‘Loev’ is both lyrical and real : Movie review
Review by Udayan Dhar
Director: Sudhanshu Saria
Starring: Dhruv Ganesh, Shiv Pandit, Siddharth Menon
Indian film-makers dealing with homosexuality often deal with the dilemma of drawing a fine balance between showcasing gay characters sensitively, and at the same time keeping them real enough- with their own flaws and imperfections. If there is one triumph of this 2015 “road-drama” film, it is that Sudhanshu Saria has achieved this feat like few others have managed so far.
This is the story of Sahil, a young musician in Mumbai who goes on a weekend trip to the scenic Mahabaleshwar with his long time friend- Jai, who is a successful businessman now based in New York. During the trip, the boundaries of love and friendship begin to blur, and ultimately passions erupt in a way that no one had expected.
The on screen chemistry between the lead actors Dhruv Ganesh and Shiv Pandit make the duo endearing to the audience. While Dhruv is both vulnerable and charming, Shiv perfectly plays the role of a wistful, yet deeply anxious man. The music – including the theme song- lends the movie a lyrical charm that pervades throughout. The film was shot in 2014, after the Supreme Court had recriminalized homosexuality, and the film makers have revealed that during much of the shoot, even the crew were unaware of the film’s gay content.
Loev won the best foreign film award at the Tel Aviv International Film Festival. Dhruv Ganesh, one of the lead actors- who had already made a mark both in the world of theater and films- died in January 2015 at the age of 29.
(Loev has recently been made available on Netflix for Indian audiences)