Sunday, March 21, 2010

Love, Sex Aur Dhoka : A Brilliant Experiment

The Gods became very annoyed. They were seething with anger and remorse. It went out of their bounds. They finally descended upon the Earth and held an emergency meeting at a secret cave in the Himalayas. After careful deliberations and detailed discussions about the human agenda on feminism and post-modernism in the 21st Century, they gave their final verdict : the 1975-born lass named Ekta Kapoor will be eternally condemned to hell for stereotyping Indian womanhood in all her third-rated Saas-Bahu soaps and such other mediocre television serials churned out of her production company, unless she redeems herself with one spectacular production before the end of the Maha Kumbh Mela by April 2010. This left Ekta Kapoor with no other choice but to perform a penance to wash away all her sins accumulated thus far and to take a radically unimaginable step of her life : to produce India's first experimental dogma cinema, having its roots in the counter-cultural film movement, namely, Love, Sex Aur Dhoka.

Dibakar Bannerjee, whose eccentric photo is inset above, has directed this brilliantly new endeavour on celluloid. Love, Sex Aur Dhoka is a film entirely shot with digital and spy cameras with a minimal budget. It deals with the complex subject-matter of voyeurism, sex and dubious morality prevailing in our contemporary society. The film does not have any of those model-turned-starlets who appear as blinking dolls and shake their bodies to titillate our senses, compensating their inability to deliver a simple dialogue or express a single emotion cinematically. And there are no hunk-turned-actors with their bleating voices and bloated egos around. But it has cast a wonderful team of talented new actors whose acting skills are extra-ordinary. The script and the art of story-telling are masterly and a class apart from the mainstream Bollywood flicks that we have been used to.

The film is composed of three different stories, each one taking a leaf out of the contemporary thematic of India : love in the times of continuing caste oppression, all-pervasive sexual voyeurism, media manipulation and in the whole game, the complicity and betrayal of each to everyone. Including you and me as its consumers. I do not want to get into the details of any of the three stories as the film is ought be relished from the beginning till the end without any prejudice. Each of the story has been shot with a distinct style and the cinematographic finesse of Nikos Andritsakis is stunningly powerful. Though the time and the space linkage between the three stories are tenuous, it has been deftly handled so as to consummate the experience of watching this film deeply provoking. There are certain portions of the film which I feel could have been handled with more subtlety like the climactic sequence in the first story Love. And there could have been a more nuanced narrative at certain junctures of the second story Sex and the third story Dhoka. But these are minor flaws which can be overlooked given the beauty of this daringly experimental film, being the first of its kind in Indian cinema.

The film Love, Sex aur Dhoka draws its inspiration from the Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's poetic film Camera Buff (1979), from the American director Steven Soderbergh's disturbing movie Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) and most importantly, from the rules formulated as The Vow of Chastity Manifesto of the Dogme-95 movement spearheaded by two the Danish directors ~ Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg in 1995. The Dogme-95 is a counter-cultural cinematic movement which laid its emphasis on diegesis rather than mimesis. The fundamental precepts of Diegesis and Mimesis were enunciated by Plato in his Republic to distinguish the artistic expressions of the human mind. The essential attribute of Diegesis is narration or reporting while that of Mimesis is imitation or representation. The Danish Dogme-95 movement of cinema, which is more diegetic, is a radically new phase in the history of cinema and is different from the various interesting movements of cinema during the 20th century. Dibakar Banerjee has intelligently blended many significant elements from the Dogma film movement with the realities of contemporaty Indian ethos and has created a provocative movie, which has to be watched by everyone of us. Atleast once!

Movie Rating : 8 out of 10


  1. Its a bold film. I too liked it very much. More such films shud come like that. It will threaten the fundamental power structures of Bollywood for sure.

  2. Ekta Kapoor is desparately searching for you. It's deal-time Baby! And that too with a spinster! Wow! Dono hathon mein Ladoo aur munh mein....

  3. I am not very much impress with movie. something solid is missing in the movie. technically in terms of camera and editing is fine. it is okay for one time sensation.. script is over dancing than simple story telling.. well drafted short story and not well coordinated novel.. i hope you can get what i am trying to say..

  4. I feel that this movie is an eye opener for all of us. I remember an older movie called "Kaliyug".

    Privacy is not there for any one nowadays in this world. Fortunately, we dont have a spy camera at our house!

    In London, every street is monitored by a central camera for movement of people. One big team is sitting in a central room and scan the movements.

    This raises a question, Technology helps us to be more civilized or we are going back to stone age!

    I get the three important facts from this movie:

    1. Second generation elderly people are using the youngsters to satisfy their vulgar feelings hidden inside them. Be it sex or violence...

    2. Youngsters should be more careful about their privacy. They need constant counselling from their parents or friends. Parents shall treat their children as their freinds, share their ambitions and guide them.

    While coming back from office, I notice a young girl getting down from the bike (with a boy friend) away from her house, say 'bye' to the guy and walk to her house.

    I feel there is no transparency in their movements. Society is forcing them to be like that. Just think otherwise, if the family understands the friends, ask them to bring home to talk, be free with them, youngsters need not hide anything.

    Main thing is, youngsters need good halrmless people to share their views/feelings constantly. Somehow, society wants to mis-use this attitude and spoil the youngsters.

    3. Third part of story reminds me the movie "Rann" recently done by Amitabh. You come to know that news is not a result of facts, they are fabricated to keep people thrilled.

    I realise that the serials (showing vengeance, extra mariltal affairs and all bad things...) are watched regularly by 50+ age people. Reason is, when their sexual urge can't be satisfied by the intercourse, they long to watch such soft porno in drawing room. The popular magazines like Kumudam or Ananda Vikatan are also propagating such soft porno and surviving.

    One of my friend regularly watch these type of serials. I asked him why? He said that the purpose is only to watch the young beautiful ladies/girls! He doesn't follow anything else in the serials.

    I feel 'Gossipping' is also liked by elderly people than youngsters due to the same reason. They have ample time, no good creative activities..

    Human beings have lot of energy till they die. This needs to focussed for right activities. Otherwise, the activities shown in this movie will keep on increasing.

    Everyone should develop atleast three good creative hobbies:

    1. Drawing
    2. Good natural photography
    3. Music (it can be learning an instrument or listening)
    4. Reading good books
    5. Helping the needy people

    Above activities will reduce the negative energies and focus them to keep engaged and avoid some bad thoughts.

    I feel the following movies are to be watched by all:

    1. Jism
    2. Kaliyug
    3. Khosla ka ghosla
    4. The Train
    5. LSD
    6. Traffic signal
    7. Khuda keliye

  5. After your rating (8 of 10), I went on this weekend for LSD. Alas! It was sheer wastage of time and money. Time I have in plenty. So that was not an issue. But what about my 130 Rs. Who will compensate me now. You or Ekta! May be Ekta. Because the title of the film is misleading. There is no love or sex in the movie. It is only Dhoka, Dhoka and Dhoka. Except for the last song of Loki, where he actually comes out as a pop star. The song value can be assessed as Rs. 30. May be appropriate title could be Dhoka, Dhoka, Loki aur Dhoka. Pl. send me Rs. 100/- by money order or ask Ekta, with whom you must have cut a deal by now, to compensate me.