Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LSD: Love, Sex aur Dhokha

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It actually makes sense. It really does. Less than two hours of video footage that could have been shot by you or me, with a digital camera, a bunch of unknown, but terrific acting talent, and a plausible plotline could've cumulatively turned out into L, S aur D, but for one small glitch. Neither of us is Dibakar Bannerjee.
I don't get cozy with Indian directors too well. In fact, I think they're overrated. Except for ppl like Anurag Kashyap, and maybe even Vishal Bhadardwaj, they all fall into a category where there isn't more than one to call them categories. This is different. This ain't blockbuster material. This ain't business. This is definitely not Filmfare. It's Rahul's film and the camera's started rolling long back, yaar. Cut!
That's the way the first of three inter-connected films in LSD begins: with a loverboy Rahul, a film-school student in his final year trying to piece together his diploma-film. His training has evidently made another über-stereotype director out of him, making him envision scenes of heroic splendour, song-action sequences, and what not. And then he enrols "simran", his heroine and the girl of his dreams. They both fall madly in filmy-love. And take things into their hands, the filmy way, and drive their filmy bandwagon straight into the bloody reality.
The second film switches on when a CCTV camera is installed by Adarsh, a jobless know-all who turns his expertise into his own voyeuristic tool. Four security cameras in a convenience store might not look too intimidating, even harmless. But throw in a pretty, sensible and wary girl and our debt-ridden Adarsh into a night-shift, and things ought to get passionate and tangly. This was the premise of the controversial sex-scene which was promptly blurred by big-daddy CBFC. But it isn't the nudity that shocks us, it's actually the reality of it which knocks us flat. I mean come on, how many times have we seen two actors simulating lovemaking? And I'm talkng of hindi films alone here. Everytime it's made to look like a glamourous cocktail onscreen. But this is where parents should be yelled at for bringing their kids to watch this film. It's the proper deal, if not the real deal. With all the humping the way it's meant to be, Dibakar makes it very clear that his camera attains a personality of its own.
Story three. You (yes, you) literally get beaten by a broomstick wielding lady as you run away from a failed sting operation. You're the sting. Rakesh is your reporter. And he's desperate. Enter Naina in a very hilarious suicide attempt. She's on a do-or-die vendetta against Loki Local, a popular bhangra popstar. A new sting is born.
All through these three films, characters are linked with one another, the third film being the weakest in connection with the other two. But that's not what sets apart LSD. It's the reason for the presence of a camera on the scene. In the first film, both the protagonists are film-school students, so a camera finds a natural presence. Second and third film, we don't see the story throug anything other than cctv or spycam footage. The director has effectively made a behind-the-scenes video on the same film which we see, thereby making the rest of the crew seem non-existent. The camera crew is actually the actors themselves. They set the cameras and carry the cameras with them. Now, how many films have attempted that?
Dibakar Bannerjee will certainly go places with this innovative experiment of the medium, and boy what a ride it's turned out!

By Fazil

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