Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg signed the Dogme-95 manifesto and the “Vow of Chastity” to give birth to an avant-garde filmmaking style called Dogme-95. This style became immensely popular mostly because it was easy for the youth to just pick up a handy cam and start shooting, no background score, special lighting or optical filters not allowed; in short, a completely documentary feel to the cinema. Dibakar Banerjee’s Love Sex aur Dhoka, though not purely a Dogme-95 film, is a fantastic Bollywood tribute to this movement. An earlier Indian tribute to this movement though was Boman Irani’s debut film, Let’s Talk by Ram Madhvani.
The word experiment has truly changed as far as our film industry is concerned. In the 80s, if the superstar changed his hairstyle and sported an unshaven look, that would be called an experiment. In recent times probably a film without songs or with no big superstar in it would be termed as an experiment. But what will you call a film shot completely with security cams, hand digital cameras and spy cams…a film without any sort of background score…and of course with actors who were never seen before…they look one among us…is experiment too small a word for such a film? Probably yes…
And what shocked me the most is that the person who funded this risk is the queen of stereotypes, Ekta Kapoor; who has made tonnes of primetime TV shows which look the same and end up having the same story at some point or the other. The numerous sins she has committed (Kyunki , Kasauti, Kahaani, K this K that…), would certainly wash away to a great extent with this master stroke film she has put her interest and more importantly, money, into.
Love Sex aur Dhoka, wins not only because of its unconventional camera work, but more because of its superb editing, effortless acting and an awesome script. The film touches a lot of aspects of human life and its close association with the camera and how different is the world when seen from this device which can bring happiness to one’s life (capturing beautiful moments), can be the cause for unprecedented sorrow (MMS scandals), and finally, can be the thing which bails the person out of his state of sorrow and gives him revenge (sting operations).
I hope LSD triggers a movement amongst upcoming Indian directors, not necessarily to join the Dogme-95 movement, but at least to dare to experiment and experiment big. An industry where Karan Johar has taken a U-turn from brain dead family sagas to Forrest Gumpian films with a bigger message, Abhay Deol has conceptualized a Devdas who watches porn and where the independent cinema movement is on a high(Read:”Indies in India”, March 11), Bollywood seems to be the place where new minds are no more restricted from experimenting. Inshallah let this be the dawn of an ‘Indian New Wave’ where young minds with young ideas, break inhibitions, write something innovative, pick up a handy cam and just film it! Hmm…I like the smell of this…..