It’s only been a few months since Zoya Akhtar’s segment in Lust Stories became widely discussed for tackling the illicit relationship between a domestic help and her employer. It’s all the more unusual in India, with our deeply entrenched values of social classes. Rohena Gera’s Sir, that was shot before Zoya Akhtar’s segment and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, seems to be tackling the same problem with more depth.
Starring as the other lead actor opposite Vivek Gomber, Tillotama Shome has this quality to amalgamate into the film’s setting. That’s why casting her as an ‘invisible’ domestic help is a masterstroke. Gera’s film competed at the Camera D’Or section at Cannes, where it was the only other Indian film apart from Nandita Das’s Manto.
It’s probably just coincidence that Shome has earlier played a similar role (that of domestic help, Alice) in a film that had a woman at the helm. Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding gave Shome the most heartwarming track of the film, where her love story with Vijay Raaz quietly bloomed.
In a country, where the social structure is so rigid, it’s great to see a filmmaker tackling questions about love and also the inherent classism in the Indian society. Here’s the trailer: