A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Determination and perseverance are key to success, especially when others question your choices. The theme of sisterly love is explored. Courage and teamwork are also prevalent themes.
Positive Role Models
Sisters Ria and Lena's respective hobbies and career aspirations are not considered worthy enough by their parents and teachers. Ria, however, remains defiant in her wish to be a stuntwoman, despite outside apprehension. She is ambitious and is a fighter -- literally, on occasion. When she believes something is untoward about her future brother-in-law, she goes all out to uncover the truth, happy to break the law along the way, such as invading someone's privacy.
The movie has an empowering young British Pakistani Muslim woman as its central character and a diverse supporting cast. The film touches on culture, traditions, and religious practices. A character uses a lazy stereotype when they tell a young British Asian girl that she "looks like a doctor." An older British Pakistani Muslim couple are shown to be disapproving of their daughter's intended career choice, which plays into stereotypes.
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Violence & Scariness
Consistently violent, though it's very cinematic and non-realistic -- even becoming supernatural at times. Martial arts-style combat. More brutal scenes include characters being strangled and headbutted. Guns. A character is drugged and kidnapped. Hot wax is used as a form of torture, and in one particularly violent fight, a character bites another.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Changing room nudity; bare bottoms. A character fills up condoms with white liquid, pretending it is semen, to plant on somebody they don't like. Sexual banter. Characters objectify others with lines such as "I totally would."
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Infrequent language includes "f--k," "s--t," "pr--k," and "bitch." Also the British swear word "wanker." Derogatory words are thrown around as insults at school, such as "slag" and "ho." A character is called a "geek" and another a "virgin" -- which are also intended as insults.
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Products & Purchases
A character uses perfume and mentions the brand (Marc Jacobs) by name. YouTube is mentioned a few times.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character is seen smoking what appears to be a cannabis joint. They also secretly smoke out of a window. Two characters appear to be drinking alcohol together on a date.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Polite Society is a British martial arts action comedy with an empowering young woman in its lead. Ria (Priya Kansara) is ambitious, with dreams of being a stuntwoman, even though her parents and teachers advise against it. She is a great role model but is flawed, breaking the law in her pursuit to save her sister, Lena (Ritu Arya), from getting married. The central characters are a British Pakistani Muslim family, with cultural and religious traditions explored, while a diverse, multicultural cast provides a true and positive reflection of London. The film is very violent, but in a distinctly cinematic and video game style. Though the violence veers from reality, there is weapon use, including guns, and characters bite and strangle one another. One character is drugged and kidnapped. A scene in a locker room sees several male bare behinds. A character is also seen filling up a condom with a liquid she is pretending to be semen, with the intention of planting them on an unsuspecting man to make it appear he has been cheating on his fiancée. The language is infrequent but strong, and includes "f--k," "s--t," and "bitch." A character appears to smoke cannabis, and there is occasional drinking but not to excess. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This British action comedy-drama is one of the rare instances where you go to see a film, wholeheartedly enjoy yourself, and then afterward appreciate that what you just witnessed was truly original. Polite Society transcends genres, as a character study at its core, but sat underneath the umbrella of an impressive martial arts flick. With evident inspiration from filmmakers such as Edgar Wright, there is something slick and accomplished about this impressive turn for Nida Manzoor, who also writes the screenplay. Coming out in the same period of time as Rye Lane, this is yet another vibrant, exciting film that represents modern London, and does with so aplomb. But the real noteworthy aspect here is the young Kansara, in what can only be described as a star-making turn. She has a fight and resilience to her demeanor, and yet all the while she remains just a teenager, someone for the audience to invest in and root for. Place her in the middle of a great, compelling story, and you truly are onto a winner.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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