Yes, it is. And it’s many other things too. But did we need a film to tell us it is so? Perhaps.
‘Love is Strange’ is about two older men, who get married after knowing each other for 39 years. But the marriage costs George, a Catholic school music teacher, his job as the news reaches the archdiocese. That results in their separation as they can’t anymore afford to live in their apartment. George moves in with his neighbours, two policemen who are a couple too. Ben, an artist, shares the bunk bed with the only son of his nephew and novelist wife.
Despite the distance and the difficulty of having to adjust to new people, George and Ben stick to each other. It is interesting to note that their relationship isn’t borrowed from the many stereotypes that the LGBT lives are sometimes unfairly associated with. Concerns of livelihood and being together matter most to this couple.
While Ben and George deal with their situation, the film also has several subtexts – the transition from childhood to adulthood, teenage love, ideas of personal space, modern relationships, art, and housing issues for non-salaried older people. These themes are handled equally well and with a rare insight that make ‘Love is Strange’ a fine film to watch.
But I wonder if such a film were to come to anti-gay India, these issues – and the fact that it’s a good film too – would probably get lost in the din of the expected controversy over the film’s main characters.
Watch the film for its deceptively simple writing; minimal, but beautiful, background score and a beautiful piece of artwork.