (Laufey Eliasdottir). While drinking with friends, he reflects on the nature of marriage to someone who is almost half of his age, as well as his union with a troubled artist (Margret Vilhjalmsdottir), who killed herself a year prior.
Consequentialism is at the forefront of Jons personal quest, as the film is essentially about the need to find happiness within the constrains of doing what is perceived as right. Thankfully, no answers are given to these complex questions, as Wedding is far more interested in pointing out that life is about the journey rather than the destination.
Insights about the way towards happiness being a road paved with ignorance since only the truly stupid can be happy for more than ten minutes are highly amusing and accurate, especially given the structural juxtaposition between the comic and dramatic throughout the film. (Blueeves)