I had been waiting for this movie since it first released but sadly before I could watch, it disappeared only to appear later with all the international acclaims. Honestly, the movie is fab but the major reason I wanted to watch this movie was because of Tillotima Shome.
There are few actors who are classy some are famous but a handful of actors are timeless. Our Indian cinema remember these actors as “Art Actors” like Deepti Naval, Seema Biswas, Nasiruddin Shah, Smita Patel, Shabana Azmi etc. They were boxed into this category of actors who could pull serious roles but they were not the actors of masses.
Sadly due to this typecasting many did not see the success they deserved like Rahul Bose, Konkona Sen who I think is the finest actress I have ever seen, Nandita Das and likes. But I always say that now is the best era for Indian cinema as now the kinds of actors we are able to see are like never before. Yes, they are probably still not the actors of masses but the whole population of their kinds of audience has increased 10 folds in last decade. Now people love spending money on movies which are not all dhamaal and masti. There are so many who are now audiences favorite like late Irfan Khan, Rajkumar Rao, Nimrat Kaur, Radhika Apte, Rasika Duggal, Kalki Koechlin and Tillotima Shome.
Yes, Tillotima Shome is one of the finest actors of this decade. Infact she is here from long but maybe now is her time. Do you remember her in Monsoon Wedding? Who else could have made Alice loveable like she did.
Coming to Sir.
Yes, its a story where our protagonist, Ashwin falls in love with his house maid, Ratna. That is it. This is the story. Its nothing like any other love story you might have seen in the longest time yet the emotions are so real. The problem is of course the class difference but its much more complicated than that. Very beautifully and subtly, Ashwin’s friend questions him on his love for Ratna that ‘Does he think his mother would even sit at the same table as Ratna?’. This one sentence says it all. Its not that she will not be able to create a space for herself in his life but its simply unacceptable.
Its not just that she is a maid. Its the centaury of class difference that stands between them. There are subtle things which shows the difference in both classes. Scenes like Ratna serving Ashwin cup of tea in a very nice cup in a fancy tray while she drinks from this typical Indian steel glass. While she serves Ashwin an array of health food choices, she sticks to her own daal chawal.
Ratna is progressive and has big dreams. Ashwin is subtle and stable. The best part of this movie for me was the mystery. I have seen it twice now just to capture that moment when Ashwin fell in love with her but I could not. But this is how real life stories are right? There is no one big moment when someone falls for another person. Its a small seed of affection that grows into this big tree in a very slow and understated manner. The first moment I felt that he has fallen for her was when he gifts her that sewing machine and the way he is looking at her with dreamy eyes.
Overall, watching Sir was like standing on the terrace of that Mumbai high rise and watching the busy city pass by yet feeling an innate sense of calm. Plus the music. There is something about having the right soundtrack though at many times in the movie I felt the same feelings I felt while watching Monsson Wedding or Life of Pi. I felt that some piece of music was common but I was not able to find it in google. Please enlighten me if anyone can.
One thing I hated was how Vivek Gomber, our Ashwin was nothing but the perfect man of dreams. He is sincere, humble, polite, intelligent, creative, handsome and financially stable. I could not find even one characteristic that was anything less than perfect. He was the biggest myth of imagination. So far Indian Cinema or cinema in general portrays this flamboyant, fighter actor who can dance, fight the goons, save the girl and yet show a romantic side like no one can ever have in their life partners leaving all woman craving for that dream boat.
Ashwin was nothing like that but everything you would want from your ‘real’ life partner. There is just one intimate scene in the movies and it definitely leaves the audience craving. I would have hated Ashwin if he would not have made that call at end. So, finally finished this story with a bigger craving of what will happen next. Will she move to USA and they will live a normal life? Will they ever make love? Will she ever visit his family as his wife? Will he complete his book?
I am leaving here with these cravings and wishing this wonderful movie – All the best!