© NFP/Tobis

Marry Me!
Germany 2015

Opening 2 Jul 2015

Directed by: Neelesha Barthel
Writing credits: Neelesha Barthel, Daniela Baumgärtl, Nina Pourlak, Sintje Rosema
Principal actors: Idil Baydar, Knut Berger, Lovely Bhangu, Arfi Lamba, Monty Bhangu

Although Kissy (Maryam Zaree) had an Indian mother and a German father, she is more German than Indian. She leads a very alternative life style in the multi-kulti area of Kreuzberg in Berlin where she runs the café that her mother started up before she died. Kissy lives with her younger sister Sonal as well as with her own daughter Meena. Meena’s father Robert (Steffen Groth), with whom Kissy never had a “real” relationship, lives in the apartment house above the café. He is one of several tenants (including Wolfgang Stumph whom we know as Stubbe on German TV) who take advantage of Kissy’s leniency about rent payments.

Out of the blue Grandma Sujata (Bharati Jaffrey) arrives from India and declares that, if Kissy and Robert do not marry, she - the actual owner of the property - will sell the house and café. The café is not just Kissy’s livelihood but also her connection to her deceased mother. So Robert moves in with Kissy and they pretend to be a real couple and start planning a traditional Indian wedding and celebration. The whole situation becomes chaotic especially when Sujata hires Karim (Fahri Yardim) to take over the café’s kitchen.

In spite of enjoying appearances by several experienced actors, I found the scene changes not always smooth and Sujata’s Denglisch got on my nerves! But this is Neelesha Barthel’s début as a movie director, and she does depict very well the conflict between the modern and traditional for a bicultural person in Germany. (Thelma Freedman)

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