I had heard the murmurs about it Polite company and its Scott Pilgrim-esque flights of fantasy action that made me curious to watch the film. The framework of a romantic comedy, wrapped in a South Asian tapestry and forged in the fire of Edgar Wright’s visual flair, meant that whatever else you might think of Nida Manzoor’s debut film, there’s no denying that it has some fresh ingredients with the familiar combined.

It’s a fun, personal story with family at the center and a villain that eats away at the backdrop and would embarrass many that modern comic book adaptations offer. But the most surprising thing about Polite Society’s size is that it takes a big ol’ swerve to Horrorville.

The plot of the film is about two ambitious sisters who strive to do something in their chosen field. The older sister has art and the younger sister is convinced she will be the next big stuntwoman. The film is about how you realize that certain dreams may be harder to achieve than others, and how the fear of failure can lead you down terrible paths.

Their collective drive is shattered when older sister Lena (Ritu Arya) meets the man of her dreams, Salim (Akshay Khanna), and shys away from her artistic inclinations, much to the frustration of her younger sister Ria (Priya Kansara). Ria begins to suspect that something is wrong with her sister’s new boyfriend, and when the two get engaged, Ria sets out to find evidence that he is a bad boyfriend.

Polite Society tricks Ria and the audience into thinking it’s just desperate desperation from Ria, who has to compare her sister’s passion for art with her own passion for being a stuntwoman. The frustration at their lack of progress in both areas is a big part of what drives these close-knit sisters apart over the course of the film. Still, Ria makes a discovery that changes everything if she can get someone else to believe her.

Now this is the real spoiler cliff. So if you want to jump into Polite Society relatively cold (and you really should), then this is the place to start.

As much as Polite Society tries to straddle genres and be reasonably fantastical, it still feels like it’s based primarily on romance and drama. Until things take a horror turn when faced with Lena’s sudden romance.

Rias’ snooping uncovers an underground laboratory tasked with finding the perfect host for Salim’s child, and Lena is the perfect candidate. A conspiracy of scientific experimentation, drug influence and subterfuge is uncovered, but the big problem is that Ria has already embarrassed herself by trying to prove that her sister’s new man isn’t on the same level. So begins a wonderfully ridiculous heist that is part Jane Austen adaptation, part Edgar Wright visual extravaganza, and part Bruce Lee film.

This lab’s shift in body horror is so unexpected and fittingly on par with the abrupt genre leaps of Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz, The World’s End and Last Night in Soho. We’ve already been told that Polite Society should be somewhat fantastic, but until then it fits a theme, and given these obvious influences one expects any change in tone to be a little more assured.

Instead, what we get seems to be a perfunctory laugh at the fact that “Mommy’s Boy” represents a prickly and uncomfortable truth. It turns out that Salim’s overprotective mother (a terrifying turn from Nimra Bucha) wants another breakthrough in life and has found a way to be effectively reincarnated, with the right host of course, and Lena’s womb just happens to be the perfect place for it the rebirth of her soon-to-be mother-in-law.

Aside from the chilling twist on an age-old tale about grandparents wanting to create some sort of diversion with their grandchildren, the fact that Lena is drugged and tested to see if she’s the most suitable candidate is an unpleasant revelation. And all the while, she’s blown away by a man who, at a low point in her life, was molded into the type of man she likes.

Luckily, the truth comes out and we get back to the ass-kicking and happy shenanigans. The overarching plot of Polite Society is familiar and somewhat predictable, but it’s full of beautiful moments that keep it fresh, and the descent into horror is one of the most outstanding examples of this.

Source : www.comingsoon.net

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