By Joginder Tuteja
Film: "Love Sex Aur Dhokha"; Cast: Anshuman Jha, Shruti, Raj Kumar Yadav, Neha Chauhan, Arya Devdutta, Herry Tangri, Amit Sial; Director: Dibakar Banerjee; Rating: ***
The million dollar question making the rounds is - Does "Love Sex Aur Dhokha" have a story?' The answer is yes. In fact, there are three stories, each of them being shown in episodic manner with 'Love', 'Sex' and 'Dhokha' being the plot drivers for the respective tales.
Do they work? Yes, they do though it is apparent that there are ups and downs in the pace of these stories. While each of these stories starts with a bang and has a valid culmination, there is a slight dip that comes in occasionally and makes you pine for some faster movement.
So there is a young couple who fall in love during the shooting of a diploma film, get married secretly and then face the wrath of their family. Since the film is set in a filmmaking school, the presence of a camera right through this story does come across as quite valid.
The second story is about an unemployed young man stationed at a retail shop who takes advantage of a naive girl by capturing their lovemaking moments through a security camera. The third story is about a sting operation where an aspiring dancer gets back on a superstar by capturing the entire casting couch proposal on film. Both these stories have seen quite a few predecessors in real life.
Does the film work with disjointed episodes like this? Certainly yes, if one is willing to drop all preconceived notions about how a feature film should look. This is why after 15 minutes, one has to get used to a shaking camera, sync sound, leading to quite a few audio disturbances and random frame capturing.
However, one does feel that treatment like this comes with its own limitations. Since the film is about how a camera follows the lives of people in every nook and corner, the narrative has to be real and there cannot be any dramatisation of an event.
Nevertheless, this very limitation also works as a strength for Banerjee. Whether it is body language, intimate moments or the framing of a scene, done excellently by Nikos Andritsakis, everything is captured 'as-is'.
Also, be warned that the foul language in the film is as explicit as it gets. Never before in a Hindi film has one heard the kind of cuss words that one hears in "Love Sex Aur Dhokha". Again, quite justified since this is the first film that truly fits into the bracket of 'slice of life'.
"Love Sex Aur Dhokha" couldn't have been what it is without the effort of its cast. Everyone - Anshuman Jha (Rahul), Shruti (Shruti), Raj Kumar Yadav (Adarsh), Neha Chauhan (Rashmi), Arya Devdutta (Naina), Herry Tangri (Loki Local) to Amit Sial (Prabhat) - everyone is superb.
"Love Sex Aur Dhokha" has one factor which completely works for it - its genre which is unconventional, unprecedented and unheard of.
This is a kind of film where a filmmaker can afford to play around without worrying much about universal acceptance. That's exactly the route that "Love Sex Aur Dhokha" takes as it is made for a very niche audience that wants something non-Bollywood.
Bollywood.com Rating: 3