Gone are the days when South Asian women were portrayed as submissive beings whose only aspiration is to fulfill their parent’s desires to see them married. Nida Manzoor’s “Polite Society” breaks free from these old shackles of society.
British Pakistani sisters, Lena (Ritu Arya) and Ria (Priya Kansara) love and live for each other. Swaying away from the norm of lawyers and doctors, these siblings want to become an artist and a stunt woman respectively.
Ria adores her older sister Lena. But when Lena falls for handsome, well-to-do Salim (Akshay Khanna), Ria is disappointed by how quickly her sibling drops her artistic aspirations, agreeing to get married and move with him to Singapore. Even more upsetting to Ria, however, are her concerns that Salim’s family — specifically, his controlling mother Raheela (Nimra Bucha) — have nefarious motives behind this romantic pairing. She decides that she must stop the wedding, utilizing her nascent martial arts skills against anyone who gets in her way.
Written and directed by Nida Manzoor, the Focus Features movie had its world premiere Friday in the Midnight section of the Sundance Film Festival.
View this post on Instagram
“Polite Society” is a fun film that explores cultural norms, and when they aren’t adhered to, it can be seen as an impolite gesture not to conform. But it isn’t a condemnation of these rules so much as a critique of them, and why some people choose not to accept these particular sets of rules. It’s always cool learning new things in inventive ways without having to pile trauma on top of it. The cast is having a good time, especially Bucha who is fantastic as the story’s villain.
“Polite Society” is a sweet movie with some room for polishing, but overall worth taking a chance for some good laughs and a good time.
Make sure to check it out when it hits theaters near you!