Films on a Friday #58 – Arranged

Hello everyone. I hope you’ve had a good week. For me, it’s been a busy one with papers due and mid-terms next week. I love how Netflix will save your place for you on films, even if you are switching between my laptop and my phone. I’ve recently found the only way I can fit a new film into my week is if I watch it in chunks. Not the way it was intended to be watched, but it’s better than nothing!

9. Arranged
This week’s film is about the concept of arranged marriages in a modern context, it also mixes in the issues young people face when their religion is visibly obvious to work colleagues, friends and acquaintances. Zoe Lister Jones plays Rochel, an Orthodox Jew who meets Nasira, played by Francis Benhamou, as they start their jobs as first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. Uneducated opinions plague the film, as children call out that they shouldn’t be allowed to be friends because of the teachings of their religions. Opinions continue to be directed at Rochul and Nasira from their boss and sure make for some uncomfortable conversations. I feel like it was the stereotype of the middle-class, white American feeling like they have the right to share their opinion without realizing how offensive it is. The most aggrivating part was that both Rochul and Nasira felt like they had to be respectful to their boss because they had been raised to be polite, as well as the fact that she was their superior. Eventually, after many unwelcome comments, Rochul finally stands up for herself which is so empowering.

The main focus of the film, as the title implies, is the subject of arranged marriage. Despite being from different religions, Nasira and Rochul find comfort in their friendship as they share the horror stories of awful dates that they have been set up on. Arranged takes on a modern view of the topic of arranged marriage where it shows Nasira and Rochul getting some choice in who they marry, however this is only achieved because they insist on having some say in who they marry. I wonder if either of them were to be more timid, would they end up with a husband they despised because they felt too intimidated to argue with their parents for their own happiness.

It definitely gave a modern and refreshing look on arranged marriage. Although I did feel like the ending felt a little too perfect. Overall I enjoyed Arranged and felt like the acting was very convincing and well cast. Give it a watch if you want to take on a different perspective of religion and arranged marriage in modern day times.

Have a good weekend.

Sophie x

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