'Polite Society': A Comical Action Star in a Sari - Hope 103.2

‘Polite Society’: A Comical Action Star in a Sari

Priya Kansara delivers a perfect mix of martial arts, slapstick humour, and love, alongside her sidekicks, Seraphina Beh and Ella Bruccoleri.

By Russell MatthewsFriday 2 Jun 2023MoviesReading Time: 3 minutes

The challenge with the marketing for Polite Society is moving past the thought that this is a standard Bollywood production about two sisters.

Instead, try to place the first feature from writer/director Nida Manzoor in a special category.

One that mixes martial arts, comedy, family, and suspense thriller with Bollywood wardrobing and dance, added in for good measure.

Yes, this quirky film is hard to categorise, but that should not deter audiences from seeing it in theatres.

You won’t be disappointed.

Ria Khan (Priya Kansara) lives a life that exists in the reality of high school and family while having her foot placed squarely on her dream of being a stunt person.

Despite her parents and teacher’s lack of support for her dreams, her older sister, Lena (Ritu Arya), has always encouraged her to follow her aspirations.

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This is until her older sibling becomes the focus of one of the wealthiest young men in their community.

Their relationship escalates quickly and eventually involves a marriage of epic proportions.

But Ria has her suspicions that things are not as they seem with her future brother-in-law and his controlling mother, Raheela Shah (Nimra Bucha).

Even though her family is celebrating the forthcoming nuptials, the young martial artist decides to investigate her sister’s future family and has to figure out how to inform Lena about the possible dangers she will face.Polite Society Movie Stills

Action, comedy and family dysfunction

Initially, the story has a Scott Pilgrim vs. the World meets Bollywood comedic feel to it.

The viewer must determine what is happening in the real world and what is merely happening in the imagination of a teenage girl.

Once you can work through all the cinematic mash-ups, the ride becomes an enjoyable mix of action, comedy, and family dysfunction.

Regardless of how we know about the dynamics of Pakistani families, the screenplay makes every aspect of the story accessible. Even as it stretches the believability of the devious, underlying plans which the lead character and her two friends root out.

The action doesn’t get to the level of John Wick, but the fight scenes do take this up a notch from the standard action comedy in cinemas.

Priya Kansara makes the whole story work.

Her performance is a marvellous mix of martial arts, humour, and an expression of love for a sister.

She is brilliantly partnered with her sidekicks, Seraphina Beh and Ella Bruccoleri, who deliver some of the best slapstick elements in film in years.

Granted, veteran talents like Bucha (Ms. Marvel) and Arya (Red Notice) add depth and richness to the film. Still, the young talent carries this action-packed narrative through to the unbelievable ending.

Polite Society is an unexpected joy and worth discovering while it is still in theatres.Polite Society Movie Stills

REEL DIALOGUE: What would you do for your family?

The confronting aspect of Polite Society is how devoted Ria is to her sister.

Her commitment to Lena’s safety is commendable, but it does make her out to be mad at times.

However, she is not as concerned with her reputation as much as she wants to protect her older sibling.

The confrontational aspect is asking yourself whether you would do the same for your family.

Everyone has a different response when it comes to the idea of family.

For some, it will bring a smile to your lips, while others get an ulcer merely thinking of their siblings.

For others, it will cause tears to well up in your eyes.

Polite Society depicts the best and worst of the family experience. Yet, it always holds the value of family in high regard.

Family is a gift given to us by God that we can find to be bittersweet.

Regardless of your personal reality with your family, have you taken the time to show your parents, children, and extended family appreciation for the blessing they are to you?

We love because he [God] first loved us. – 1 John 4:19

Article supplied with thanks to City Bible Forum.

About the author: Russ Matthews is a film critic at City Bible Forum and Reel Dialogue. He has a passion for film and sparking spiritual conversations.

All images: Movie stills