Polite Society / Review : “This Film is Fire !”

Polite Society / Review : “This Film is Fire !”

It’s still Spring but Focus Features comes out with full punches with this Summer like Action Flick “Polite Society.” Mind you, there is nothing polite about this film. It’s full of curse words, raw catfights with full on punches and rudeness that would make your Mother cringe, But mind you this film is FIRE !

Boy, these British Pakistani  lead girls are on fire ! Playing off the sibling rivalry are lookers both – Priya Kansara (Younger Sister Ria Khan the Stunt Woman Wanna Be) and Ritu Arya (Older Sister Lena Khan the Artist). These two sisters are sweet to each other but when they fight there is more than hair pulling happening. Younger Sister is a Black Belt in Martial Arts but Older Sister got the chops as well. The friction at home starts when Lena becomes matched with a suitor and then gets engaged. Ria does not like it and starts maliciously conspiring to thwart the marriage.

This film reminds me of the British Film “Bend It Like Beckham” (2003) where in a South Asian Family is also featured with the parents not liking their daughter’s love of playing Football. Remember how that film launched the careers of Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightly and Jonathan Rhys Myers. Because of their innate beauty, their expressive eyes, the acting chops, the comedic timing, the explosive moves… I think Priya Kansara and Ritu Arya are soon to be Silverscreen Superstars ! Fire ! Similarly in this film ” Polite Society ” the parents are not in favor of their daughters wanting to be an artist and much worse oh no not a stuntwoman! It’s to be noted that in Asian families, I guess around the world, most children are expected to go into the medical field.

Of course let’s not forget the Villains of the film –  the Son & Mother tandem of Akshay Khanna (Salim) and Nimra Bucha (Salim’s Mother Rahila). At first they are portrayed as this perfect Mother and Son – who is the most eligible bachelor in the community. The two are perfect, fit and rich but as Ria investigates and finds out that there are sinister plans up their sleeves. Akshay has the Bollywood star looks and smoothness like a perfect son (the perfect bachelor). Nimra is a perfect Wicked Mother, she has class, could act like a witch but could also fight like a bitch.(Sorry for the curse words, the film has a lot of those mind you …. ) I was told that if you were to play an antagonist in a film you should still make your character likeable inspite of being a monster… Akshay Khanna and Nimra Bucha were villains that you will like to hate … and also like.

This is the Directorial Feature Film Debut of Nida Manzoor. Her portrayal of the Matriarchal, Girl Power, Close Knit Family of British Pakistani in UK is to be commended. She showed it with truthfulness of course with the over the top Bollywood dances and fight scenes but as a fellow Asian, I saw myself in a lot of the characters. I saw my Mom’s straightforwardness, my sisters’ stubborness and rebelliousness when they were younger and how in our community the Mother or the Grandmother always has the last say. Thanks to Manzoor’s directorial leadership we see a film that entertains, teaches us how our children think and how colorful a heart pounding kick ass South Asian British Film (or any film) should look like ! Bravo !

Polite Society” for me is an inspiring film. As you my readers know, I am into pushing for the Asian Wave (featuring Asians as lead actors) in the Film Industry. Watching this film got me thinking of the viability of creating this raw, ambitious, bold, risky, adventurous, clever and entertaining film that features 99% Asian actors. Wow, this film is my dream come true !  Thank you thank you to all Executives of Focus Features, Working Title and Director Nida Manzoor for making the perfect film that is “Polite Society.” The Asian Wave is truly on !!!

Grade: A+

Check out more of Luis’ articles.

Here’s the trailer of the film.

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