Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Love, Sex aur Dhokha: Directed by Dibakar Bannerjee.

I have a confession to make. I knew I would love LSD way before it was even released. Part of the reason to this was my complete, and absolute, adulation of Dibakar Bannerjee. Having fallen in love with him Post-Khosla ka Ghosla and Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, it would be pretty difficult for me to feel let down by his work. And of course, it would be almost implausible for him to make disappointing art.
There is a lot you have heard about LSD, and most of it is not true. If you watch the film with that assumption, life just gets easier. There is virtually no sex, thus rendering the very title of the film useless and ironical. The film is not a documentary, a myth that hasn't failed to amuse me since I first heard it. And of course, the film is based on real life incidents. Just not these.
LSD is basically divided into three storylines: Love, Sex and Dhokha. Each plot is resonant of something you have read about, something you have heard, or worse still, something that has happened to you. In this world of voyeurism and new technology, how do we live without being exploited? Do we come to know when we are being exploited?

Apart from the masterful direction and editing (how I love a taut film!), perhaps what worked for me most was the singular aspect of not being too preachy or all-too-moralistic. To me, the film was more about the culture we are in the process of acquiring rather than the culture that we have given up. That treatment awarded was the defining moment for me. A film is no doubt about the filmmaker and his perception, but when his opinion stays throughout without him having to proclaim and take a moral stand is when I have officially lost my heart.
To me, LSD remains an angry film. Not just in the violence and voyeurism, but even in acts of love, acts of selfless help and in acts of revenge. It comes through very clearly that Dibakar was angry at the sudden influx and influence of voyeurism in contemporary society and was as much amazed by the phenomenon as he was perplexed. In an interview promoting the film, Dibakar says he was surprised that all of a sudden, there are rules that govern social life, relationships, sex life, family life and the vogue. Suddenly, there is this huge internet revolution, and you have to do everything you can to avoid being labelled a 'frigid' or in other, more swanky terms, 'behenji'. The assumption that the film is only about sex and sexuality in deeply rooted in the Great Indian Diaspora. Enough said.
Also, LSD is more than just about making a statement of how this psycho-sociological disorder can wreck our lives. It is physically creepy. There is a part of me which is still reeling from an over-bearing terror. What if I were cut into 30 pieces for doing what I wanted to? What if I were to land up falling in love with a sado-masochist misogynist? And what if I were to be part of a deception so huge words fail to describe it?
This crushing realisation of failure and fear governs our life today. There is no way we can escape hidden cameras. No way we can ask that creepy man at the petrol pump to not click a picture. With technology, easy access to aforementioned technology, there also comes vulnerability. It hurts just admitting that I am in fact, very vulnerable to such violence and abuse.
And as I sat there, watching a too-short film pertaining to issues we hardly talk about (but experience, nonetheless), I felt a sense of shame. Shame for the society I am living in, shame for myself for daring to live in such a society and finally, a gnawing sense of apprehension.
Before I forget, Sneha Khanwalkar deserves more than a mere mention for doing such a brilliant job with the music. Also, the screenplay is done in a way I could only expect out of filmmakers like Dibakar.
Would I suggest LSD to anyone? Oh yes. Watch it for being explicit (and for not treating everything as clandestine), watch it for shrugging off the pretentious. Most importantly, watch it for yourself.


Harsh said...

You are absolutely right on what ever your views on the movie are. But what can we do if people don wanna make a slight change or make an attempt to bring any changes in the society. Voyeurism is a major threat to a society like ours. :(

may mist said...

You inspire me, with each day and a new post.I like the guy, and I guess the shortened version is because of the of the protectionism censorship prevails in the system.
Well regarding your piece of writing, I can't point out the flaws,unable to locate any.
You make me want to rush to the theaters only you weren't courteous enough to ask me yourself when you went

Stuti said...

@Ankita: One day, I shall hit you.
And oh yeah, apparently they cut a seven minute long 'sex' scene. It is so humiliating when our country cannot accept art in its true form. Think M.F.Husain.
And, I did ask you! You did not reply. :|

Surabhi said...

yes LSD is definitely in my things to do :), I mean watch out for. I am off from work tomorrow onwards. A small vacation in my maternal home in Delhi. Thanks for sharing this Stuti.

Stuti said...

@Surabhi: Do watch LSD, and tell me what you think! Deal?

Umang Sabarwal said...

hmm... nive insight as always govil.. I dont see why some people complain that the movie has no plot.Its a simple andincredibly intelligent wat of describing some real time realities and what better way to show it as if it were really real right?

Stuti said...

@Umang: Yes, those people are exactly the same people who want to remain in the bliss of ignorance.

Hippie Holly said...

I am possibly the only freak who hasn't still seen the movie. Must haul ass and watch it soon. Love Dibankar Banerjee's work, Khosla Ka Ghosla was amazing. LSD I have heard only great things about, I am sure I will love it too :)

Stuti said...

@Holly: Reaally? Most people I talked to hated it! I myself saw it just yesterday, so no, you are definitely not a freak! :D

Damodhar said...

good, your writing skills are amazing, maintain this as a hobby.
you can see my blog and i need your valuable feedback...bye.

Stuti said...

Damodhar: I plan to make a profession out of writing, so yeah, I need to work really hard! :)