Review - Love Sex Aur Dhoka: Betray convention, seduce audience
Dir: Dibakar Banerjee
Each of the three stories has a newspaper story item quality about it and thus is as enchanting as that can get. But the novel way in which it is recorded and narrated is engrossing. But, be warned it is not your movie if you are the kind who takes offense easily or can't handle non-escapist cinema.
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You see on screen what you might read with your morning cup of coffee. Except that it's less fictitious and feels closer to reality than the paid-for articles offered by the mainstream media. (Unless of course, you rely on your twitter timeline for your daily dose of news.) Love Sex Aur Dhokha is cinema about how uncinematic life really is. Because in reality, love might not be as easy a cakewalk as narrated by YRF Films or as true either. A DDLJ-type love with due credit, a comment on our voyeuristic nature, and a sting operation make us introspect about the society we live in.
Superficially, none of the three short films are exactly out of the ordinary. But there is something more than a story, director/writer Dibakar Banerjee is narrating. Yes, Rahul-Shruti's story is a spoof of happy cinema. And I had the same issued I had with it as I have with spoofy films that add nothing new but use the excuse of parody to do exactly what they are mocking at. Yeah, it also jeers at the how films are made in Bollywood - story being disregarded, etc. We've seen quite a bit of that. So, there's nothing new there. But it is also a comment on the Indian parent psyche - their priorities as guardians and a demonstration of their unconditional love.
While all three stories are about our keen interest in other people's lives, Adarsh-Rashmi's story makes it loud and clear what the entire film is hinting at. Have we ever wondered how many "bad things" in the world would have not occurred if it were not for our boredom in our daily lives. For those of us who take pleasure in others' misfortunes, would do it only to make their lives less mundane, right? Why else would the life of a regular, not-so pretty-looking salesgirl at a dull general store interest us at all?
Then there are issues that need to be exposed. Our media should be responsible for it. Some media groups take it upon themselves to reveal society's ugly face. But, how selfless are they? They bank on the same prying human nature to pick their stories. The theme of betrayal - from personal infidelity to how unfaithful media is with us - is repetitively emphasized by crossing, double-crossing, triple-crossing and more in the Prabhat-Nayna story.
By the way, just one word for the entire cast - pure awesome! How can you comment on something that is made to look so regular, so ordinary that you think you can do it?
Sure there is a connection between the stories in terms of characters crossing paths, but the connection seeps deep. No, the predictability of each story is not what I'm hinting at. Sure, none of the climaxes per se are shocking, but there is an all pervasive them of love, sex and dhokha (betrayal) running through the film. While one element might be over-powering than the rest in each one of them, the other two aspects are not far behind. Also common is the sort-of open-ended climaxes to all three stories. You know what actually happened, but the motivations of the characters is left to your interpretation. Interestingly, you can ask the same question of the entire superficial connection. Had the links in one story been picked up by characters from the other story, this one could have been not-so-dark.
There is a fourth element in the film which is silent but you cannot shake it off - the camera. The camera is left around, almost as if its presence is pure coincidental, if not accidental. I can only imagine how much thought must have gone into making the camera-placement look so casual. That with the non-traditional lighting set a very dark tone to the film, which of course are justified by the nature of the stories.
What is very traditional though, is the marketing technique deployed. The use of the word 'sex' to arouse curiosity and create an aura of sensuousness is nothing more than a publicity gimmick. Anyone going in expecting even soft-porn is going to be seriously disappointed. And Banerjee-saaheb, et tu? An item number with the closing credits? Yeah, yeah, yeah…spoof and all that jazz.
Love Sex Aur Dhokha is not watchable just for you to decipher its comment on us as individuals or society. There are plenty that do that. It is not something you should go for just to see the ace-class production values. Nor is it just for seeing something different. It is one of those one-offs that are made worthy by the whole package.
"Why should such a film be made at all?", the prude may ask. Why should any film be made at all? And the argument begins…
- meeta, a part of the audience
Do you even know the title of the film? Actually, seriously, it's not as much as the use of the word sex or betrayal that kids shouldn't watch the film. Do the really young need to be exposed to our dark nature so early in life? Can't we protect them a little longer?
- Violence: Gunshots. Nothing shown on screen but a brutal murder is implied.
- Language: Strong profanity used every once in a while.
- Nudity & Sexual content: One scene implying love-making, one blurred-out sex scene, and some seduction.
- Concept: Love, sex aur dhokha (betrayal)
- General Look and Feel: Dark and gloomy.
Love Sex Aur Dhoka - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Twitter Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: ALT Entertainment, Balaji Telefilms
- Producer: Priya Sreedharan
- Director: Dibakar Banerjee
- Lead Cast: Anshuman Jha, Shruti, Raj Kumar Yadav, Neha Chauhan, Amit Sial, Arya Devdutta, Herry Tangri
- Story: Dibakar Banerjee, Kanu Behl
- Screenplay: Dibakar Banerjee, Kanu Behl
- Dialogues: Dibakar Banerjee, Kanu Behl
- Cinematography: Nikos Andritsakis, Nikos Andritsakis
- Editor: Namrata Rao
- Background Score: Roshin Dalal
- Music Director: Sneha Khanwalkar
- Lyrics: Dibakar Banerjee
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 100 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Genres: Comedy, Crime, Short Films