Set in London, ‘Before Nikkah’ finds two British Pakistanis set up on a blind date for marriage. Initially apprehensive about the prospect entirely, the duo will find that love can be found anywhere. As their first date goes disastrous, fate will intervene, setting the two on a journey with unexpected consequences.


The best thing about the film is how simple yet entertaining it is, even though most of it is just heart to heart conversations between two misfits stuck in will they/won’t they. The leads are easy to connect with and the way they capture the awkwardness of arranged marriage is simply fantastic. Arranged marriage, especially for those living in the West, can be a shocking experience and yet, pushed into it by their cultural background, the duo will try to navigate it the best they can.


Equally impressive is the script that manages to get the desi experience in the UK just right. Born in the UK but raised by Desi families, Muslim teens there feel like they are being pulled apart in two different directions; and the film’s strength lies in the fact that it approaches this subject matter with the poise and sensitivity that it demands. The narrative pacing is on point and in no moment does the film feel boring even in the slightest. Shot around the streets of London, the film is also utterly gorgeous to look at. As our characters wander through the city, soaking in the sunlight and the rain-kissed streets, it’s easy to be captivated by the visually stunning scenes skillfully crafted by the creators. The costumes are on point and the sets, most of them real-life locations, infuse an added sense of originality to the already great story.


Thus, this is a fantastic little gem that fires on all cylinders. Not only does the film make you fall in love with its two leads, its earnest and straightforward approach to love is exactly what is needed in today’s hyper materialistic global society. Haider Zafar, the director, has made a beautiful film, one that will resonate with audiences of all backgrounds.