Loev ( by Bombay Berlin Film Production ) starts off at a very meandering meaning – Whilst in Mumbai on a short business trip, confident young hotshot Jai (Shiv Pandit) meets up with his old friend Sahil (Dhruv Ganesh) for a road-trip through the Western Ghats. Leaving his boyfriend Alex (Siddharth Menon) behind, Sahil attempts to forget his troubles. Jai, on the other hand, is out to cut loose and have some fun. Over the course of the next 48 hours, the pair gradually reveal a complicated history, raising some painful truths in the process although much is left unexplained.
Loev shot in complete secrecy in a country where homosexuality is still punishable by law, Saria’s debut film is bold and important – politically radical and emotionally raw. That it exists at all is something to celebrate, but that it is such a confident, compelling and emotionally rich piece of work is nothing short of extraordinary.
Writer-director Sudhanshu Saria doesn’t explicitly spell out the nature of the past relationship between Sahil and Jai, but it’s clear from their flirtatious exchanges that they are more than just good friends. The naturalistic acting style notwithstanding, there is something not entirely persuasive about the relationship between Jai and Sahil. More convincing is the bickering banter between Sahil and Alex. With his lean physique and limpid eyes, Ganesh is a charismatic presence on screen. Tragically, this was to be his last acting role. He died, age 29, from tuberculosis. The film is dedicated to his memory.
Loev deserves to be watched for tackling a subject not many directors dare to foray into. And yet under the whole premise lies a simple anagram Loev, which explains the poignancy of same sex relationships.