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  • Rishabh Chhajer

About Love, 2019, Dir. By Archana Phadke

Updated: Jul 20, 2022

"The upcoming wedding in the family becomes a tool in the film to string time together. Though the film is hardly about the wedding itself, It paints an intimate portrait of three couples — real yet strange in equal parts, all living under one roof to understand the workings of love, and how it changes over time." - Archana Phadke

Three generations of the Phadke family live and work together in South Mumbai. As they prepare for a family wedding, director Archana Atul Phadke, who is not in any hurry to marry, observes the shifting household dynamics.

It captures the nuances of every day in an Indian middle-class family,

The ruptures that women find in between

To escape their mundane routine within the claims of patriarchy

The odours of old age pause us to look at the fragility of life,

The relationship with the objects in the house, the languages they speak are about love...

I could feel those quirks, I could sense the slowness,

The falling sand of time, it was transcendental.

Took me back to my grandparents' room, breaking the silence of the night, tik-tok-tik-tok,

Loud and deep echoing in the ears.

It soaks you into the Phadke household, it was in the moment, it intuitively occurred to me, that her grandfather would die, and that was the next scene, that's how implicit emotions were in this handycam made film. The politics of daily life and questions around marriage and family, anxiety that she might become like her mom if she were to ever marry. It was surreal and transportative, it kept taking me to my family home back and again.

Rather than going out to shoot a story, create scenarios, Archana turned the camera inwards, she was able to find the right balance between the two roles she was playing, as a director and as a family member. The way in which the whole family normalized the presence of the camera as if it wasn't there at all is remarkable.

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