March 19, 2010

LOVE SEX AUR DHOKHA REVIEWS (Raja Sen, Rajeev Masand, Anupama Chopra, Taran Adarsh, India Today, TOI)

Hello, Mister Bollywood.


Mainstream Hindi cinema's been in adolescence for quite a while now, trying desperately to disguise a thin line on its upper lip as an actual moustache, and palming fake driving licenses to get us to buy it drinks.

Sure, there's been much talk of pushing the envelope, of brave new filmmakers making radical cinema, but this has always skewed towards the pretentious, the derivative and the hyperstylised.

For a true watershed moment, India's been clamouring for a Hindi language masterpiece that has the potential to connect with both the man on the street and the curator of a film festival, a film with heart and guts and overwhelming originality.

And so in an industry where our output is mostly infantile, Dibakar Banerjee has taken that much-nudged envelope, ripped it apart, and mailed out a magnificently tawdry postcard. He's made a film which lets Hindi cinema sit back, take a deep glug of adulthood, and wipe Haywards 5000 foam from its 'stache as it leers at the girl in stockings. Bollywood has just grown up the only way it could, with Love, Sex and Dhokha.

Dibakar's always been a director with a strong voice, his films reeking of authenticity and, so far, smelling strongly of Delhi . Khosla Ka Ghosla [ Images ] is a marvellous middle-class comedy, and the detailing in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, a wondrous character study, is the stuff of legend.

Before it went all groovy with Abhay Deol , Oye Lucky featured a young Sikh falling in love with a girl who worked in a greeting card store, and this fledgling romance had such heart that we longed for them to stay the stars of the enterprise.

This time, making a small film when any A-lister in the country is willing to sign his projects, Dibakar's done just that, his film stripped down to the bare minimum with all the willingness of a really good bardancer.

It's a notoriously tricky prospect, making a film with raw, unseen actors, going entirely handheld, entirely digital, and there's always the danger of heading into a gimmicky space: where content is dictated by form.

LSD, which features three very differently themed storylines seen through varied handheld, security and spy cameras, is so finely written that it avoids the obvious pitfalls expertly, and makes the treatment -- that deliciously voyeuristic treatment -- a completely organic part of the storytelling process.

To talk about the stories at length would be doing this audacious film and you, its hungry viewers, a great disservice, but suffice it so say that each story contains all three elements of the film's title, making for genuine surprises.

The interlinking between the three is done with PulpFictionny finesse, with the tales inextricably, naturally, beautifully each a part of the other two. There's darkness, light and much unsuppressed sexuality, and lots of humour to aid the most unsavoury – and the most essential – bits of the narrative.

The characters are priceless. There's a shopgirl who works in a department store and talks of a lover in Russia [ Images ], a popstar who keeps candybars in his portable fridge right below the whiskey, a graveyard-shift employee who regularly chats up the girl in the store, and a romantic 'hero' who performs with such hardcore movie-within-movie conviction that you can't help but like him.

And then, top of the heap, is a wannabe filmmaker totally, irrevocably, fatally smitten with one of our biggest directors, ironically the man who refuses to outgrow his first great triumph.

Read more from HERE


Caulfield said...

Masand's Verdict: LSD provocative and disturbing 4/5

Minnie said...

Looks like a winner all the way !!

Anupama Chopra (NDTV)- 3.5/5


Kaveree Bamzai (India Today)- 4/5


Gaurav Malani (Times of India)- 4/5


Sarita Tanwar (Mid-day)- 4.5/5


Taran Adarsh (Bollywood Hungama)- 3/5


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