Thursday, October 9, 2008

Movie Review: Arranged

By The Pleasant Times Movie Critic Miss dePoint

I have recently viewed the movie "Arranged" and have to say I liked it. The story is about a friendship that forms between an Orthodox Jew and a Muslim in New York. The two young women find that they both have their beliefs in their traditions, morality and modesty challenged by the world they are in. They also find that they have something else in common: they are both going to have an arranged marriage.

Having read a New York Times review of this movie, I thought I would write my own. Though some found it perhaps depressing that these young women stuck to their family values and traditions, I found it encouraging that there are still people who have loyalty to their family values and upbringing. And where some might mock the idea that in the end, "father knows best," I found that the fathers loved their daughters very much, and wanted them to have a happy marriage and home.

I was impressed that instead of tearing down the whole notion of arranged marriages, the filmmakers gave us a look at each culture from the perspective of those living it them. I might not agree with either culture, but I enjoyed learning about them and seeing how each family worked. The journey to a mate may have been rough at times for these ladies, but it had a happy ending. And one would not expect this kind of journey to be without doubt and fear.

The mothers and fathers were involved with these arrangements, and the daughters were not without a choice. I think the phrase "arranged marriage" conjures up images of medieval kings marrying off their royal children to someone the child had never even seen before, regardless of their feelings. That is not the case in this film.

The actresses did a great job being "natural" with the script. And the prospective bridegrooms were often hilarious!

This is a movie for adults, not appropriate for children. Older "marriageable" children might enjoy it! Certainly their parents will.

There are three scenes for which to watch out for: Early on in the movie, when the two young women are starting their job as teachers, there is a "getting to know you" scene where the principal of the school asks each person to tell them something "juicy." Just mute the part where the worldly girl tells what she did.
There is a party scene that some may want to fast forward. The Jewish girl goes to her cousin's house and then to a party. While it is worldly, I am sad to say that it is no worse than what you see on the street corner every day. The purpose was to show nervousness and tension (and yes, revulsion) that a person, who has been brought up with strong values and morals, feels when they are thrust into a worldly situation. Nevertheless, some may not be interested in seeing it.
And the last thing you may want to fast forward is a brief scene with some kind of fortune teller.

Now that I have told you that, you can enjoy the rest of the film! I think most will find it delightful and funny.
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