A merry mash up of sisterly affection, parental disappointment and bold action, Polite Society follows martial artist-in-training Ria Khan who believes she must save her older sister Lena from her impending marriage. After enlisting the help of her friends, Ria attempts to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists in the name of independence and sisterhood
Polite Society is a fun genre mashup that promises some Jane Austen before it escalates into a Bollywood-martial arts sci-fi, James Bond parody with bits of Western standoffs, crime caper heist planning and a touch of Rosemary’s Baby shock horror thrown into the free-for-all. This all to prevent a sister (Ritu Arya) from marrying and live the artist life she deserves, and the other, to become the stunt women she is destined to be.
The movie plays like a dream sequence. You keep hoping the main character, Nia (Priya Kansara) will wake up from, until you realize, the first time director, Nida Manzoor, is totally committed to depicting every ounce of anxiety and cinematic lunacy Nia feels and see. All the audience has to do is swallow, brace themselves and go along for the ride.
Manzoor refuses to frame Nia’s disgust for her sister’s upcoming marriage as rebellion against a traditionally Muslim arranged marriage. Traditional un-arranged marriages come in for skewering also. It’s all about following your true identity, not about being part of another or greater one.
For Manzoor it’s all about exploring the possibilities of her character—the good, bad, ugly of their vision. Polite Society gets a 3.5 out of 5 or a B+.
- Tom Howe
- Shez Manzoor
- Working Title Films
- Parkville Pictures
- 21 January 2023(Sundance)
- 28 April 2023(United Kingdom)
Running time104 minutesCountryUnited KingdomLanguageEnglish