Polite Society Review: Manzoor's Feature Debut Is Exciting & Energetic [Sundance]

Nida Manzoor’s We Are Lady Parts was distinctive, refreshing tv. Manhood was capable of steadiness humor, emotion, and enjoyable alongside well-developed characters and relationships. It’s no shock that she’s capable of convey these elements to Polite Society. Ten years within the making, Manzoor’s Polite Society brings motion, comedy, and coronary heart to the forefront in a robust directorial function debut. Bolstered by a unbelievable lead efficiency by Priya Kansara, the movie is an entertaining trip, one that’s stuffed with love of sisterhood and energetic chaos.

Ria Khan (Kansara) is a Pakistani British teenager who needs nothing greater than to be a stuntwoman. She takes martial arts courses and writes to famed stuntwoman Eunice Huthart about her aspirations. Ria is so enthusiastic about her objectives that she even has her personal YouTube channel to indicate off her abilities. She usually seeks assist from her older sister Lena (The Umbrella Academy’s Ritu Arya), an artwork faculty dropout who’s down on her luck. When Lena meets and shortly turns into engaged to Salim Shah (Akshay Khanna), a momma’s boy and physician who comes from a rich household, Ria does all the pieces doable to cease Lena from getting married to him. Suspecting one thing fishy, Ria recruits her finest buddies Clara (Seraphina Beh) and Alba (Ella Bruccoleri) to assist her together with her mission.

Manzoor has crafted a sensational movie that can hopefully go on to be adored by the plenty. The movie is outstanding at constructing its characters and their relationships — Ria and Lena’s sisterly bond is particularly a standout. It helps that Kansara and Arya have fabulous onscreen chemistry and share a particular connection that makes their relationship immediately plausible. The movie wouldn’t be what it’s with out them and their bond is on the coronary heart of Polite Society’s story.

The movie has such frenetic power, and there’s by no means a uninteresting second. Manzoor’s writing is sharp and witty, good and thrilling. The writer-director marries conventional views of marriage with trendy sensibilities, going as far as to flip sure issues — like a soirée, a pampering session, or a marriage — and turns them into one thing menacing. Here, all the pieces is suspicious (and for good motive), it doesn’t matter what somebody’s status may suggest in any other case. Polite Society additionally contains loads of commentary about girls’s our bodies and the try to manage them with out consent. The movie goes all out in showcasing how one girl’s freedom is by no means true liberation if it comes at one other’s expense. The movie teaches that it is okay to interrupt from societal norms and behaviors.

What’s extra, it expertly (and hilariously) turns one of many characters, Raheela (Nimra Bucha), a Pakistani girl who is solely in search of a bride for her beloved son, into an antagonist for Ria. Bucha, for her half, is having a grand time in her function and has perfected her villainous snigger. The spotlight is, after all, Kansara, who is solely great as Priya. The actress brings a way of dedication and confidence to her character, seamlessly mingling these traits with Priya’s awkward and headstrong nature. Priya loves fiercely, and it reveals in all the pieces she does, even when it generally appears overbearing. Kansara brings the emotion, giving Manzoor’s debut the emotional weight and heat wanted.

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