Polite Society SXSW Review

March 16, 202380/1005 min
Priya Kansara, Ritu Arya, Seraphina Beh, Ella Bruccoleri
Written by
Nida Manzoor
Directed by
Nida Manzoor
Run Time
1h 43min
Release Date
April 28th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

                       There are lots of different kinds of movies and what they are trying to achieve with you as you watch them can just as varied. Some want to scare you, while others want to teach you something, but then there are the ones that just want you to have a great couple of hours. Polite Society is definitely the latter, and when it comes to having a good time in the theater, this one might be one of the better ones you have all year.

Ria (Priya Kansara) is a teenager with a dream, and that’s for her to become a stuntwoman. Ria is quite fearless and with the help of her siter Lena (Ritu Arya), she puts up videos showing her skills. Where Ria knows where she wants to go, Lena, who just dropped out of art school, is a little lost, that changes though at a party her and her family attend. Lena meets a man, who she starts to have a thing for, but not everyone is happy as that relationship gets further along. Ria does not trust this man named Salim (Akshay Kahnna) nor his mother as she thinks they are up to no good. She soon enlists the help from her mates Clara (Seraphina Beh) and Alba (Ella Bruccoleri) for help, as they go through different plans to expose Salim and his mother. Of course none of them work and all that pushing to discover something, is alienating her from Lena, the most important person in her life. Eventually though her snooping pays off. Armed with new knowledge, the only question is will she have enough time to save her sister from her fate?

Written and directed by Nida Manzoor, Polite Society is a mixture of genres, from Bollywood dance numbers, to Kung -Fu action, all while providing plenty of laughs and juggles them without dropping a single ball. In a way it reminds of that person you know that is just good at everything they do, because Polite Society pulls together everything it attempts with near perfection. Although I say that, I could see the tone not connecting with everyone, but if you enjoy good British comedies, you are going to love this. Manzoor really connects with every decision, from her choices of witty music, and her use of slow motion, she has crafted a feats for the eyes and ears.

Polite Society is great fun, as the impressive cast provides some memorable performances, especially Kansara, who is making her feature debut. She is dynamic and a magnet for the camera as she provides a breath of fresh air, as she even did many of her own stunts to boot. Polite Society is not without its flaws, as there is a dip at the beginning of the third act that you can feel. It recovers nicely though and delivers in the end a truly unique, crazy and at times outlandish good time at the movies.

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