Arranged Marriage Review: A Fast-Paced Thriller From The Forbidden Love Anthology That Attempts To Break The Taboo Around Homosexuality

Directed by Pradeep Sarkar, Arranged Marriage is a socially relevant film that questions regressive ideas. Check out the film now streaming on ZEE5.

Kedar Koli

September 9, 2020


4 min


Arranged Marriage is a romantic thriller that is part of the four-part anthology Forbidden Love, the brainchild of four award-winning directors–Pradeep Sarkar, Mahesh Manjrekar, Priyadarshan, and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury. Arranged Marriage is directed by Pradeep Sarkar who is known for his impactful films like Mardaani and Parineeta. As one would have expected, the director has given a similar treatment to this short film like his previous projects by breaking free from the orthodox notions of society.

Watch the film here.

The film is about Dev and Neel, a homosexual couple who are struggling to keep their relationship alive. The story is set against the backdrop of Kolkata, considered to be amongst the most progressive cities in India. However, the protagonists are still having trouble coming out of the closet. The film picks up pace when Neel is forced into marrying Keya, Dev’s cousin. The gay couple realises that they can seize the chance of coaxing Keya but things start going downhill when she turns out to be homophobic. Keya decides to ‘cure’ her husband of homosexuality and comes across a doctor who helps unearth the secret about Neel.

Source: Instagram

Meanwhile, Dev digs up dirt on the orthodox doctor and sets out to rescue his lover. The film ends with a dark twist when one of the protagonists meets with a tragic end. Apart from the thrilling storyline, homosexuality is the topic of discussion dwelled upon in this film. The director has addressed how difficult it is for people like Dev and Neel to live a dual life hiding their sexuality from the society. It’s also disturbing to look at the imagery used in the film to depict the dark past of Dev who was unaccepted as a gay child.

Forbidden Love films on ZEE5
Source: Twitter

The key takeaway from this film is the star cast Ali Fazal, Patralekhaa, Omkar Kapoor, and Dhritiman Chatterjee, all of whom give an impressive performance in their respective roles. The editing looks crisp and there is not even a single scene that feels unwanted. We’re invested into it right from the moment the film begins and are left breathless by the end of it, thanks to the fast-paced editing. The short film ends on a message which leaves us all thinking–is homosexuality really the disease it is still seen as? The director leaves it up to you to ponder over the regressive ideas of the society. The film definitely deserves to be watched because we still haven’t come across a film that is as relevant in its scope as Arranged Marriage.

You can watch the other films from the series Forbidden Love now streaming on ZEE5.

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