Saturday March 27, 2010

Movie review: Love Sex Aur Dhokha (Dibakar Banerjee)

Posted by Karthik

After Raja Sen’s 5 and Rajeev Masand’s 4, I did have starry expectations out of Dibakar Banerjee’s Love Sex Aur Dhokha. After all, his Khosla Ka Ghosla was delightful, while he incredibly upped the ante in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye – so how wrong can he go in LSD?

Turns out…very!

The first thing is the gimmick in narration. Or cinematography, to put it aptly. I call it a gimmick since there are tons of shots that may never be captured in camera, but have still been, in all lameness, explained from the point of view of the story’s protagonist in each episode.

Take for instance, the first, Chopra’ish love story. There are scenes where the camera is brilliantly focused on the girl’s father as he laboriously explains script changes while in the pool, with a glass of whiskey in his hand. Dibakar could sure explain that as the lead boy ego-massaging the father, but for a man who is largely and comically annoyed, this seems like a serious and unnecessary intrusion into his privacy.

The 2nd story seems like a much better fit given that the in-store camera is all-pervasive, but in the 3rd episode, again, we’ve shots which really do not demand a camera thrust into faces at all.

It is a narrative gimmick, no doubt, but merely seems excessive and pushy.

The other issue is the screenplay. There are places where it is non-existent and that again could be explained by the fact that it is mirroring real life! So, are we watching real life? Or, are we watching interesting, edited portions of real life?

The only thing that holds the film is the dialogs – spunky, real and hilarious at places, particularly in the 1st and 3rd stories!

As for the stories themselves, the first one is terribly predictable and ends as gruesome as it should be – it poking fun at filmy conventions only seems to boomerang on it as the spoof factor runs out of steam early on.

The second one is no better, and manages to drone on and on, till the darn video is finally produced and unleashed on the internet. The motivations are never fully explored or explained and it ends as abruptly as it begins.

The 3rd is the best since it involves fully explained motivations and the guy who plays the popstar turns up an incredible parody. The mini-industry surrounding television exposes is given a brilliant introduction as exposes are discussed with as much glee as a good meal, with zero emotion or repercussions!

While the collective critical verdict says that Dibakar has pushed the boundaries, I personally felt that he has merely pushed the boundaries of gimmicry. If only he had spent more effort in forming a screenplay that fully exploits those assorted camera’s perspectives, we could have had a winner at hand.

Paranormal Activity too bored me to death with its predictable nature, but it at least built the camera-narrative very convincingly, evolving the story solely through that perspective. The less said about the lame, Amores perros-styled connections, the better! In LSD, Dibakar takes so much undue and unconvincing conveniences to move 3 of his otherwise jaded stories that it seems like a complete stretch!

This…is stretching the boundaries, not pushing them!



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