The official poster of 'Sir' Photograph:( WION Web Team )
'Sir' review- Rohena Gera's critically acclaimed film featuring Tillotama Shome and Vivek Gomber is a love story between a house maid and her sir.
Filmmaker Rohena Gera's much talked about film 'Is Love Enough? Sir' finally gets a theatrical release in India this Friday. Having won awards and critical acclaim across festivals, 'Sir' has finally come home. A poignant story of class divide and how two uncanny people find solace in each other's company, 'Sir' is a sublime, heart-wrenching ode to love.
Widowed at a young age, Ratna (Tillotama Shome) now works at Ashwin's residence in Mumbai (Vivek Gombar). Ashwin is a man of few words, who has recently returned from the US and is in mourning because of a broken engagement. His and Ratna's interactions are minimal- like that of an employer and a servant's. But over the course of time, the two form an uncanny bond- she opening up to him about her dreams of becoming a fashion designer and saving up to aid her younger sister's education and him speaking up for her in front of rude guests.
What starts as an unusual bond of friendship, soon turns into attraction- both being aware of the class divide between two. While he is ready to move past the differences in their status, she is scared at the scandal that will spill over if she says yes.
The beauty of 'Sir' lies in its simplicity and detailed screenplay by Gera herself. The mundanities of day to day life, the way their relationship changes - from master and servant to their unusual friendship to eventually the palpable sexual tension they share- all is shown effectively.
It helps that strong writing is supported by powerful performances. Both Shome and Gombar are top-notch. Shome's part is more difficult, but the actress is stunning at Ratna. She strikes a fine balance between restraint and exuberance, making her character look like a breath of fresh air.
The mood is sombre and subtle and Gombar slips in as the sad, polite and warm Ashwin. The film mostly has these two actors interacting and the two deftly carry the film. Sans the dramatic lines and music, a story like this can get mundane and boring but Shome and Gombar create a stunning environment which gets you invested in the story. You may know how the story will progress but their crackling chemistry makes you sit through the film.
There's also Geetanjali Kulkarni as Laxmi, Ratna's only friend who delivers perfectly to her part.
Gera's deft writing shows the stark divide of the two leading protagonists in the most effective way. There are no over the top dialogues here that point fingers at how their two worlds are different. But the difference between the haves and have nots is clearly demarcated. While Ratna is aspirational, she is also aware of her status in society. Ashwin on the other is polite to a fault, who is always too forthcoming to compensate for his privilege.
The film's little moments stand out. Like when Ashwin gifts Ratna a sewing machine or when Ratna subtly tells him to move on after a broken engagement, Ratna opening up to Laxmi about her desire to learn how to stitch - such moments make the film warm and understated.
Sir' is the first theatrical release post-pandemic lockdown. Its not the typical big-budget commercial film that creates hype weeks before its release but it should be celebrated nevertheless. For its beautiful story and the nuanced performances.