Looking back at the distinct journey of Dibakar Banerjee’s Love Sex Aur Dhokha – Times of India

When producer Ekta Kapoor saw Dibakar Banerjee’s Love Sex Aur Dhokha she wasn’t so much shocked by the content’s voyeurism and free-for-all invasion of privacy as the treatment and format.
Dibakar shot the film on a digital format with a hand-held camera. So Ekta’s first question was, ‘Why is the camera shaking so much?’ Her second question was, ‘Who is going to watch this film?’ Ekta’s initial reaction of shock was understandable. She didn’t really believe that such an unusual and shocking film was viable. She saw Dibakar as this nice sweet seemingly harmless Bengali guy who couldn’t deliberately do anything wrong.

Normally the digital format is used by a filmmaker for the lack of choices. But for Love Sex Aur Dhokha the digital format was the only choice.
Ekta was startled by what she saw in Dibakar’s film. The camera was shaking so much she was completely shaken. There were three stories and all of them affected her very deeply, specially the one about the woman who’s shot with a hidden camera. When Ekta came out of the movie she was furtively looking for bugs and cameras everywhere. She was jolted not so much by the technique of storytelling which was unlike anything we had seen, but by content which tells us there is no privacy in today’s day and age of mobile cameras and MMS.

The question was, how would a digital movie called Love Sex Aur Dhokha appeal to the audience? The title was nearly shot down by the moral watchdogs within the industry. But Dibakar stood his ground. It had to be Love Sex Aur Dhokha. He knew the title is reminiscent of Sex Lies & Videotape.

The censor preview recommendation suggested that the sex scene be blurred. “I’ve been in principle against the film being perceived as a voyeur’s delight. ‘Love Sex Aur Dokha’ is not about sex, sex and sex. Those who expect that will return disappointed,” Dibakar had said in the past.

However, a cut with reference to caste in the love story between a low-caste boy and a high-caste girl by the censor board left Dibakar unhappy. This completely changed the perspective of his story. Also, the song “Tu nangi achi lagti hai” was modified “Tu gandi achi lagti hai”.

Love Sex Aur Dhokha was a mirror-image, and more, of a world that has made up its mind to sell its heart and most of its soul to the camera. There are three stories in the film rolled together less by design than chance. Unlike other episodic films this one doesn’t flirt with finesse. Instead Banerjee fornicates with ferocious realism born out of a desperate generation’s craving to make a place in a society that recognizes you for your financial rather than emotional or intellectual prosperity.

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