Polite Society Review (No Spoilers): Great Radical Feminist Girl Power Movie With a “Mard Dala” Scene!

Well, I loved it! And the friend I watched it with did not, felt like it was too try hard and not real enough. I’m counting on MOST of the DCIBers loving it though. Not everyone, because it is more on the lines of girl power comedy than sappy emotion, but a lot of you.

First, I should say, this is not a “Bollywood” movie or inspired by Indian films or ANY of that. It is absolutely a British girl power comedy. The heroine is a British Pakistani and the plot revolves around that community, but it’s not trying to be like “ooo, it’s a spoof of Indian films”. It’s just a movie where the main characters happen to be Pakistani heritage. But they live in England, they use British slang, and the surreal 4th wall breaking type of comedy is very much in the tradition of British sitcoms and Monty Python and so on. Not related at all to anything from India and not trying to be anything from India.

I really really appreciate that promotion of the film, the title, all of that draws the same line. This is NOT an homage to Indian films, it has nothing to do with Indian films, it’s a comedy about two sisters who are part of this community. So from the start, this film had me on its side.

And I stayed on its side! First of all, it’s fast and funny. I want to rewatch it with subs because the accents are so strong and the dialogue is so fast I am missing things. Second, it completely avoids romanticizing the female characters. The two sisters are messy and angry and impulsive. And best of all is the girl gang of high school friends who support our heroine, they are all tough and smart and fearless and focused on Big Things and Big Dreams, and there is no attempt to make them “pretty” or “nice” or any of that. The movie even underlines the point, at one point a man is asked to describe why he loves a woman and talks about her being “kind” and “good” and so on. And later that is dismissed as him not really knowing her at all, because she’s none of those things!

It’s got a great cast, lots of actors that will make you go “oh! I think I saw them be murdered in some BBC show once!” And everyone is just having a good time with it, you can see the fun they are having.

With all that said, you should NOT watch it if you are hoping for tons of Indian movie references. So far as I can tell there are no overlapping performers with Indian film. There’s only two song references, “Gulabi Aankhen” and “Mard Dala”. But if you have an awareness of desi culture, not just films, it DOES pick up on that. I’ll get into it more in my spoiler review, but there’s lots of interesting stuff about diaspora, first and second generations, why someone might agree to an arranged marriage, and fun stuff like that.

Oh, and MOST IMPORTANT, the “Akshay Khanna” in the cast is not our “Akshaye Khanna” it’s some other inferior dude.


2 thoughts on “Polite Society Review (No Spoilers): Great Radical Feminist Girl Power Movie With a “Mard Dala” Scene!

  1. I haven’t heard of this movie until you mentioned it and I saw the poster for it at my local cinemark. But it looks/sounds interesting! I haven’t got as much time to visit theaters this year but I’m gonna check it out when I get a chance.


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