Wednesday 5 November 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 474

A must for parents shopping bride

Produced and directed by Sarovar Banka A Decent Arrangement is a contemporary comedic drama that explores the complexities of ethnic identity and the choices brought about by the shrinking globe. Ashok Khosla/ Adam Laupus is an aimless Indian-American copywriter, who travels to India seeking an arranged marriage and with it an opportunity for emotional simplicity.

What works in favour of the film are the location/Chandigarh and the refreshing characters. Ashok’s cousin Preeti/ Shabana Azmi, his parents Gita and Arun/ Navneet Nisshan and Vikram Kapadia, the prospective brides and their parents. What does not is that we have seen too many films on the subject of the cultural divide and India used as a metaphor to soul search.

Ashok feels connected with Amita, an Indian woman burdened by a sense of tradition. Ninety seven minute long A Decent Agreement is a film about arranged marriages, the fears and the formalities associated with the custom. As an impending engagement to Amita approaches, Ashok’s parents arrive to cement the deal, setting off events that force Ashok to finally seek his own resolution. 

Shabana Azmi as the overbearing cousin Preeti Mehta is refreshing and drives the story. Navneet Nissan as Ashok’s anxious mother touches a chord. Writer/ director Sarovar Banka raises relevant issues packs in witty dialogues but shoots the film like a tourist.

A Decent Arrangement is slow paced but a decent watch with family.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

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