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‘Going Poly- Love Beyond Monogamy’ Review – This exploration of polyamorous love sadly lacks depth

Going Poly: Love Beyond Monogamy is a social documentary by Arpita De that explores the idea of multiple loves through different lenses of relationships. It is currently streaming on Docubay.

‘Going Poly- Love Beyond Monogamy’ Review – This exploration of polyamorous love sadly lacks depth
Going Poly Documentary/Docubay

Last Updated: 12.42 PM, Feb 15, 2024


Going Poly: Love Beyond Monogamy, a Valentine's Day release, is a social documentary directed by Arpita De that explores the idea of multiple lovers through the lenses of relationships, society, and family hierarchy. Polyamory, or polyamorous relationships, are relationships that are not monogamous (one partner) and include living and falling in love with multiple people, following negotiable boundaries.

Going Poly: Love Beyond Monogamy Review

The recently released documentary offers a comprehensive and settling view of polyamorous love, the controversial form of romantic relationships that take place without social order or restriction. Going Poly: Love Beyond Monogamy dives into the unexplored territory of multiple lovers or polyamorous relationships. 'Poly' means multiple, and 'amor' means love, so the documentary strives to unlearn the concept of one true love without the social obligation to feeling shame or guilty about choosing how to express one's feelings.

Going Poly: Love Beyond Monogamy tries to erase the ubiquitous ethical image of love and instead inspires viewers to look beyond social constraints. The unique narrative of love and non-binary relationships is based on several perspectives of the interviewees, like LGBTQ people, married couples following monogamy, human rights activists, psychologists, and counselling experts.

This social documentary traces the origin of polyamory, which is branched into various types like solo polyamory (independent), hierarchical and non-hierarchical, and relationship anarchy (no rules). The special narrative of more than one true love is explored with several participants who choose to be brave and write their own story rather than believing the delusions painted by society. From 50-something educators to 30-something artists and activists, Going Poly highlights the new perspective of trust and commitment by eliminating moral dilemmas.

Going Poly is not a usual exploration of feelings or romantic escapades, but it hits the right chords with the staggering truth that love is a feeling that is all about emotions and bonding and should not be treated as a function on a morality scale.

Its primary focus is on the paradigm shift in relationships and the outlook on romance and self-satisfaction. While most of it is about the theoretical approach that delves into the meaning, pros, and cons, it misses out on the fun part of people facing challenges together and creatively dodging threats posed by society, which views such relationships as immoral or unethical. 

Those who feature in the documentary explain that they are often taken for granted, as many use the excuse of polyamory to be unfaithful. Be it the social lens of immorality or the Indian law categorising it as adultery, Going Poly presents a new idea of imagining family in a flexible nation that is equal for every person irrespective of their sexuality and values.

Set in metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Kolkata, the docufilm tries best not to falter from its objective of explaining the existence of non-monogamous relationships, but it also feels repetitive at times because of the heavy interview-centric approach. However, since it is nearly a 50-minute watch, even the talking heads are smoothly followed. 

Despite the emphasis on polyamorous relationships, the documentary doesn’t necessarily promote the idea of love with multiple people simultaneously but desires to unchain the shackles on the pretext of internalised shame, societal prejudice, or Indian cultural roots.

Going Poly: Love Beyond Monogamy Verdict

Releasing on the day of love, Valentine's Day, this hard-hitting documentary contradicts the idea of only one true love to reflect on the social order prevalent in society. It is a bold approach to understanding the concept of polyamory but it lacks the depth required to explore it in detail. The docufilm is more about opinions and societal hypocrisy and fades quickly because real-life couples don’t share how they spent their daily lives, unlike foreign docuseries or films on polyamory.

Stream this documentary if you’re unaware of the types and social contexts of multiple relationships, but skip it if you’ve watched foreign versions, as this one looks concrete but is empty inside.

Produced by VICE Studios, Going Poly was released on February 14 and is currently streaming on DocuBay or the OTTPlay app.

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