SIR (2020)

Review: SIR (2020)
Dir: Rohena Gera

In the last few years, we have seen some really unconventional love stories set amidst the backdrop of Mumbai. Some of my favourites include ‘The Lunchbox’ and ‘Photograph’. Rohena Gera’s ‘SIR’ is another addition to this wonderful list.

Released in 2018 at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, SIR had a limited theatrical release in India in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but soon found itself streaming on Netflix.

SIR explores a mature relationship that exists between Ratna, a maid (played beautifully by Tillotama Shome), and Ashwin (Vivek Gomber). The film looks at the way society looks at class differences and wonderfully addresses the fact of how every individual has the right to dream.

On the crux of it, SIR is a simple story that we have seen through the eyes of many people. We know what the ending of a film like this is going to be. Yet, we are drawn into the lives of the characters, their unsaid emotions and their inner flaws.

Ratna and Ashwin’s relationship is unconventional and unimaginable. Yet, the bitter-sweet, silent emotions they bring into their characters makes SIR worthy of a watch.

If we have remembered Ila and Saajan in ‘The Lunchbox’ or Rafi and Milona in ‘Photograph’ (ironically both these beautiful films directed by Ritesh Batra), SIR will leave us with two more beautiful characters in Ratna and Ashwin.

And just like the aunty (who was Ila’s support in The Lunchbox), we have a terrific Geetanjali Kulkarni who is a confidante and aide to Ratna in SIR.

Rohena Gera deserves credit for showcasing the city of Mumbai in its full glory. The subtle nuances of the high-society and the middle-class are beautifully blended with visuals shifting from the high-rise buildings and the rustic chawls and slums. Domnique Colin’s cinematography is stunning.

SIR may not be a film for everyone. But it is classy and made with all heart.

SIR is streaming on NETFLIX.

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