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Monday, March 22, 2010

an LSD-esque grandeur

New age cinema, world cinema, experimental cinema, parallel cinema, offbeat cinema - call it what you may, but we haven't had it this good since last year's "Dev. D".
With as provocative a title as "Love, Sex Aur Dhokha", a movie-goer can well expect to be shocked. It is clearly an 'adults only' film, most would reason from the posters or the promotional stills, but what one would not easily understand is the fact that it is anything but a sleaze-fest!
It is a film that screams out loud to be included in the contemporary classics hall-of-fame. It is absolutely magical as a journey; a journey through the modern, easy to grab, free for all, technology aided back-alleys of voyeurism that makes its presence felt in our daily lives through umpteen scandalous 'breaking news' headlines that are assimilated by the entire household along with our daily dose of tea/coffee, desensitizing coverages of murder and mayhem, and the television-serials. Yet, we take nothing from them. We do not learn the much-needed lessons in sanity and sensitivity, we are the de-classed voyeurs who do not give a damn about our fellow human-being's privacy. "LSD", as a film doesn't get us high on the titillation, instead its success lies in its hitting base with the powerful reality check, without any attempt at sermonizing or moralizing.

There are three stories, incidental for the all-important concept that holds the key to the experimental narrative structure, and three couples therein who are intricately connected to one another. Without giving away much of the clever intermingling of the narratives, it can be said that each of the stories has at its centre a realistic conflict and/or turmoil involving secret recording through hidden camera. The hidden cameras are thus the dynamic protagonists, alive in their own way, revelatory and sensational. The edge film stars no known (or lesser known) actors and is entirely filmed with the digital camera. The quirky, unconventional camera angles, the jerky movements and the documentation-style 'footage' can be unnerving and unsettling for the first five-ten minutes - especially for the normal cine-goer. But the flow of events has an easy grip on our attention thereafter, and the tantalizing tales readily blend with the style or manner of storytelling.
The cast includes Arya Banerjee, Neha Chauhan, Anshuman Jha, Atul Mongia, Amit Sial, Herry Tangdi, Raj Kumar Yadav, and Shruti. The cinematography is by Nikos Andritsakis. Namrata Rao is the film-editor, Mustafa Stationwala is the production designer, and Atul Mongia the casting-director - all of whom deserve a praise. The original music of the film has been composed by Sneha Khanwalkar and Dibakar Banerjee.

Dibakar Banerjee, the creator of the movie "LSD" is a film-director par excellence.
He is the one who has been thumb-nosing at the diktats of Bollywood,
and has been conquering new vistas by daring to go beyond the "what-works-and-what-doesn't" stereotypes.
He has been the real game changer in the world of new-age Indian cinema, with his first two features, "Khosla Ka Ghosla" (it was not only a sleeper hit, but was also a true contemporary classic) and "Oye Lucky Lucky Oye", having been toasted for sheer sheer energy and raw exuberance. With "LSD", he has extended his horizons. I am thrilled beyond delight to have my faith in this new-age film-maker being vindicated. He knows his Delhi (especially the city's underbelly), he knows his craft, he knows how capable he is in executing what he believes in (the confidence makes him unapologetic in his use of cinematic idiom borrowed from world cinema, but very much moulded in his own way!) and my good wishes to him for breaking more barriers and giving us substantial films which enthrall, and thus entertain.


Siddhu said...

'D' for Dibakar Banerjee....

'D' for Dhaansoo!

'D' for Dhamaal!!

'D' for Dishhkaaoon!!!

And that in a nutshell is "Love Sex Aur Dhokha" the latest cinematic offering from Dibakar 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' Banerjee; a treat to watch.... hat's off, Sir-ji!
What a movie!!!!!

Arunima said...

LSD, no doubt is a difficult movie for the regular movie-goer. Difficut and disturbing, mostly because the movie turns shocking when you least expect it!
I just hope in this age of superficiality, the deeper message of the movie is not lost among the regular crowd.

Satyaki said...

Fantastic movie, and a cool review, dude!
There lurks a voyeur in most of us, especially in these times. And "LSD" probes the growing phenomenon of the realistic mirroring of the same.
I think, it is a clutter-breaking attempt for Ekta Kapoor to have backed this project (she reportedly had much difficulty stomaching the fact that the movie was so progressively hatkein its treatment!).
Sadly, the movie has been in the news for its offensive lyrics, cuss words and even for the full frontal nude scene - all of which were eventually watered down to please the censors and to effectively reach the broader audience base of the city multiplexes (after having tickled their curiosity).
The ultimate feeling with which the audience is supposed to leave the auditorium is not that of shock, but of cerebral & emotional catharsis.

aarav said...

If one expects to get high with the movie "LSD", one would be disappointed (as it happened with one of my friends who went to see the film lying to his parents that he was going for tuition!). Unlike the drug Lysergic acid diethylamide (commonly referred to by the abbreviation LSD), Love SEx Aur Dhokha (LSD - the movie) makes us sit up, and think. It exposes the diabolical nature in which voyeurism is dissected! It is a landmark film indeed. I am happy to learn that Dibakar Banerjee, the director has even gone to the extent of promoting healthy discussions among the students who were shown a 20 minute long edited segment from the film. Way to go!

aryan rocks said...

Terrific movie indeed!
I just wanna say:
Dibakar ne kar diya dhamaal!!!!

Piyush said...

I loved the film! It is so damn hard-hitting, without being preachy by an ounce!!!!!!

Abhijit Sengupta said...

LSD deserves to be a cult classic in the history of Indian cinema. A path breaking film is the truest sense of the term, LSD doesn't spoonfeed the viewers. It makes us sit up and exercise our grey cells. It sucks in the viewer into itself right from the beginning. I loved the film - its quirky narrative style, treatment of the stories, the interlinks among the characters, the award-worthy cinematography and everything else that makes LSD a treat to watch. Every frame of the movie bears the evidence that a lot of thought and effort has gone into its making. I personally loved the first story (Superhit Pyaar) the most. It was almost a surreal feeling to find the characters who dies in the first story to come back again in the end! My heartfelt thanks to Dibakar for gifting us a gem of a movie.