Nasira and Rochel are the lead characters in the film Arranged. Both meet in Brooklyn, NY, at a public school as first-year teachers. Nasira is a devout Islamic woman of Pakistani descent and Rochel is an Orthodox Jewish woman. With these two characters of distinct religious backgrounds, both the students and administration expected a conflict to surface between them. However, Arranged does not surrender to these expectations. Even though the film brings out some cultural sensitivity, Nasira and Rochel do not struggle to evade building-bridges; on the contrary, they get to learn the commonalities in their lives and become best friends (Brussat, n.d.).
Both Nasira and Rochel can be regarded too conservative and buried deep in the outdated customs. Jacoby, the school Principal, a feminist and a reformed Jew, feels that the two are brilliant females whose growth will otherwise be stunted by their unending submission to the outmoded customs, which are dictated by the oppressive patriarchal faith. The women’s conservativeness is clearly displayed by their dressing styles and their negative attitude towards the modern-day world. Each of them dresses in relatively conservative way, is a virgin, and is preserving herself for a husband to be selected by her parents. Despite the principal’s efforts, the two refuse to change and instead they stick together more and remind each other what is expected of them. According to the duo, the world they live in is far better, and they prefer to remain the way they are upholding to their traditions to the end (Brussat, n.d.).
The two expect their parents to find the right husbands for them. They are comfortable with the idea and embrace it as part of their traditions. When Rochel’s matchmakers do not add up, she visits her cousin and the two go to a party, but Rochel cannot fit in the group. She feels extremely uncomfortable with liquor, couples kissing, and drug use. On the other hand, Nasira believed she will find an appropriate man according to the will of God. After all, she is sure the arranged marriage tradition works because her mother and father are a perfect example. These challenges bring Rochel and Nasira even closer, forcing them to spend more quality time together. Hence, they keep flourishing, separating their spiritual oasis from the modern society’s materialistic concerns (Brussat, n.d.).
The two females find themselves sharing what they experience with their arranged husbands. As they discuss the arranged marriage issue, they both realize it is natural to meet all different men before meeting the right one. They encourage each other as best friends and both refuse to settle for a man they do not like until they find the most suitable according to their needs. This similarity of their concerns makes the two blushing brides-to-be commiserate, bond and share their fears, despite the fact that neither contemplate rebelling against what their family and their traditions expect of them (Brussat, n.d.).
Nasira and Rochel are clearly compared in Arranged in terms how the duo sticks together, how they embrace their traditions and beliefs and how they disagree with the modern world. These can be regarded as the factors that make them be great friends and surprise many people who expect a bitter relationship between the two.
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