Polite Society Review

There is nothing stronger than a sister’s bond. Not even a strong uterus could break that. 

Polite Society is an adorable tale of a Kung Fu fighter, Ria (Priya Kansara), and her artist sister Lena (Ritu Arya). They are inseparable and constantly encourage each other in their pursuits. But this all comes crashing down when Lena is sweet off her feet by the eligible bachelor and Doctor, Salim.

It isn’t long until Salim asks for Lena’s hand in marriage. A welcomed match by both families. Except for Ria who isn’t happy about losing her best friend. 

As Lena falls deeper in love, Ria becomes angry and brings in her friends Clara and Alba to devise a series of plans to break the lovebirds apart.

Pleading with family members to not allow the marriage, didn’t work. A poor attempt to find dirt on Salim’s laptop came back empty. And Ria’s very poor attempt to plant fake cheating evidence of exceptionally overfilled condoms, was an epic failure. What did work was a chance discovery when Ria was treated to a spa day thanks to Salim’s mother, Raheela. 

Raheela had clued onto Ria’s attempts to stop the marriage and in what was a very polite form of torture pinned her down for a waxing treatment. But when Ria is threatened and couldn’t handle the waxing anymore, she runs around the mansion looking for an escape. 

Behind the only door that would open Ria finds all the evidence she needs to put a stop to the marriage.

Ria’s story is about becoming a stunt fighter. She has a channel online and posts regularly. She trains daily and despite being told she should pursue another career doesn’t let that stop her. Emailing her idol and world famous stunt artist, Eunice Huthart, the stunt/Kung Fu becomes the baseline for the entire film. 

Polite Society has a fun and sometimes funny take on Kung Fu. Using all tropes you’ve come to know from Kung Fu films, it’s applied to a family or home situation. A tussle between two sisters ends in broken mirrors, glass in the head and smashed doors. 

Even the visual effects of the fight scenes are what you’ve come to expect from a traditional Kung Fu film. The floating through air, the throwing across the room. It makes for some entertaining fight scenes, albeit over the top.

But the overarching theme is that of family. Even to the extent of extended family such as your best friends. This applies to both sides. The questionable relationship between Salim and his Mother. Ria and Lena’s relationship with their very supportive mother in an otherwise set society.

Being the families are of Pakistani origin, the film wouldn’t have been complete without something you would expect of a Bollywood film. And it delivers. Ria gives a rather well choreographed dance. And the traditional attire worn at the wedding was stunning as it was a powerful statement of class within the film.

Leading the cast is Priya Kansara as Ria. A familiar face thanks to the likes of Bridgerton. But her performance is a far cry of the high English society. Kansara plays the dramatic tomboy as over the top as she can. But it works. It has this entitled gen-z notion to a T. After she sees Salim’s the labs under the mansion and tries to talk to her Mum about it. She goes from crazy, to sorry to vacant expressions and body language with absolute believable ease. Frighteningly so.

There is something Polite Society managed to do really well. It created this uplifting heartwarming fun film full of family relationships and strong values. Sure it did it with some weird and intrusive undertones, but that just made everything else stronger. And to make it all that more interesting, it’s done with some good ol’ Kung Fu. It all worked really well together and maybe it’s true. A Mother-in-Law can’t be trusted.

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