BREAKING NEWS. Bollywood has been hit by a hurricane that might shake its foundations and mark the beginning of the end of the Hindi films as we know them. The unapologetic culprit and the man behind all the would-be demolition is director Dibakar Banerjee, the fearless iconoclast cocking a snook at Bollywood corn and in the same swipe laying down the blueprint of the brave new Hindi cinema of the future with his mind-blowing, voyeuristic, pulpy, three-part portmanteau flick Love Sex Aur Dhokha. Bollywood films have never been this trippy, this awesome, this brutally real, and yet - I dare say - this entertaining before. Hats, caps, wigs and everything off to you, Dibakar.
Beginning with no less than a tongue-in-cheek spoof of the longest running Hindi film, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Banerjee paints a moving love story between a filmmaking student (Anshuman Jha) and the rich heroine (Shruti) of his diploma film titled ‘Mehendi Laga Ke Rakhna’. Like ‘DDLJ’ there’s parental opposition here too. But in the real world not every Raj gets his Simran.
The second story, captured through CCTV cameras, is set in a departmental store where a male employee (Raj Kumar Yadav) wants to make a sex clip with a female colleague (Neha Chauhan) and sell it to repay his debts. But the trouble is that between sex and dhoka, love interferes.
The third story, shot on spycams, is about a journalist (Amit Sial) who wants to end his life but bumps into a suicidal (Arya Devdutta) a wannabe item girl who’s been betrayed by a rap singer (Herry Tangri) after warming his couch for a break in a music video.
All the three stories intersect at different points and every intersection is captured from a different perspective in each tale. It’s a screenplay (by Dibakar and Kanu Behl) of sheer brilliance. And mind you, every one of the three stories has an element each of love, sex and dhoka. But of all, love, it must be said, stands out most poignantly. There’s tragic love, jealous love and restrained love. There’s conjugal sex, scandalous sex and quid-pro-quo sex. Likewise there’s dhokha from the most murderous to the most deserving kind. ‘LSD’ packs it all with a smattering of some addictive tunes from composer Sneha Khanwalkar in 1-hour-38-minutes of its running time.
The ensemble cast in the movie is near perfect. There’s hardly any hint of acting in any performance, and a part of the credit should be given to the script that’s penned with lines straight out of life. But the actors that leave an impression are Anshuman Jha, Raj Kumar Yadav, Neha Chauhan and Arya Devdutta. Since camera is almost a ubiquitous character in LSD, kudos to cinematographer Nikos Andritsakis for his shaky, hand-held, jerky, raw, in-your-face, and at timed out-of-focus camerawork.
Director Dibakar Banerjee kicks opens a new door to the way stories are told on celluloid in India. And yet he never lets the content dilute in the tangle of the form. Subtle ironies run through the plot. Note how in the first story the buoyant proclamation of the girl’s authoritarian father “Go! Live your life” to his daughter and her lover stands in sharp contrast to the way the love story ends. LSD has many more such gems that call for reviewing for better appreciation.