Polite Society, A Not So Polite Confrontation
What role does society play in the roles of two South Asian sisters from a middle-class family? Nothing you said? Well, it’s more complicated than that when you see behind the curtains. In a South Asian household, society plays more of a role in a girl’s life than her own will. What she does, how she does it, what she has to do, everything is being monitored by society.
Polite Society is a story of two sisters from Pakistan, who dream to aim high in their life. The older sister Lena and younger sister Ria, both want to achieve great things and carve their own path through life. Lena always wanted to be an artist, but gradually her dreams start to wane. The movie gives more importance to Ria’s dream of becoming a world-renowned stunt performer. Lena wants to change the world, but will society allow her to follow her passion?
What happens when the elder sister decides on taking the common road instead of accompanying you on the road less taken? Ria is scared that if Lena agrees to get married, Ria herself will have to compromise her dreams and freedom. It haunts Ria the way Lena’s habits have changed over the last few weeks. When the Khan family goes for an Eid dinner, Ria finds Lena eyeing a boy, Akshaye Khanna, and in the blink of an eye, Lena gets engaged. Lena and Ria were more like best friends and it was shocking for Ria to see Lena settle into all the ‘feminine responsibilities’ both of them had fought against for so many years. Ria is concerned that if her elder sister gets married, society will expect her to be the next in line. Ria decides with her friends that they must plan a heist at the wedding.
Nida Manzoor debuted with this British action comedy movie. The movie premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival on the 21st of January. We expect the movie to be a decent hit as the topic chosen by Manzoor is very relatable to every girl in Asian households. It has all the elements of a perfect movie revolving around feminism and a funny take on a British-Pakistani girl trying to save her life by ruining her sister’s marriage. Ria was shocked when Lena drops out of her school and starts to focus on all the homely duties that are expected of her. We don’t get to see such movies in mainstream Hollywood but the few that we have seen, we loved them. Never Have I Ever was also a similar show about a South Asian teenager, Devi. To see a movie/series do well among American audiences or the western audience is heartwarming to watch. This movie will be a cultural blast and an insight into the typical middle-class marriage conversations, how marriage is not an affair between two people but is a social agenda, and everyone gets a say in the final decision-making. To see how society expects girls to act a certain way. This will be a good experimental start for Manzoor. Let’s wait for the movie and see how well Nida was able to establish a connection with the audience.