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‘Polite Society’ Review [Sundance Film Festival]

Priya Kansara appears in Polite Society by Nida Manzoor, an official selection of the Midnight section at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | Photo by Parisa Taghizadeh. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by the press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.


Polite Society is a film written and directed by Nida Manzoor. It stars Priya Kansara, Ritu Arya, and Nimra Bucha.


The film follows Ria Khan, a teenage girl who dreams of being a professional stuntwoman. She spends her time training in martial arts, recording YouTube videos in the process. Ria loves her older sister, Lena, who to her dismay, drops out of art school. Insistent that they will both accomplish their dreams, Ria is heartbroken when Lena starts spending all of her time with the son of the wealthy Shah family. Determined to lead Lena back onto the path of continuing her artistic career, Ria begins uncovering the Shah’s twisted intentions. Ready to sabotage their relationship, Ria enlists the help of her two best friends (played by Seraphina Beh and Ella Bruccoleri.)


The film is filled with a lot of beautiful colors, and lot of dazzling martial arts stunts. It has a quirky out of this world feel, that feels youthful and fun. The fight scenes were also really surprising and entertaining.


I loved both Manzoor and Arya as Ria and Lena. They felt like actual sisters, and they had a lot of charm and charisma. Manzoor had a lot of spunk and was really funny. Ria’s best friends (Seraphina Beh and Ella Bruccoleri) in the film were also really funny, and I loved seeing their relationships with one another.


Polite Society is a blend of several genres, including, Bollywood, martial arts, social horror, comedy, and action, and it did so successfully. It’s a fun film that explores the division that cultural norms can create in a family.

Polite Society releases April 28, 2023.

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