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Short summary

The beautiful Tanya returns to her small mining town, after supposedly working as a model in Moscow. She decides to marry her shy school sweetheart Mishka, who now works in the mine. The miners finally receive some pay, but Mishka still ends up with no money to buy his bride a gift, so he seeks the help of his perpetually drunk buddy Garkusha. Mishka's poor working-class family all help to put on a fine wedding with copious amounts of vodka, even though they are suspicious of Tanya's occupation in Moscow, and of her connection with her Mafia ex-boyfriend Borodin.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Nejind
    First of all, through the entire movie I felt like I have already seen this movie in some sense. After I have finished watching it, I realized it - Lars Von Trier, Celebration. And it was not the script, it was that "documentary" style that made me watch the movie without uttering a single word. "Marriage" puts you in the middle, not only you watch it but you live it with the characters.

    I have lived in the largest coal-mining region in Ukraine for a long time. 95% of the situation in the movie is true.

    I think that the casting was excellent, militia major is more than believable, Marat Basharov is very sincere, Andrei Panin is a natural "russian soul".

    I totally recommend this movie to everybody !
  • comment
    • Author: DEAD-SHOT
    I never heard of that russian movie until I saw it in T.V. The Director matches it perfectly to connect a typical wedding comedy with critics on the (many) social problems in Russia. You have it all: The rich mafiosis, the corrupt policists, the poverty of the workers, the alcoholism, the decline of social institutions. But despite all, it is very positive movie - because of the hero Mischa, the husband, who gives never up, but also tries to stay brave and not to become a gangster. The movie is in its original russian way a bit similar to the blockbuster "monsoon wedding" from India. But I think "Russian Wedding" is the better movie, more funny, more cynical, more realistic.

    E.G.: the bride maria mironova looks like an angel.
  • comment
    • Author: Sardleem
    Five years ago, Tania (Mariya Morinova) left her small village and left to Moscow, pursuing a career as a model. Now she returns, and for everyone's surprise, she decides to marry Mishka (Marat Mashanov), her former lover. As the preparations for the wedding begin, many passions are set loose. Mishka's family does not trust Tania and Mishka himself doubts about Tania's motivations. To make things worse, Mishka is not wealthy, so he must rely on his best friend Garkusha's talent for the illegal in order to raise money. The Wedding night will be full of surprises.

    That is the plot of "Svadba", a Russian movie that proves that good movies are made with love and not with SFX. The wedding celebration is a perfect background for this comedy/drama that explores the misfortunes of a typical Russian family of miners. The realistic approach taken by director Pavel Lungin makes the audience feel part of the celebration, as if it were the real video home of an authentic wedding.

    Part of this success is due to the great acting of the cast, Andrei Panin is outstanding as Garkusha and he steals every scene he is in. His character the perfect catalyst between drama and comedy, giving the film humor and heart. Mariya Morinova is beautiful and shows a great talent for drama as the mysterious Tania. The rest of the cast is quite good and everyone receives a chance to shine as the wedding party goes on.

    "Svadba" presents us a glimpse of Russian society; in a manner similar to India's "Monsoon Wedding" or Mexico's "El Anzuelo", the wedding is an event that serves as backbone to the stories of the family friends and relatives, from the sister who can't find a boyfriend to the town's police chief, who wants nothing but to leave the small village.

    Another point that is handled with subtlety by the movie, is the new society of post-Communist Russia. In the small village that seems lost in time, Moscow is like a dream, where capitalism runs rampant and where everything is to be possible. However, Tania returns home looking for a quieter way of life, and the inhabitants of her hometown represent that lost innocence she struggles to recover.

