Life as it is

A still from the movie "Love, Sex Aur Dhoka"

A still from the movie "Love, Sex Aur Dhoka"

There is no place for idealism and those who like their popcorn along with candyfloss in Dibakar Banerjee's “Love Sex Aur Dhoka”. Its brilliance lies in being designed to work at two levels. At one level, it plays to the gallery with its eponymous ingredients and its voyeuristic cinematic form.

However the perceptive ones in the audience will be able to see the film for what it actually is — a stark reflection of the world today, which has no time for romanticism, a world where idealists are hacked to death.


The film has no established actors, no familiar locations and no proper format even. “LSD” is made up of three intertwining yet separate stories. Each story follows the formula given right in the title. First there's love, then comes sex followed by the dhoka (betrayal) but they're far from predictable.

The first of the lot is a love story between a director and his actress, which plays out like a spoof of India's most loved romantic film, “DDLJ”, until the gory dhoka. This gives way to a lust-to-love-to-betrayal story of a store supervisor and a store attendant, followed by a sting operation that aims to expose a pop singer's casting couch.

“LSD” is told through cameras that have been placed, allowed and invited by the protagonists themselves into their lives, be it the film camera the director lovingly regales with his aspirations, the CCTV store camera that the store supervisor uses or the spy camera the wannabe-dancer uses as a means to her ends. The camera is non-judgmental, it doesn't zoom into the sex scenes nor does it proactively shed light on the darker, distorted parts of the film.

This “LSD” will plunge you as low as its pharmaceutical namesake will get you high. There is no ray of hope, there are no happy endings and the film makes no effort to redeem the society it reflects. It is life as it is, so watch it only if you can stomach reality served black, without sugar.

SHILPA RATHNAM is a student of V Year, M.Sc. Electronic Media of Anna University

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 9:06:23 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/Life-as-it-is/article16614392.ece