Meet The Patels (2014) Mini Review

“You know that girl in Eat, Pray, Love? She goes through a break up, goes on the existential journey to India to get over depression, find out what she really wanted in life? I was that girl. Except, my family was with me the entire time.”

Directed by: Geeta V. Patel, Ravi V. Patel

Starring: Ravi V. Patel

Synopsis: Newly single Ravi is out of luck in his romantic life. Filmed by his sister Geeta, and under the ever watchful eyes of his parents, Ravi looks to find the answer to two pressing questions: What is love? And what is family?

Meet The Patels.
Meet The Patels.

For those raised in Western society, the Patels might seem a little overbearing. And for Ravi, his parent’s well-meaning yet hands-on approach to his love life is a constant source of pressure. The disparity in their upbringings is vast; Ravi was born and raised in America, whilst his parents immigrated to the US having been brought up in India and meeting through an arranged marriage. It’s Ravi’s marriage – or lack thereof – which is the source of such sorrow for his poor mother and father. The solution which Ravi has been trying to avoid being an arranged marriage all of his own, as tradition dictates.

His journey is a fascinating one of self-discovery as he’s torn between US and Indian culture. Ravi’s exploration of his heritage takes the form of cross-country dating tours, amazingly funny pep talks, Patel convention matchmaking and biodating, which, really has to be seen to be believed. For his part, Ravi is certainly game for trying just about anything to find love. He’s the perfect subject for his sister Geeta’s documentary. Hilarious, engaging and relatable. The same applies to his family; you’d be challenged not to fall for them and their way of life. Indian culture is portrayed with a deep level of respect and understanding, to outsiders it may have a few eccentricities but in truth it’s nothing short of admirable.

The film has its technical shortcomings, however it’s absolutely jam-packed with style. Animated interviews and storyboards combine with home video documentary footage to give a very personal feel to a very personal story. Sure it has its quirks, but so do the Patels themselves, and its those quirks that makes them such a pleasure to meet.

Rating (out of 5):

4 Stars

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Meet The Patels is available to buy and rent now on We Are Colony.

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