Is it the thrill of peeping in on someone else’s life that appeals to the voyeur in each of us? You’re not a voyeur you say? Well, how about that time that aunty came over and gossiped about family, the neighbors, or others? Did you listen with a keen ear? I’m sure you did, and that is what voyeurism is all about. Watching, listening, getting a window into another’s life. It’s subtle gossip on another level, and it’s controversial as well.
In this age of cameras on every corner and in every pocket, voyeurism has been taken to a whole new level, and this has brought out into the open even the most secret of actions or interactions between people (sexual intimacy being a prime candidate).
So it is that Banerjee’s “Love Sex Aur Dhokha” (LSD) attempts to bring light to this voyeuristic world we live in to Bollywood fans all over. Does the movie succeed? Yes and no. It’s certainly entertaining in parts, and some of it will make you move ever so guiltily to the edge of your seat in anticipation, while other parts will make you recoil in horror.
First up, the entire movie is filmed camcorder style (seen in Hollywood hits like the recent “Paranormal Activity”, “Cloverfield” and “The Blair Witch Project”), so if you don’t like skippy jerky movements, than this film is not for you. It requires a little bit of that good ole suspension of disbelief at times as the credibility of lead characters having the camera on all the time is stretched to the limits in certain scenes (particularly the last act).
LSD covers three stories that are linked by the barest of story threads. The first about a film student falling in love with his lead heroine is corny, kitschy and darkly disturbing (especially at the end). This is the highlight of the film and worth watching. There is no sex involved or anything titillating, but the story captures the attention of the viewer on many different levels. Strange isn’t it, but the strongest story is the one that focuses on Love.
Dhokha is the final act and deals with journalism, suicide attempts, casting couch, and betrayal. It’s harsh (language-wise) and deals with the hot topic of the casting couch in entertainment. It’s not bad, but by this point in time, the viewer has grown weary of the camcorder affect, and the storyline is just about entertaining enough to keep the voyeur in us interested.
The acting by Anshuman Jha, Shruti, Raj Kumar Yadav , Neha Chauhan, Amit Sial, Arya Devdutta, and Herry Tangri is adequately raw, but you’d be hard pressed to remember any of them (or any standout performance), after seeing the film.
In the end, the first act is the most powerful and uses the camcorder filming technique well. The other two parts begin to try a viewer’s patience, resulting in an entertaining, but uneven film. The excellent soundtrack by Sneha Khanwalker is for the most part relegated to the background with the exception of the title song that is rolled out during the end credits. Editing by Namrata Rao is what holds the film’s three stories together. Ekta Kapoor should be commended for moving away from the mindless comedies she is known for producing and trying out something on the edge.
Despite its weaknesses, “Love Sex Aur Dhokha” is a film worth seeing (as it breaks new ground) and one that will leave you with a paranoid feeling that you are being watched.