- LOVE SEX AUR DHOKHA is not the archetypal/mundane/formulaic stuff that one has grown watching.
- LOVE SEX AUR DHOKHA is not for the faint-hearted.
- LOVE SEX AUR DHOKHA is not for the orthodox/conformists/moral watchdogs of society.
First things first! It's not another version of Steven Soderbergh's SEX, LIES, & VIDEOTAPE , as widely rumoured. Now let me hit the nail on the head. Don't expect the expected from Dibakar Banerjee. LOVE SEX AUR DHOKHA, helmed by the director of KHOSLA KA GHOSLA and OYE LUCKY! LUCKY OYE!, is a complete departure from what we have witnessed so far. It talks of voyeurism [it has been divided into three stories, each focussing on different plots pertaining to voyeurism]. It is brave. It is scandalous. Most importantly, it is path-breaking. You will either love it or loathe it.
LOVE SEX AUR DHOKHA is not an easy film to comprehend either. The constant shaking of camera [it's a digital film with a hidden camera playing a character by itself] may bother you initially, since this is the first time that a storyteller has used this technique in Bollywood to narrate three different stories in one film. But the material is so compelling [screenplay: Dibakar Banerjee and Kanu Behl] and the stories so captivating that you absorb this storytelling technique within a few minutes of its commencement.
Dibakar makes an attempt to tell you that there's no privacy in today's age, courtesy cell phones, spy cams, sting operations and MMS. Technology is not just a boon, but also a bane and the film reiterates this fact.
Final word? LOVE SEX AUR DHOKHA signifies the changing face of Hindi cinema. Ekta Kapoor's first foray into experimental cinema has all it takes to be a cult film that might just trigger off a new trend in Bollywood. It's courageous, disturbing and yet entertaining!
Story I: In a film institute in North India, a student gears up for his diploma film. With an amateur small-town cast, Rahul starts filming a love story and eventually falls in love with his heroine Shruti. They elope, get married and dream of a blissful future.
Story II: Adarsh installs security cameras in a small, upcoming 24-hour department store. In desperate need of cash to clear off his debts, Adarsh hits upon the idea of making a porn clip through the security cameras in the shop. The victim? Rashmi, who works in the store.
Story III: Prabhat - a sting journalist - attempts a series of failed suicides. He meets Naina, who is also trying to commit suicide. She had been promised a music video by Loki Local, a Hip Hop pop star. She slept with him for the same, but the video finally went to a Russian blonde. Prabhat and Naina decide to do a sting operation.
The first story starts off as a spoof on Bollywood, but you gradually realize that it bears an uncanny resemblance to at least two real-life love stories, which have had a heart-rending ending and which continue to remain in news to this date.
The second story - the MMS scandal - is scary. Just Google on MMS scandals and you will realize that so many girls have been victims of this technology. Unfortunately, in several reported cases, the MMS clips were distributed by the boyfriends themselves.
I'd like to add something more about this story... The sequence, however, is not meant to be seen as individual scene because it's an integral part of the story. The nudity is not aimed to titillate, but repel you. The scene is so stark and shot so pragmatically that at the end of the story, you start feeling distressed.
The third story - a sting operation - mirrors an actuality, yet again. You can't deny that the casting couch exists and people do resort to shortcuts to attain name, fame and money overnight. The sequence involving the Hip Hop pop star and the wannabe actress seems straight out of life. Also, we get a glimpse of how we consume news these days and journalists are forced to cover entertainment, instead of facts.
Director Dibakar Banerjee has a unique sensibility and a keen eye for the unconventional. His choice of subject and decision to shoot the film on a digital format needs to be lauded and also the intertwining of the three stories. LOVE SEX AUR DHOKHA is sure to shake you. It's provocative and steamy, but it's scandalous and startling as well.
There's just one song in the narrative - the title track - which is already popular thanks to its catchy tune and filming. The DoP [Nikos Andritsakis] does a splendid job. Seems like the film has been shot on a handycam, security cameras placed in shops, underwater cameras and spy cameras, which is, again, very innovative. Editing [Namrata Rao] is perfect.
There was a need for fresh faces in order to portray the realism and the performances of each and every member of the cast are superb. Anshuman Jha [as Rahul], Shruti [as Shruti], Raj Kumar Yadav [as Adarsh], Neha Chauhan [as Rashmi], Amit Sial [as Prabhat], Arya Devdutta [as Naina] and Herry Tangri [as Loki Local] are amazing actors all.
On the whole, LOVE SEX AUR DHOKHA is original, innovative and ground-breaking cinema, which will shock and provoke you. The film is definitely not for the faint-hearted or those who swear by stereotypical fares, but for those who yearn for a change. The youth, especially in metros, should fall hook, line and sinker for this one. The volatile title as also the explosive content should make this low-cost film [budgeted at approx. Rs. 1.5 cr.] a commercial accomplishment!