Polite Society Review- A Good Attempt at an Action Comedy that Doesn’t Always Work

Sometimes some films come out that aren’t as good or interesting as the trailer they may have put out a few months prior. One of these movies is Polite Society. It premiered to mixed reviews back at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in January. The trailer had me hooked and Searchlight must have liked what they saw as well because they purchased the rights out of Sundance. This week the film comes out to the mass audience and I’m not the biggest fan of it after watching it last week.

Ria (Priya Kansara) is a young Pakistani girl in England. He is an expiring stunt woman. She lives with her parents who have a vision for her future. She also has an older sister Lena (Ritu Arya) She’s an arrest who has been discouraged that her career hasn’t taken off. She ended up moving back in with her family. When a good-looking man catches her eye at a party she begins seeing him. Her parents and his art are all on board with this relationship. The problem is her sister doesn’t like him or his mother Raherla (Nimra Bucha)

This movie has a typical teen angst-type storyline. The younger sister is jealous of the other sister because she doesn’t spend time with her anymore. She would rather be involved with this doctor instead. She even gets her schoolmates to help her try to prevent her sister from marrying this man. She noticed some underlying issues with this man and his mother. The problem is nobody believes there is a problem with the impending nuptials.  She feels like she’s all alone at times. This is a typical trope of these types of films. Nobody believes the kid.

An underlying plot point in this film is the fact that the younger sister wants to be a stunt woman. She learns martial arts in a class and trains to be the person she wants to be as an adult. All of this training comes in handy when she decides to hatch a plan to sabotage her sister’s wedding. This is when a lot of the action comes in. This movie uses this as a comedic element as well. There are a lot of those in the film. It mixes comedic elements with action. There is just one element though it was a little out there. It’s a spoiler though so I can’t mention it. It’s just a little weird to me.

The cast of this movie is mostly new to me so I can only go off of what I see in the movie I’m watching and they are fine, not great but do good work with the material they are given. The two young ladies that play the sisters are pretty good though. I was invested in their arc throughout the movie even though I wasn’t always on board with the main plot. Their relationship is pretty good when they’re together. That’s the strength of the film. It veers off into a weird place I wasn’t totally on board with. I wished there was more of this relationship in the movie.

Polite Society mixes various genres together to be a jumble of weird ideas. When it goes in weirder directions it doesn’t work for me, but when it focuses on the sister-sister dynamic it works much better. The cast are mostly fine and the comedic elements outway the dramatic elements which aren’t very good. I was looking forward to seeing this movie based on my enjoyment I had at watching the trailer but it was not great once I watched it. I wished maybe somebody could have tried retooling the story a little bit.

3 stars 

Dan Skip Allen

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