Disclaimer – This is NOT a review. This is a recollection of the experience AND if you haven't watched the movie, I strongly suggest you to NOT read this.
To begin with, Love Sex aur Dhoka, had been getting people excited, just like how people who are regulars to hush – hush underground and illegal rave parties, and how these parties are that something that wakes them up in the morning. And as the day approached the buzz around the movie seemed to be everywhere, like that incessant, pesky fly which no matter how many times you shoo away from your cup of sweet chai. It always comes back to be shooed away again. I did manage to control myself from getting overly excited about the movie by refusing to watch television, knowing well that my roommate was on his threshold of losing it with me and my movie obsession. (His nerves are still recovering from the shredding which I subjected them to with Dev D, Kaminey and more recently with Ishqiya and Boondock Saints).
Anyway, the day came by when the movie released, and like an anxious cat-on-the-wall student checking his board results I searched google for what people had to say about the movie. And each and every review I read, all I could gather were incoherent ramblings of a love sick puppy dog, who was still walking around in a daze of having lost his virginity to the love of his life and was still trying to wrap the reality around his head. Now, being a guy who loves women as much as I love movies, this was an easy enough emotion for me to connect with.
After reading these reviews, LSD definitely climbed the list of movies I need to watch list, like Pepe Le Pew up a tree chasing a skunk.
It wasn't until I read Prakriti's (more famously known as Dr. Gonzo aka Papa aka @TheEvilP) uncontrolled, unbridled and the involuntary but brilliantly rainbow colored ejaculation about the movie which forced me to get off the couch and go watch that movie immediately.
And the movie began. I nursing my drink and munching down a kebab when the movie began. Took me some time to get my point of view to orient and align to the vision of the camera. And before long I was drawn into the aspiring film maker's attempts to make a movie in the movie. Couple of people I had just met and were seated with me were visibly disconcerted by the jarring camera movements and I could see them squirm about with the language used in the movie. I suppose they are the same kinds who practice and preach the age old adage of "Don't dry your dirty laundry in public". And then there were few people whose humorous defense mechanism kicked in with cat calls and incessant commentary throughout the movie.
Sure the crowd laughed and winced at the blindingly brilliant and searing dialogues, but what I noticed and what gave me goose bumps was the complete silence few of the scenes commanded. I am not a big fan of movies which do not have a background score, they invariably put me to sleep, but not LSD. Not with its shrill background noises, which only reinforces the feeling that what you are watching on screen, is something real and not cinematic in the regular Bollywood larger than life style.
While I was engrossed watching the movie, I could help the parallel thoughts which were getting parked in my head like a car wreck. People who know me will not be surprised that I cuss a lot, but the number of "fucks" and "shits" which were echoing inside my head must have registered on some echo meter as being definitely abnormal. In my defense, I really couldn't help it.
The feeling I got while watching the first story was "FUCK! Dibakar has got me eating out of his hands", the feeling is reminiscent of when you are getting a blow job from a real 10 and you can't believe your own luck and all you want to do is call all your friends and tell them about it. Well, LSD had me on this trip within the first 15 minutes of the movie. And it looked like the director had not even gotten around to fully undressing me yet.
Couple of scenes in the first story made me realize, how the censor had raped the soul out of it. No lube and no protection. It was brutal, bit like how Monica Bellucci gets raped in "Irreversible". Couldn't help but wonder how much more luminous and powerful the first story would have been, especially, when the boy says "Arey… Special case hain… Special" (Mine was a special case) or when the heroine's brother curses and beats the shit out of the hero while mouthing "Apni aukaad bul gaya bhainchod" (You forgot your status sisterfucker).
The first story makes you remember the innocence with which Rob Gordon kisses his first kiss when he was a kid in High Fidelity, (when the chap is addressing "Adi Sir" and goes on about describing his happiness) and it plunges a butt plug in your tightly clenched anal rectum with brutal force like how Derek Vinyard breaks that bloke's jaws on the curb in the opening scenes of American History X. (when the heroine's brother goes on to beat both the hero and heroine's head into a pulp with a hockey stick before chopping it with an axe.)
