“Ashwin...”, I knew it in a heartbeat it was Ashwin’s call and she would address him not as “Sir” this time. But why now?
Rohena Gera’s Netflix Original ‘Sir’ is all that you have to watch right now if you haven’t.
I am taken aback by the way she so tenderly presents the social inequality aggressively prevailing in society. Even though there are instances heartbreaking enough to show inequality but the way it ends, a slight hope ignites within stating love conquers all.
Tillotama Shome and Vivek Gomber have done a fantastic job playing the characters of Ratna and Ashwin respectively.
A Glimpse of the Story
Two remarkably significant facts about the movie are first, Ratna, being a servant, belonging to a lower class having aspirations to be in a world other than the world she must have seen since her childhood.
They typically learn to serve the middle class and the upper class. Against all odds, she aspires to become a fashion designer breaking the shackles of society. And this has been shown so subtly as if the choice was always present in the society, the stigmatised didn’t dare to grab the idea of changing the stagnant profession being carried forward for innumerable years.
Second, an upper-middle-class man Ashwin falling in love with his maidservant which many of us will not find appropriate. However, Ashwin is alright falling for a girl who belongs to a lower class, to top it all, she’s a widow which is another taboo.
The entire romantic story is so beautifully shown, like a woollen cardigan being knitted slowly and gradually and was finally finished.
They’re seen caring for each other right from the beginning when Ashwin’s marriage was called off. She cared for him in silent ways from shunning the wedding rumours to not disturb him while he was working, furthermore noticeably not saying much except “Sir” even while giving affirmations.
On the other hand, Ashwin, being supportive of Ratna’s dreams and being elated by her zeal to live life in the littlest moments be it dancing at Ganesh Chaturthi, sharing a few words with her friend, or starting an apprenticeship in a boutique.
When does the class barrier break?
“Sir, it’s not the end of the world.” Ratna, as the class barrier between them, is, very delicately tries to console Ashwin seeing him vulnerable after the broken relationship.
Quite unusual to be seen, Ratna, who’s herself burdened with endless suffering and pain of hers comforts and uplifts a rich man’s spirits. I’m glad rich are not portrayed as the celebrated god for poor, the roles have reversed here.
Ashwin nonetheless, is seen romancing his love and care for Ratna without having second thoughts, as evident from the movie, he wishes to take her out to which Ratna is seen reluctant of being mocked at by people.
The gap is bridged the moment Ratna gets a job as a Fashion Designer, indicating a significant rise in her status from not so dignified job apparently to a respectable one. That’s exactly when she addresses Ashwin as “Ashwin” and not as “Sir”.
It was a turning point when she’s seen at some liberty with the idea of falling for Ashwin. The movie ends with hope, a tale of hope woven miraculously by Rohena Gera trying to normalize a lot of many difficult ideas and that too effortlessly.
It’s a story of love, hope, integrity, morality, and esteem. A piece of art that has tried to free people from labels. A movie that will open numerous minds to accepting a transition in not only a choice in love but also, the career choice by not just a lower class man but crucially a woman.
Patal Lok' is a show which gives an overview of various types of discrimination between religion and caste in India.
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