Saturday, March 27, 2010

Love Sex aur Dhoka

Another one coming from the maker of Khosla ka Ghosla and Oye Lucky. I had loved the previous two , so was quite looking forward to this.

Overall, I'd say I quite liked it.

Its covers three sub-stories, the first covering a ddlj-not-quite type "love", the second takes on the trickier and the sleasier "sex", and the final part focussing on "dhoka". In a way however the three themes run subtly throughout the gritty movie, shot entirely with a handheld cam, or cctv style cams. It suites the tone of the movie , and its well utilised, although I'm not a big fan of the shaky jerky handhelds.

I don't think its as good as the his previous movies, but still worth a watch. For one thing, bits of "delhi" are again caught amazingly well, the way oye lucky did. Then again, I thought the second part was pretty good in isolation. The third was so so. 

The first part where he hits out at ddlj most savagely, and cinematically pretty ineffectively was something I loved nevertheless. No matter that it is a pretty poorly made sequence, I personally hated DDLJ so much, that I was just waiting all these years for someone to take it apart, even if in a shallow manner the way its done here. I remember writing in my diary then ( gosh its been a while! - 15 years ago), and trying to analyse why the sachchrine sweetness irritated me. Why expecting parents to come around sounded silly then, and still does. They don't come around, they sit there under the weight of all their prejudices and egos, wasting the best years of your life, and sometimes it can get much much worse. It was sad that hindi movies tended to take simplistic views about "running away" ala QSQT style or "obeying parents", as if life is that simple. The whole problem of course ties in with our concept of parenting, which I disagree with. But lets leave that topic for another day.

All in all , worth a watch, but be prepared, its rather hard hitting, and a shallow look can even leave someone thinking ( and yes there were a bunch of people like that in the hall) - "abe, aise to main bhi camera le ke ek movie bana lun!


harjot said...

The type of films that get made is primarily driven by what the audience wants to see. For most people in India , real life is a daily grind, with tons of problems staring them in the face everyday. Movies are their three hour escape route to fantasy land . Movies for most Indians are meant to be stess busters. A montage of good songs and dance, exquisite locales , some comedy and drama. An there you have it ... .the makings of a Yash Raj movie ... like DDLJ.
People have enough to think about in real life and do not wish to be forced to apply their minds inside the hall. In fact, Indian movies that do that never really work too well.
Thought provoking cinema will work well in places where people can spare some grey cells to apply on the movie, because all of the material that they have between the ears is not already consumed in taking care of more pressing day to day issues.
So, my assessment is that as more and more people cross the threshold of being reasonably well to do , you'll see more thought provoking and intelligent movies becoming a part of mainstream cinema. This trend is already visible in the bigger cities ,which have a critical mass of such people. But in smaller towns and cities , serious cinema has very little penetration , for the reasons cited above.
Its not that people who make DDLJ a hit are not mature enough to realize what is being shown is removed from reality , and is pure baloney. Everyone knows it. Hindi movies are meant to teleport you to a different world. If a draw a parallel , its like a prisoner serving a life sentence out a month's parole. They know that they are not watching a movie which is worthy of critical analysis. The expectation is to be entertained for 3 hours. And then the movie can be called Paisa Wasool.
So, my assumption is that the guys who keep on churning out DDLJ clones ,probably have it in them to make different types of movies. But their primary motivation is not to make serious cinema. It is to make serious money.
All the same , it is good to see that some filmmakers have started to realize that intelligent cinema can also be made in this country without risking a loss , and hence the emergence of directors like Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Banarjee

Tess said...

yep I largely agree. Although I'm not sure its just about escapism, i like my share of escapist movies too - but i tend to prefer the english ones somehow. I've spent a lot of time and tears and laughter getting fully involved with complete candyfloss movies like "you've got mail" "shall we dance" and many others of the ilk.

Can't quite say why hindi candyfloss just doesn't seem to cut the grade. Maybe its a problem with me, but I just find them irritating in many ways.

But yes, its good to see things changing, we live in interesting times.

Gunjan said...

I too liked the way he connected the 3 different stories not only in theme but also in actually physical location of the shop...

Tess said...

yup the connection part was well done!

veena said...

I guess not all movies can be and should tax your brains. Sometimes really silly movies work well .....escape into a perfect world. DDLJ......I liked it then, certainly not now. But yes some songs remain hummable

Amit Kumar said...

Have a completely different take (no pun intended) on this:

Like with all the other needs/desires, visual entertainment too has a hierarchy of levels (Maslow theory, anyone?), most foundational of which is of course escapism. Level typically goes up as the need get satiated and so does the self and environmental awareness. You (and I to some extent) would belong to these levels and would then sometimes and/or sometime fall prey to having strong dislikes for works that relate to more primal needs, escapism. Case in point is your hatred for DDLJ, which is quite analogous to famous quote by Marie Josepha Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen aka Marie Antoinette.

Another point is irony around cause and effect theory. Had there been no Devdas and no Shah Rukh Khan in it, there would not have been Dev D. Without DDLJ, Dibakar would have had to resort to Sex aur Dhokha which would have been sounded like a rip off from that incendiary 90's flick - Sex, Lies and Videotape.

Tess said...

@veena - yep agree, as I said in my previous comment , its personal. I like escapism too, just not the ddlj kinds.

@amit - haven't heard of the maslow theory, and not quite sure about which marie antoinette quote you're referring. Anyway, I'm just happy that these days there are hindi movies which I enjoy too, and fine I know I'm wierd and in minority and pretty much the only one who hated ddlj then, so its satisfying to know that there might be others like me :)

Amit Kumar said...

My bad, here go links:

It is not the question being in minority or feeling wierd, but danger of sounding elitist to people at large.

Guru Kini said...

Should get the DVD - it's out already!
I agree with Harjot's comments actually. I hate candyfloss movies usually but the recent (last 8-10 years) Rom-Com scene is pretty good, because of the sidekicks who are usually quite funny.
Ultimate celluloid escapism for me: Bollywood in the 1980s - Manmohan Desai, Mithun-da, Big B with doses of Tamil and Telugu remakes with social messages. Awesomeness. It can't get better than that. Ever.:)

Tess said...

@Amit - I think there's a basic difference between Marie Antoniette and me - she's asks other people to eat cake, I don't ask other people to dislike DDLJ and like Satya.

I have no problems with other people liking DDLJ, I just say that I don't. And I want people to know that many of us can dislike it, be allowed to dislike it.

If anything, its the society at large whose attitude was Marie Antoniettish towards me, mumerically reversed, but nevertheless in terms of attitude, completely unwilling to understand.

@Guru - Celluloid escapism is nice at times, your golden time with it was perhaps the Mithun years, mine hasn't quite come. Eventually whats escapism to one person, might be a prison to another. At least thats how I viewed the old bolloywood, it wasn't art I was necessarily looking for there, but I didn't find the escape I was seeking. That escape seems more present in todays rom coms, specially the english ones.