Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Love Arranged

Another good movie at Hot Docs.

Two modern women are seeking a husband in India, a country steeped in tradition.  They try out the online dating sites.  So much for modern.  They also approach a traditional Indian matchmaker.  They're not about to be dictated to in the choice of a husband, but they place high priority on their family getting along with their husband and his family.  It's basically 'parental-facilitated matchmaking' rather than arranged marriages.

The two women are complete contrasts.  Divya, who came to India from Canada two years ago, is a sassy, glamorous, highly flirtatious party girl whose career is arranging weddings.  Neha is more traditional, a plump graphic artist who loves animals.  As the movie ends, neither woman has found Mr. Right.

The director, Soniya Kirpalani, fielded several questions from South Asian women asking about the relative merits of arranged marriages and how to get started.  But the fun doesn't end there.  Soniya's on the lookout for a husband for her daughter.  Before leaving for Canada, she asked her if a Canadian boy would do.  Her daughter thought that would be fine, and handed her mother the contact information for a man who just might do.  Soniya made contact, hit it off with his parents, and brought him up on stage to be introduced.  Whatever other qualities he might have, he is certainly a good sport.  

But Soniya is not content yet.  She introduces her Director of Photography, a single man that she describes as 'a great catch, girls'.  There were clusters of people with follow-up questions in the lobby after the movie.  Who knows if any of them were marriageable women?

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