News By/Courtesy: Gunjan Dayal | 30 Jun 2020 19:28pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Premiered in the Week sidebar of Cannes Critics.
  • Sir isn't your standard Indian love story, nor does it turn out the way you 'd expect.
  • 'Sir' eventually shows how unbridled emotions cannot exist in a setting like this.

Set inside the modern-day Mumbai skyscrapers, Sir isn't your standard Indian love story, nor does it turn out the way you 'd expect. But writer-director Rohena Gera has crafted an insightful romance inside the boundaries of upper-crust Indian society in this reflective analysis of class and the way it can both restrict and inspire. Premiering in the Week sidebar of Cannes Critics, the film will fill the same slot as The Lunchbox did back in 2013, supplying the foreign audiences with a feel-good fodder. Ratna (Tillotama Shome) is a young widow who travels from her small village in the countryside to the Mumbai megalopolis, where she is hired by a wealthy family of builders to serve their friend, Ashwin (Vivek Gomber), a chambermaid. As the film kicks off, Ashwin is about to get married, but after his fiancee was found to have had an affair audience hear that the wedding has been called off. Left alone to work for the company of his father and brood a lot around the house, Ashwin will slowly develop a bond with Ratna, which extends into something more beyond a mere master-servant relationship. Keeping the drama confined to a high-rise apartment and a few outdoors, Gera uses a classic setup — forbidden love between two lost souls — to address class and caste issues in a city that has developed from its colonial roots into a thriving capital of the world. So while Ashwin enjoys the pleasures of India's new yuppie culture, throwing small parties, and playing squash with his buddies, Ratna is confined to the kitchen and her tiny bedroom, yet on the side can still pursue a career in fashion design. She may have had few choices at an earlier period and an affair with her master would never have been imaginable, but Gera reveals how times have changed. Yet, for the most part, Indian society remains largely authoritarian, and 'Sir' eventually shows how unbridled emotions cannot exist in a setting like this. Ashwin, who served as a journalist in the United States before returning home after his brother's death, is westernized in thinking and attitude — he treats Ratna as a friend rather than a maid — but faces the burden of his family and social status. And Ratna, who has very opportunities in life as a young widow, is wise enough to realize that her story with Ashwin never ends happily afterward. For much of the film seen from Ratna's point of view, the audience first experience Ashwin as she does: from behind closed doors, or at moments when she carries food or drinks trays to her master and his guests. Their relationship gradually transforms but their social positions still hold the two back. In that sense, Gera makes the most of her setting, with veteran French cameraman Dominique Colin (L'auberge Espagnole) showing the characters against a backdrop of steel-and-glass towers stretching up to the sky but looking much more claustrophobic than free. Mumbai may be a modern mega-city, but that doesn't mean anything can happen and people don't feel any less isolated. Performances from the two leads — who, depending on the situation, move between Hindi and English — are solid, while Shome is sometimes more convincing than Gomber, whose character often seems a little too restrained. Pierre Avia's rather cloying score is overused in sections, and there are moments when the production sounds closer to a TV film in its scale. Yet Gera created a warmly complex look at love in a place filled with restrictions and inconsistencies for her first fictional attempt, and where a broken heart could be the first step towards emancipation.l

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT INTEND TO HURT THE SENTIMENTS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY, SECT, OR RELIGION ETCETERA. THIS ARTICLE IS BASED PURELY ON THE AUTHOR'S PERSONAL VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN THE EXERCISE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT GUARANTEED UNDER ARTICLE 19(1)(A) AND OTHER RELATED LAWS BEING FORCE IN INDIA, FOR THE TIME BEING.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 30 Jun 2020 20:44pm IST


Tags : #BrilliantMovieButWentUnnoticed

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