The first time that I saw the trailer of Is Love Enough, Sir, I realized that the movie will talk largely about class disparities and distinctions and how our society is distinguished on the basis of caste and more importantly, class. With these thoughts in mind, I started watching Is Love Enough Sir. I got to say that the class difference that was shown was not unsettling as was shown in Parasite, but it was more thought-provoking. After watching this movie, one is likely to question the very genesis of the entire caste system and the logic behind the class difference.
Ratna (Tillotama Shome) is a house help for Ashwin (Vivek Gomber) who is supposed to get married at the onset of the movie. His fiancée cheats on him and the wedding is called off on the wedding day. After this, he mostly stays at home because he is obviously heartbroken by the turn of events. His driver, Raju, is very interested in the details of the incident, but all of this does not excite Ratna. She does not want to prod her “Sir” with the bad memories of her former “ma’am”.
She does all the household work efficiently and stays there itself in the servant room. She goes out of her way to prove herself to be the best house help. She takes care of her Sir just like a family member would. There are a few incidents where Ashwin’s friends and family insult Ratna for doing some mistake or the other. But Ashwin takes her side.
Ratna, on the other hand, is a very ambitious girl who wants to make it big in the city. She was married off at an early age and four months after marriage, her husband died of some illness. She became a widow. But instead of staying back in her village and lamenting the loss of her husband, she moves to the city and makes a living for herself.
She wants to be independent and wants the same for her younger sister. Will she be able to make an independent living for herself? What will become of her and Ashwin? These are some of the questions that will plague Ratna as well as the viewers. In the one-and-a-half-hour run-time of the movie, we find few words exchanged between Ratna as well as Ashwin, but as the saying goes in Bollywood “aankhon hi aankhon mein ishaara ho Gaya”, everything happens between them without any expression of words.
The deep rooted-questions of what is acceptable to the society and what is not are repeatedly asked by Is Love Enough Sir.
Until the very denouement of the movie, the question of what will become of Ratna and Ashwin looms large over the 99-minute long screen time. The tentative distance, before this, between the two people on the opposite sides of an economic, social, and linguistic chasm is still somewhere within the realm of authenticity.
The idea that the Marathi-speaking Ratna and the English-speaking Ashwin can and will find a meeting ground is supposed to be bolstered by the plot’s setting in Mumbai, which is often mythicized as the city of overnight transformations and infinite possibilities. Ratna is represented as someone who needs the right opportunities to transcend her circumstances since she is talented as well as intelligent. Ashwin is shown to have some sensitivity towards class differences which seems to be obviously amiss in his family and friends.
The screenplay of Gera does not work hard enough to make the relationship that these two share, convincing. Movies have peddled the idea that the force of love can sweep away all kinds of differences for decades. The absence of sensitivity and melodrama to detailing in Is Love enough, Sir mars belonging to this la-la-land.
In the conversations between Ratna and Ashwin, the stunted writing and uneven staging become more pronounced and also in the manner in which most of his family members and friends react. The evenly paced narrative becomes too lean to accommodate some of the more uncomfortable and harsher consequences of a match that can be realized in movie heaven, although being made on earth.
The actors of Gera’s screenplay turn out to be committed portrayals. The excellent performance of Tillotama Shome goes a long way in explaining the decision of Ratna to throw tilt her pragmatic head up at the stars. Vivek Gomber is sincerity personified as Ashwin. As Lakshmi, Geetanjali Kulkarni has an attention-grabbing cameo, she plays the role of another maid who helps Ratna with her tailoring project. The brilliant Kulkarni has only a few scenes, but she makes sure that each and every one of them count.
We are often made aware of the contrasting lives that both Ratna and Ashwin lead while living in the same apartment, thanks to the cinematography of the film.
Some scenes might seem repetitive as the film slowly builds the plot. These scenes can also be seen to be used, at the same time, to maintain an aspect of monotony at the onset of the movie.