It is a daunting task for a filmmaker to break into the big scene with a purely experimental work. But what if an established filmmaker tries to move off the beaten track? Dibakar Banerjee does just that with Love, Sex aur Dhokha. Having touched the lives of the urban middle-class in his previous films, the utterly lovable Khosla ka Ghosla and the humourous riot Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Banerjee delves into the dark and distubing lives of the same middle class India.
There have been very few movies where triangular plots telling three different stories have worked well in Hindi cinema. The first plot tells the story of Rahul, an aspiring film student, who makes Mehendi Laga ke Rakhna, a sequel to DDLJ and Shruti, the actress in the movie. After going through a series of comic situations, the story unexpectedly comes to a gory and shocking end, leading us to the next story. It is about Adarsh, a store manager struggling to pay his dues and a sales girl Rashmi. Inspired by Delhi’s infamous MMS scandal, is shows how Rashmi is duped to be the star of a porn film shot with the spy cameras set around the shop. The third story is about a struggling sting journalist Prabhat and an ambitious item girl Mrignaina. Both of them try to avenge their professional failures with a sting operation on a pop star Loki Local and end up destroying themselves.
Completely shot with hand-held cameras, Banerjee has brilliantly used camera as the leitmotif of this movie. The whole movie is based on the idea ‘You are being watched’. Besides, it shows how cameras today have become so ubiquitous that it is impossible to escape their glare. The best part of the movie is revealed when the audience sees how the three stories are linked to each other, not just by the sleight of a clever script but also by the quirk of destiny. All the three stories have the common thread of youngsters who have unrealised dreams and try out different ways to fulfil them and end up being the losers in the game. These are tales of unrequited dreams, while fulfilling which the characters fall in love, use sex as a weapon to realise their dreams and end up being cheated in their own game. How is it different from the previous works of Banerjee? While Khosla ka Ghosla is about the known and oft discussed facets of the middle-class, LSD is about that side which we have always known but never acknowledged. If Oye Lucky was exuberant about the unabashed aspirations of a youngster, LSD is completely dark and in-your-face.
In 2005, when Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black raked in money and positive reviews, it emboldened many filmmakers to showcase stories they believed in, rather than telling stories which are seen as ‘run of the mill’. LSD is in continuation with the idea of experimental cinema which has been in the fray for the past five years. It clearly shows that Hindi cinema today is facing another wave of the rise of parallel cinema. LSD, in spite of being what is seen as ‘not so commercial’, does not drag or leave you disengaged. The title smacks of a vouyeristic pleasure. But the movie just shows how a novel idea can not just be artistically fulfilling but also commercially viable. The surprising factor is that the person behind LSD is one who trivialised emotions, created lifeless caricatures out of human beings and made drama a big joke on the small screen. LSD has been produced by Ekta Kapoor.