“We all call ourselves liberal…but we can’t even accept a love story across class,” says Tillotama Shome who has delivered a powerful performance in Is Love Enough? Sir which recently debuted on Netflix and gave the 2018 film, a new lease of life. The subject at the centre is a controversial one, that of a love story between a maid and the man she works for. A dignified performance, Ratna (the maid played by Tillotama Shome) is a woman who was widowed very early and arrives in Mumbai for work and earn to send money back home. Through a warm, real love story, their relationship unfurls as one of mutual admiration but one where only the Sir (played by Vivek Gomber) expresses it first and Ratna at all points suggests it’s a relationship that will be unacceptable to society. Through the various turns in the plot, the film questions the central issue, “can love cross class barriers” and break our societal conditioning?
You think you are liberal…but yet… you live in a world that can't imagine two people falling in love across class. @tillotamashome talks with @shailichopra on how the film Sir is raising important questions through a love story. pic.twitter.com/EruDCLBzI7
— SheThePeople (@SheThePeople) January 13, 2021
“Like in any script there are layers you peel, but I think the predominant feeling for me, when I read the script was, that of guilt.”
Shome adds how a film like this puts you face to face with your own horrors. “When you hear, in The Heart of Darkness, the protagonist says, “horror, horror, horror and you wonder what he has seen. And just like that in reading a script sometimes you can see, feel the horror within you…The kind of thing you don’t want to acknowledge you have.”
“You think you are so liberal but you live in a world that can’t imagine two people falling in love across class!”
We asked Shome about the reaction from people, society, friends and family about the storyline since the film is not offering them a ‘traditional’ sort of happy ending in typical movies. “I see it as a happy ending. When a woman can stand up for herself, walk her chosen path, I think that is a positive ending. And I think, we ought to celebrate it in the realm of fiction if not real life. I felt it is very much a happy ending in my reading of the script from the point of view of Ratna.”
She adds though, “Not a happy ending for all of us who are absolutely complicit about living in this extremely class driven society and full of prejudices but for Ratna I think it’s a happy ending.”