“Polite Society” – A Delightful Martial Arts Action/Comedy with a Feminist Twist

Nida Manzoor‘s directorial debut, “Polite Society” brings a fresh and exhilarating take on the martial arts action/comedy genre. Set against the backdrop of London, this film introduces us to Ria Khan, a British-Pakistani teenager with dreams of becoming a movie stuntwoman. As Ria navigates her passion for martial arts and her sister Lena’s unexpected engagement, she embarks on an adventure that is both action-packed and thought-provoking.


One of the standout aspects of “Polite Society” is its ability to seamlessly blend various genres. From heart-pounding martial arts sequences to moments of genuine comedy, the film takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Director Nida Manzoor‘s influences, including Bollywood splendor, Hong Kong kung-fu, and even elements of Jane Austen’s novels, are evident in the film’s unique style.

Priya Kansara‘s performance as Ria Khan, also known as “The Fury,” is nothing short of outstanding. She embodies the spirit of a young woman determined to follow her dreams, and her martial arts skills are as convincing as they are impressive. Kansara’s portrayal is a testament to her talent and marks her as a rising star in the film industry.

The film’s supporting cast, including Ritu Arya, Nimra Bucha, and Akshay Khanna, deliver solid performances that add depth to the story. Each character, no matter how eccentric or traditional, contributes to the film’s overall charm.


Polite Society” is not just about action and comedy; it also offers a feminist perspective on tradition and family dynamics. The film tackles themes of sisterhood, choice, and empowerment, making it a standout in its genre.

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From a technical standpoint, the film’s fight sequences are a highlight. They are choreographed with precision, showcasing Ria’s journey from a martial arts enthusiast to a formidable fighter. The cinematography, combined with a lively soundtrack, enhances the overall cinematic experience.

The film’s humor is sharp and often tongue-in-cheek, providing moments of laughter throughout. It cleverly navigates cultural differences and expectations while maintaining a sense of inclusivity.

Polite Society” had its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, and it’s no surprise that it garnered favorable reviews. Its unique blend of genres, strong performances, and feminist undertones make it a must-watch for fans of martial arts cinema and anyone looking for an entertaining and empowering cinematic experience.


In a cinematic landscape often dominated by formulaic storytelling, “Polite Society” stands out as a refreshing and exciting addition. Director Nida Manzoor‘s vision and Priya Kansara‘s captivating performance make this film a delightful and memorable watch. It’s a celebration of individuality, sisterhood, and the power of pursuing one’s dreams, all wrapped up in a thrilling martial arts adventure.

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