Why You Need to Watch “Meet The Patels.”

​”Hey, I know we don’t know each other, but we are going to spend the rest of our lives together. So, let’s just get married and we will figure out the rest of all that stuff later. Does 10 am at the courthouse work for you tomorrow? Okay, I’ll see you there.”

And that is how arranged marriages work in the Indian culture. Well, sort of.

For the first 10 minutes of viewing this film, I thought that I was watching an Indian- American romantic comedy. Sounds like a remarkable change of pace from standard rom-com’s, right? Boy, was I wrong? Meet The Patels is a thought-provoking documentary film about a first generation Indian-American named Ravi V. Patel struggling to find love in American Society which contrasts with his family’s cultural beliefs. This documentary is so tasteful and refreshing that I had no idea that I was watching a documentary. I thought I was watching an actual film. Along with many other reasons why I will give you to watch this film, this notion is the “rice” that tips the scale, making this one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen in the last five years.


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The logline states:

“With his 30th birthday just around the corner, Ravi Patel finds himself in a love triangle — with the woman of his dreams and his parents.”
​This film speaks in depth about the success of arranged marriages in the Indian culture, comparing it to its western counterpart. The divorce rate in the US is skyrocketing, making the subject about how love works in Indian culture so fascinating. My favorite part of the film explains how the Indian caste system works, and the history of immigration of Indian-American’s in our country. I loved learning about a new culture in terms of the specific aesthetic in which the film’s subject matter talks about. Indian culture is ginormous, so learning about the Gujarat people educated the hell out of me.

Before the film, Ravi recently got out of a two-year relationship with a red-head from Connecticut. Ravi kept her a secret from his very traditional Gujarat parents during their time together. The reason for this is that he has to marry someone from the same caste as him.

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When Ravi goes back to India with his family, he tells his parents that he wants to be set up with an Indian woman, and the process is extremely complicated. When Ravi set’s his journey out for love, he has to register his biodata sheet which is a profile used for Indian arranged marriages. Next, you see him travel all over the US going on dates with women who are deemed to be compatible. Having your children get married is extremely important for parents in Indian culture, giving Ravi a considerable dilemma.

 

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A caste is a social class that you are from in India, and his social class is the Patel’s. Indian people with the last name Patel are the working class from India who migrated to America, many own 7/11’s and motels all over our country.

When Ravi goes back to India with his family, he tells his parents that he wants to be set up with an Indian woman, and the process is extremely complicated. When Ravi set’s his journey out for love, he has to register his biodata sheet which is a profile used for Indian arranged marriages. Next, you see him travel all over the US going on dates with women who are deemed to be compatible. Having your children get married is extremely important for parents in Indian culture, giving Ravi a considerable dilemma.

Besides the luxurious aesthetic that this film gives us about Indian culture, we learn that there should be no rule for love. We should be able to be with whoever makes us happy, not who will make our parents happy or society happy. But it is hard to forget about tradition and modern-day views on love. That is why this film is so intriguing. If you love to see culture clash, the dilemma of love, and if you like to enrich yourself into an entirely different culture, then this film is for you to put on your queue.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

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