LSD2 is all about L-osing S-ense and D-irection 2 (too)!

Yes, this is an actual scene from LSD2! Photo: Trailer Video Grab

Many years ago, I had interviewed the deviant, media-hyped master of so-called avant-garde or ‘evolved’ Hindi cinema, Anurag Kashyap, and one of the classic(k) gems he had unleashed on me was “I make family films!” Asked to explain this complete contradiction from the maker of a glut of over-violent or/and sex-based dramas, he had guffawed, “All the members of any family watch my films separately!”

Please chortle.

However, Deviant…Oops! I mean ‘Dibakar’ Banerjee has now made a film that cannot be watched even separately! As a film itself (using the term in the purely audiovisual sense) it is eminently and intolerably tiresome and irritating. The content is so alarmingly imbecile that even admirers of his original LSD or Love Sex And Dhokha (2010) will flinch and be furious. A secret I must reveal: A neat 70 percent plus of the media at the press screening  left this 116-minute orgy of self-indulgent crap (as it has emerged) either during the interval or minutes into the second half.

And I do not know if I should be proud or ashamed of the fact that I was among the less than 25 critics who sat through the entire cinematic torture chamber’s duration, hoping, as always, that things will improve or have at least a sensible twist or conclusion.

Man lives on hope, you know!

A bit about LSD, the 2010 original. By its own low-budget standards, it was a profitable film. And it had a script that spoke of honor killings, sting operations, loan sharks and more, with connections between three stories, each representing one of the words in the title. It gave us three notable new talents—Rajkummar Rao, Amit Sial and Nushrratt Bharuccha and, most importantly, it remains the director’s only successful film after his absolutely lovable debut movie, Khosla Ka Ghosla. Was Khosla… really directed by Dibakar, is the obvious query that will storm anyone’s mind after watching this unmitigated disaster.

But make no mistake: LSD2 is the worst Indian movie (not just Hindi!) I have ever watched in my life!

Why am I making this categorical statement? For starters, let us talk about the film’s intention. It is meant to be an expose of the fakeness of today’s life—social media, the murky world of reality shows with their instant (and obviously flighty) fame and brazen opportunism. Morals go for a toss, due to greed for Mammon or other gratifications. There is unending desire for Like, Share and Subscribe, reality show votes and prizes, cashing in on someone’s difficulties for personal gains, and obsession to the point of lust with gaming and more. And then there is the cause of transgenders.

Obviously, crisp, well-written anthologies could do justice to such important and socially-relevant themes. But the narration should be coherent and must connect with us. The director, however, chooses a too-experimental format that, in the final analysis, comes across as incredibly moronic. We see a limitless orgy of frames like webcams, animation (Metaverse), frenzied sequences of TV shows, etc. etc. etc.!

The three stories are totally unconnected and are given titles we do not recall, except for the thematic ones, “Love (Like)”, “Sex (Share)” and “Dhokha (Download)”. The actors, in their sketchy footage, however, have worked hard but are unlikely to become famous, at least not because of this cinematic catastrophe, so to speak.

Transwoman Noor (Paritosh Tripathi) is participating in a bizarre-and-more reality show, Truth Ya Naach, and must do unspeakable things, like dancing to Gandi taal, a ‘dirty’ song rendered by his disapproving mother (Swaroopa Ghosh) and slapping her hard, to win! But in the process, the three judges (Anu Malik, Sophie Choudry and Tusshar, who do not play themselves!) have a heated quarrel among themselves over the ‘sacredness’ of motherhood.

Then we have the transgender Kullu (Bonita Rajpurohit), who is sexually assaulted, and her boss (Swastika Chatterjee) capitalizes on the tragic incident. Finally, we have the greedy gamer, Shubham (Abhinav Singh) who must strip fully naked to get where his ambition wants him to go.

I liked the raunchy and folksy song, Kamsin kali (written and composed by Tony Kakkar and rendered by Neha Kakkar and him) that opens the film with a well-choreographed dance sequence. But nothing after that makes sense. But the Sunidhi Chauhan-rendered Gandi taal is the pits (where a mother sings and her transwoman daughter dances to it!) and also sadly speaks of the sheer desperation of this talented singer!

All the above new and younger talents (especially Paritosh, Bonita and Swaroopa) do well in their roles, which, to give the devil his due, will be to Dibakar’s credit. But I wish that this man, who always flaunts his immense contempt for the audience, comes back on track. It has been 18 years since Khosla Ka Ghosla and I still savor the film, what it said and how it did so. And it entertained me with a great script, performances and overall atmosphere.

If that film was 100 then, LSD scores minus 100!

Cult Movies’ and Dibakar Banerjee Productions’ LSD2  Produced by: Shobha Kapoor, Ektaa R. Kapoor & Dibakar Banerjee  Directed by: Dibakar Banerjee  Written by: Prateek Vats. Shubham & Dibakar Banerjee  Music: Sneha Khanwalkar, Tony Kakkar & Meet Bros  Starring: Paritosh Tripathi, Bonita Rajpurohit, Abhinav Singh, Swaroopa Ghosh, Swastiak Mukherjee, Uorfi Javed, Anu Malik, Tusshar , Mouni Roy, Sophie Choudry & others



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