The first story was my favorite of the lot amongst the three stories told in the movie.
The second story is where you actually realize that Dibakar Banerjee has not only succeeded in achieving what he set out to do, but goes far beyond that. Making you, the viewer, a common house fly on the wall. There are times, when your conventional sense of how you view a movie kick in. You want the camera to move just a tad bit to the right or to the left, but like a dog in a obedience school you soon give in and obey what the master says.
As the movie progressed (note, not the story, but the movie) the feeling of being a fly on the wall seeped deeper and deeper into your psyche. You don't yearn for the characters on the screen, you just watch them, without any emotions, dispassionately. (This is probably what Boman Irani was trying to emphasize in his opening speech to the aspiring doctors in MunnaBhai M.B.B.S).
For me, in the second story, is where the director really scores. It is when the sex is played out and your heart stirs rather than your groin. That is such a subtle and implicit scene, laden with so many emotions, that it manages to scare you with your own anticipation of what is about to transpire. It's one of those scenes, which, when you were a kid, you used to cover your face for fear of what you know is going to come next, but, are so curious that you can't help but look at it.
At the end of the second story is when you really begin riding on the LSD high, everything looks like a question with no answers, time becomes a never ending spiral staircase, like the ones you stare at in vertigo and while you are still grappling with the second story and flying around in that glass case you find yourself trapped under like the housefly Dibarkar makes you.
Your ADD suffering vision and mind is drawn into the third story.
The third story goes along, your face alternates between sporting a smile (when the woman says "Kya chaiye tumhe… paisa? Sex?" (what do you want? Money? Sex?) and makes a pumping action with her fist, or when the time when the man and the woman caresses their fingers while the woman is on the phone) and being straight faced (when the two of them go to sell their story to the news channel).
I don recollect having any other expression on my face till the very end.
The expression on my face at the end of the third story was the same when I was kid and I realized Naseerudin Shah was the villain in "Mohra" or when I grew a little bit older and had the same expression when I watched "The Usual Suspects" and realized who Keyser Soze was. The expression has not changed over the years, though fewer and fewer movies have managed to contort my, now, pudgy face, into that expression.
"Love, Sex aur Dhoka", contrary belief, is not what is shown on screen. From what I can gather, they are the titles of the three stories showcased in the same way one perceives them.
"Love", the first story, told through the free flowing motion of the camera, with lots of jerks and static placements, bit like the roller coaster ride love is. "Sex", the second story, told through the fixed store cameras, its symbolism I gather is the society's moral stand point of it. "Dhoka", the third story, told through the spy camera placed around the heart, well it is the heart which feels betrayed doesn't it.
I imagine the director himself did not intend to embed these symbologies in the stories or the way they were told. Guess this is a bit like how Dolly's (Neetu Chandra's sister in Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye) driver figured out the reason for Paresh Rawal playing three different roles in the movie. (He said "Joh bhi Abhay karega… Paresh uska baap hai" (Whatever Abhay will do, Paresh is his father)). All this esoteric masturbation is a byproduct and a hall mark of Dibakar's work.
Like I tweeted today morning, this movie IS Pamela Anderson, it will expose the average Indian moviegoer to the awesome image of her running around in a red swim suit before initiating him to the lovely underbelly of internet with her sex tapes.
I don't suppose anybody can write about this movie as a review alone and do justice, it is a movie which manages to evoke emotions by tying a leash around your heart and head with just enough room to look away but not really enough for you to do so.
This movie is LOT like addictive rough sex. When you walk out of the screening, you want to go in again and give it another watch. You just can't have enough of it. LSD has become THAT girl who just blew my mind with all the things she did in bed. I know I will fall in love with other women and I will do "it" with them, but LSD is THAT one girl I will from time to time think about and wank off to.
Ps: I couldn't finish the damn drink OR the kebab. The movie was that brilliant. Just thought I would say that in case if you did not understand any of what I had written so far.