    The movie is a light-hearted comedy with touches of drama that has enough charm to capture the attention without getting boring, or overtly sentimentalist. This is a movie that proves that all a movie needs to be good is a lot of heart. 8/10
  • comment
    • Author: Mot
    I am grateful to the commentators who suggested comparisons to Robert Altman's "Wedding" and the Indian "Monsoon Wedding"-- the comparison that came to mind for me was "Sweet Home Alabama." But I definitely find it the greatest depiction of contemporary Russian culture, especially as it shows provincial, rather than big-city life. I titled my comments "Laughter through Tears," as that is a phrase associated with one of Russia's greatest writers, Nikolai Gogol, who inaugurated the absurd and grotesque in Russian literature. I know Pavel Lunguin as the director of "Taxi Blues," and find his development as a filmmaker in the 10 years between the two films very compelling. Longuin, to my mind, is one of the few filmmakers who has found his own authentic Russian voice in contemporary cinema.
  • comment
    • Author: Scream_I LOVE YOU
    In Lipski, a small town 200 km far from Moscow, in a post-socialism Russia, the top-model Tanya (Mariya Mironova) returns home after five years in Moscow. She meets the shy miner Mishka (Marat Basharov), for whom she had a crush when she was a teenager, and proposes him, after gambling heads or tails. Mishka accepts to marry her, but he does not have any money for the feast or for a gift. His honored father makes the arrangements for the simple party. His drunken friend Garkusha (Andrei Panin) decides to help him to get money for a wedding gift, but indeed he gets Mishka into trouble with the nasty local chief of police Borzov (as Aleksandr Semchev), a limited man who aims to be transferred to Moscow. Meanwhile, the wealthy former lover of Tanya, Borodin (Vladimir Simonov), comes to Lispki, trying to recover Tanya. Further, after the ceremony, Tanya discloses surprising revelations to Mishka. 'The Wedding' is a totally unpredictable funny movie, showing samples of the post-socialism Russia, with the happy, beautiful and broken people, the powerful and corrupt capitalist (Borodin), traces of the former authoritarian regime (Borzov) and lots of vodka. The happiness and the beauty of the people without money recalled me in many situations the joyful Brazilian people. The gorgeous Mariya Mironova resembles the American actress Cameron Diaz. 'The Wedding' is a different and interesting movie for viewers who appreciate different cultures. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): 'As Bodas' ('The Wedding Feast')
  • comment
    • Author: IGOT
    As a North American who spent three months in Russia in 1995, all I can say is that this movie is a true reflection of what I experienced while I was there. The atmosphere of the film is true to life. If ones wants to get the feeling of a Russian party, this is it. Even though people don't have much to live on, they are ready to chip in and to share everything they have. This is not a comedy, this is a social study on life in Russia in 2000, but it is enjoyable.
  • comment
    • Author: Unsoo
    This amazing comedy mocks all film rules, giving you hardly any opportunity to predict what comes next. This wedding is a wodka-loaden, Russian, chaotic party with a bride worth alone to watch the film for, amazing scenes (like in the orphanage), with extreme characters who never become unreal. It's very warm, very funny, sometimes even scary although nothing really extreme happens. Weird things happen, though. The movie starts with Tanya, a supermodel, returning to her home village from Moscow, looking for a shy mineworker she was in love with when she was 14, and making him a proposal: flip a coin, heads is marrying, tails is not marrying. Later on, you'll understand why. You'll love this film if you can enjoy movies that are not by-the-book.
  • comment
    • Author: Garr
    The same theme as "A Wedding" by Robert Altman, but with the much sadder social context of contemporary Russia. Communism might be finished (notwithstanding the odd hammer and sickle still showing here and there), but the quality of life of the people has not improved - with the only exception of mafia-stile capitalists. Towards the end of the film the chief of police says excitedly: "I AM BACK !", and this might be the sad reflection of the author on the future of the country (not necessarily back to Communism, that is, but to an authoritarian regime of sort).

    And still, the people maintain a sort of desperate cheerfulness - made of jokes, drinking, music, dancing and sex. If you liked "Black Cat, White Cat" by Emir Kusturica (or the wedding scene in Underground) you will like this film.
  • comment
    • Author: Celore
    Pavel Lungin's "Svadba" ("The Wedding" in English) is mainly about a wedding, but also shows a contrast between the different kinds of worlds in Russia. Tanya, having worked as a model in Moscow, returns to her economically depressed hometown and decides to marry a friend from school. However, a series of issues arise as they get ready for the wedding.

    Although we see the wedding and all its Russian traditions, the movie also looks at issues of corruption and the general hopelessness in this mining town. The opening scene (where the glamorous Tanya is on a bus with a bunch of gruff people) makes the contrast very clear. And then there's a bunch of stuff that we learn about the characters over the course of the movie.

    I recommend it.
  • comment
    • Author: Gaua
    This is truly an extraordinary film. Not at all what I expected and better than any representation that Hollywood has ground out - "Father of the Bride" through to Robert Altman's cynical view in "A Wedding".

    I found the whole film mesmerising. The heroine is incredibly beautiful and one can believe that she is a top model. Her hero is wonderfully ordinary, as are all the various characters in this story. The plot unfolds in a way that reminds me of "The Fireman's Ball" (Milos Forman). Maybe it is the way it is in Eastern Europe? Whatever, the viewer feels that they are there, part of the wedding party. I once saw a play called "The Tinker's Wedding", which attempted to capture the atmosphere of a gypsy party, and failed (my view). Watching this production, I am more than ever convinced that it failed. I am prepared to go out on a limb & say that this is one of the most memorable films I have ever seen. It deserves an Oscar. I have been trying to get a DVD and have been offered a copy, in Russian only, from a distributor in Helsinki. If any IMDb reader knows where to locate a copy (with English subtitles). please let me know.
  • Credited cast:
    Marat Basharov Marat Basharov - Mikhail 'Mishka' Krapivin
    Mariya Mironova Mariya Mironova - Tanya
    Andrey Panin Andrey Panin - Garkusha
    Aleksandr Semchev Aleksandr Semchev - Borzov
    Vladimir Simonov Vladimir Simonov - Borodin
    Mariya Golubkina Mariya Golubkina - Sveta
    Natalya Kolyakanova Natalya Kolyakanova - Rimma
    Elena Novikova Elena Novikova - Zoika
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Oleg Esaulenko Oleg Esaulenko - Svetlanov
    Marina Golub Marina Golub - Café manager
    Vladimir Kashpur Vladimir Kashpur - Grandfather
    Nadezhda Markina Nadezhda Markina - Valka
    Aleksey Panin Aleksey Panin
    Galina Petrova Galina Petrova - Mother
    Pavel Poymalov Pavel Poymalov - Tolya (as Pavel Polmatov)
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