MEET THE PATELS (review) MEET THE PATELS
Directed by Geeta Patel and Ravi Patel
In brother/sister duo, Ravi and Geeta Patel’s look at today’s Indian dating scene, MEET THE PATELS, viewers are given a first-hand account of an obscure custom, in a funny, lighthearted manner. Unbeknownst to his parents, Ravi has been dating Audrey for the past two years. What’s the problem? Well, she’s white, and in Ravi’s eyes, this would kill his parents. So, before a family trip to India, Ravi breaks up with his girlfriend in search of a perfect Indian bride. Unfortunately, that’s not as easy as it sounds. Not only does Ravi’s future wife have to be Indian, her last name also has to be Patel. It sounds rather strange, but Indian customs require all Patels to marry other Patels. With the help of his matchmaker mother, Ravi is thrown into the world of Patel conventions, weddings, online dating, and bio data, which is basically a life resume that is passed around by parents with single children.
Not only is MEET THE PATELS extremely funny and entertaining, but it also gives viewers an unprecedented look into a widely misunderstood culture. Being raised in America, Ravi initially has the same perspective that many viewers will have. He knows very little about the Indian matchmaking process, but feels that it is something he must do to finally earn his parents’ approval. The film features Ravi as a “talking head” to guide us through the film, but very interestingly uses an animated version of him, instead of the live-action talking heads we are used to seeing in most documentaries. Ravi and Geeta’s intimate filming style really allows viewers to get to know their family, making it clear that had the film been made by an outsider, it would’ve been completely different. Don’t want to take my word for it? Fine, then go meet the Patels for yourself!
How many sheep would you give Meet the Patels?