Netflix, with the help of my Wii, brought me to a cute little movie the other night. Arranged takes place in Brooklyn where two teachers of orthodox faiths, one Muslim, one Jewish, find friendship sparked by a mutual tradition in their faiths: arranged marriages.
The movie probably cost a buck and a song to make. It is not going to excite you or wake up your action-movie-core, but these quiet movies are helpful in slowing down the pace of our lives.
I really do understand the purpose behind arranged marriages and I respect them, in a way. No, this does not make me weird.
They are more statistically successful than whatever process is going into half of the marriages in America, which are failing. This is likely due to the respect for the commitment to marriage and to honoring God in that marriage, a common goal in Islam and Judaism.
Several religions practice arranged marriages and not all of them end up peachy keen -- consider that acknowledged.
In several jabs throughout the movie, the principal of the school ignorantly attempts to show Rochel Meshenberg and Nasira Khaldi how much their religion offends womanhood, according to her. "There was a women's movement, you know?"
The writer and director tastefully sprinkled blatant examples of ignorance, planted in fear and overgrown into intolerance. The principal thinks she's teaching the girls about how intolerant their religion is for female choices and that they should want to remove themselves from those chains immediately. Her arrogance and ignorance shield her from seeing just how intolerant she is.
This is a charming movie, one that I recommend for its obvious respect of devout religious lifestyles and for its unapologetic mirror for intolerance. The two women spend their lives practicing true love and devout faith, though their world surrounds them with reasons to abandon that.
After watching this movie, I am grateful for Netflix, I am grateful that I will not attempt to find true love under the hawk eyes of my Jewish mother, and I'm grateful there is a non-Christian movie that still touts a Christian message of Love.