A few weeks ago I heard two women mention the movie, so as is typical for me, I had to go out and buy it. I’ve had it for a week now, but I’ve been sooo busy so I just got around to watching it! So the movies focuses on two women of what seem to be, at a surface glance, completely opposite faiths, Israel-Arab relations being what they are. However, when they’re put into the same situation as elementary school teachers in Brooklyn, a friendship forms and they learn that they have more in common than they originally thought. They realize that they share one thing that they feel separates them from other women – arranged marriages, something painfully made clear when co-workers talk about topless beaches in Europe and another about her current boyfriend while they face arranged marriages. Hence the title.
So the two women, Rochel and Nasira, go through the stages of finding the suitable soul-mate. Religion-style. My favorite part of the movie has to be the fobbish Orthodox Jewish man Rochel met with: it goes along the lines of “A jewish woman is so lucky. She gets to serve the Jewish man.” As you can tell, Rochel gets the worst of it: the men she meets with are extreme representations of your classic loser. Nasira meets with her fathers friend – 20 years her senior. The two women despair and Rochel questions the authenticity and success of arranged marriages. Nasira reassures her with “Well it worked for our parents.” HAHA!! Finally, a line I’ve heard/used!! That alone should be reason to love this movie.
Now some people may question the luck of the two girls. The fact that Nasira’s father gives in to her refusal to marry his friend may shock some people. Others may question how an Orthodox Jewish mother would give into her daughters plea to cease the pre-arranged dates. And that, my dear reader, is how you know you went to see the right movie. There is no compulsion in religion. So, a few hours after reassuring her friend, Nasira comes home to find a cute, honest, young, engineer waiting for her. A few days later Rochel walks Nasira to the library where they see the Orthodox Jewish Hunk of the day, who Nasira gets the 411 on and submits to Rochels match-maker. And the film fades out with Rochel and Nasira sitting with their newborn daughters, saying “Putty in our hands. We can shape them the way we like”
I LOVED the movie. The acting, the filming, the screenplay, the dialogue were above-average for a independent film. The actors were wonderful in conveying the part. But what I loved most was the message. It highlighted the similarity between the two religions and not-so-subtly opened it’s audiences eyes to the truth. It certainly opened mines! I had no idea that our two faiths could be so similar! I mean, I know that we’re both Abrahamic faiths, along with Christianity, but I’ve never met an Orthodox Jew, so I didn’t know we were so similar! I know, extremely naive of me!
I also loved subtle lessons taught by the film. Some may think that the principal in the movie is an extreme representation of how some people question these two faiths, but trust me – the shoe fits: wear it. I know these people think they’re helping, but seriously if one less person after this asks me whether or not my father forced me into hijab and feels the need to inform that we live in the 21st century after this movie, I’ll be more than happy.
A definite must-see for anyone who feels they want to know the truth. Pure, unadulterated truth. Ah, how I miss it