Some people embark on a journey thinking they know precisely what they want to find at the end of it. Others let the journey guide them and bring them surprising discoveries about themselves. A Decent Arrangement is a story of a man who seems to know what direction he wants his life to take, yet, as his journey unexpectedly reveals to him, it might not be what he truly needs.
Written, directed and produced by Sarovar Banka, A Decent Arrangement follows Ashok Khosla (Adam Laupus), an Indian American who comes to India for an arranged marriage. During his stay, Ashok has to face traditions that do not always make sense to him. A chance encounter makes him look at his choices in a whole new light.
A Decent Arrangement offers an intimate look at Indian culture, rarely seen in the more mainstream cinema. At times, the film looks almost like a documentary, effortlessly incorporating montages of street life into the story. There is plenty to enjoy in terms of camera work. The dialogue too helps to create a very realistic feel that benefits the story greatly. All the actors create memorable, easily relatable characters, and Adam Laupus makes for a believable and likable lead.
While A Decent Arrangement deals with some serious topics, it does not leave a heavy or gloomy impression. The film is a great mix of funny and thoughtful, and has a lively quality about it. There is a lot to be found worth contemplating, and combined with interesting cinematography and good performances, this film is definitely worth checking out. The reappearing image of the moving train seems to reinforce the idea of the journey forever continuing. And so, life runs on.
You can hear an extended interview with A Decent Arrangement director Sarovar Banka on the most recent episode of the Talkadelphia podcast.