Fann Five: “Polite Society” Easter Eggs

Nida Manzoor, the director and writer, is a fan of action films herself and cites movies like “Kill Bill” (2003), “Rush Hour” (1998), and “Get Out” (2017) as inspirations for “Polite Society.” Here are five easter eggs from “Polite Society” for a deeper look into the film.

Fann Five: “Polite Society” Easter Eggs

“Polite Society,” the 2023 genre-bending action film starring newcomer Priya Kansara and Ritu Arya, follows Ria Khan (Kansara) as she attempts to save her sister Lena (Arya) from her impending marriage. The film draws inspiration from many genres and iconic action films, as well as Bollywood films. Nida Manzoor, the director and writer, is a fan of action films herself and cites movies like “Kill Bill” (2003), “Rush Hour” (1998), and “Get Out” (2017) as inspirations for “Polite Society.” Here are five easter eggs from “Polite Society” for a deeper look into the film.

1. “You Me Bullets Love” — first song on the soundtrack

“You Me Bullets Love,” the song by “The Bombay Royale,” is the first song on the film’s soundtrack, and it provides context to the tumultuous relationship between Lena and her husband-to-be Salim. The lyrics of the first verse “Pistol me goli dal ke hai / Tera mera, Mera tera / Jab tak ho jaye / Is taraf zara dekhna” (Translation: The bullet is in the pistol / Yours and mine, mine and yours / Until we meet / Just look here). The song tells a story of a duplicitous love between two people, and the movie eventually reveals the same about Salim.

2. “Gulabi Aankhen Jo Teri Dekhi” — Eid Soirée

As the story picks up further in Chapter 2: Eid Soirée, the soundtrack gives us yet another hint to the ways in which Raheela and Salim conceal their true nature. “Gulabi Aankehn Jo Teri Dekhi,” by Mohammed Rafi and R.D. Burman, is a song originally from the Bollywood film “The Train.” The song features a man singing about how he has been charmed by a woman’s beautiful eyes. Mohammed Rafi sings, “Bura ye jaado teri ankhon ka / Ye mera qatil ho gaya / Gulabi aankhen jo teri dekhi / Sharabi ye dil ho gaya” (Translation: The magic of your eyes is bad / I have been killed / Once I looked at your enchanting eyes / My heart became drunk). The Khan family is walking up to the mansion that Raheela and Salim live in, enchanted by the luxury and wealth of the Shah family, and they are especially enchanted by the fact that they have been invited into this wealthy circle. Both the song and the scene work to establish that the Shah family may be outwardly charming, but definitely have nefarious intentions.

3. Jackie Chan

As an action-filled comedy, Manzoor took inspiration from Jackie Chan and his “Rush Hour” series of movies for “Polite Society.” The particular combination of his comedy and action scenes inspired Manzoor in her creation of “Polite Society,” as is evident especially during the final wedding scene of the film, with the chaos that ensues as a result of Lena becoming a runaway bride. Manzoor, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, said, “I love watching Jackie Chan movies. As a kid, I thought his mix of comedy and martial arts was something that got me excited about cinema."

4. “Doing a Jane Austen” 

A witty woman, a charming man, it’s so Jane Austen, isn’t it? Manzoor, in her focus on women-led stories, took inspiration from Jane Austen. The film also makes several clever references to Austen’s stories. Ria condescendingly refers to Lena deciding to marry Salim as “doing a Jane Austen,” implying that the urge to throw your life away to marry a rich, mysterious man who woos you is “doing a Jane Austen”.

5. Maar Dala — The Bollywood reference 

In the lead-up to the climax of the film, Ria performs her dance at the wedding to “Maar Dala,” a song originally from Dev Das, a film starring Shah Rukh Khan in 2002. The song features Bollywood icon Madhuri Dixit dancing, as Kavita Krishnamurthy sings, “Ye kiski hai aahat / ye kiska hai saaya / Hui dil me dastak / Yahan kaun aaya … Khushi ne hamari humein maar dala” (Who’s movement is this? / Who’s shadow could this be? / My heart beat / Who could be here? … My happiness has killed me) Ria dances to the song in “Polite Society” while never looking away from Salim, whose plot to impregnate Lena with a clone of his mother she is trying to stop. The scene serves as a tribute to an iconic Bollywood song, and as a moment of bold defiance for Ria.

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