Polite Society (2023)

Posted in Reviews by - December 27, 2023
Polite Society (2023)

Refreshing, kooky UK indie from Nida Manzoor – making her feature film directorial debut – about two warring sisters in a British-Pakistani household in London. Teenager Ria Khan (Priya Kansara, exemplary) is a kung fu obsessed wannabe stunt performer with her own YouTube channel – “Khan Fu” – who finds it tricky to adjust to the news that her beloved older sister, Lena (Ritu Arya), is arranged to be married to the mummy’s boy, Silam Shah (Akshay Khanna). In a sinister twist similar to Get Out, there’s a brewing sense that not all is what it seems in the Shah mansion, so Ria and her school friends set out to investigate Silam and his spiky, socialite mother, Raheela (a brilliant performance from Nimra Bucha). The script is chock-full of gags, plus a charming sense of silliness exemplified in the slapstick fight sequences. The film is also attempting something quite subversive; a satire on the class system and patriarchy, centring around two young women with ambition, forced to combat the weight of scrutiny and expectation which is put upon them. Its larger-than-life approach and heightened sense of reality might dissuade some viewers expecting something altogether more subtle, however, fans of irreverent British humour should be able to get onboard.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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