Mother and daughter relationships are often dramatized in film. Sure, it’s very easy to portray crazy familial relationships and then have them explode at each other before realizing they do, indeed, love each other. But that’s every family-oriented film. Nitzan Giladi’s “Wedding Doll” is much more down-to-earth in its portrayal of the mother/daughter dynamic. And while the film itself isn’t heavy on plot, the scenes shared between its lead actors, Moran Rosenblatt and Assi Levy, are what keep the film engaging.
In a small desert town in Israel, Hagit (Moran Rosenblatt) is a young woman with a mild mental disability. She works in a toilet paper factory and is ever the optimist, with a massive-sized crush on the boss’ son, Omri (Roy Assaf). Hagit’s views on the world are filled with innocence. Her talents lie in making wedding dolls out of toilet paper, while the walls keeping her hopes and dreams at bay come rising up throughout the film. One day, she hopes to get married and she’s stubbornly set on this.
Hagit’s mother, Sarah (Assi Levy) is a divorcee struggling to keep her job and take care of her daughter. She’s always trying to make sure that Hagit is safe, never out alone, and helping to find her a new job after they receive word that the toilet paper factory will probably close. Sarah even puts aside a romantic relationship most nights because she can’t leave Hagit alone. Along with Hagit’s mental disability, the two try to make the best out of their situations, while sometimes butting heads.
“Wedding Doll” is thin on plot. There isn’t much in the way of development that helps to move anything along once certain plot points are introduced. For example, we know the toilet paper factory is shutting down and that Omri is looking for ways to try and make sure that it doesn’t, but it’s very rarely explored. Even Hagit and Omri’s relationship, while innocently sweet, doesn’t have very many layers and although we know Hagit’s motivations, Omri’s are never as clear. His behavior, however, in the final act contrasts greatly with the way he was treating her before and changes the perception of the character.
“Wedding Doll” is propped up by great performances by Rosenblatt and Levy. Their onscreen relationship is tender, but occasionally volatile in the natural push-and-pull central to many parent/child interactions. They put forth a lot of emotion and weight to their characters. The script is very vague in a lot of places, however. There isn’t a major point of conflict for any of the characters, no moment that the story reaches a climax. This lack of rise and fall causes the progress of the narrative to dwindle and remain mostly stagnant. By the end of the film, it’s not clear the path the characters will lead. All of these things unfortunately hinder an otherwise good central mother/daughter relationship.
There isn't a major point of conflict for any of the characters, no moment that the story reaches a climax. This lack of rise and fall causes the progress of the story to dwindle and remain mostly stagnant. All of these things unfortunately hinder an otherwise good central mother/daughter relationship.