While Bombay Talkies (2013) featured anthology for love of Cinema, but the actual love is witnessed in Lust Stories (2018)¬†which excels and achieves feat in terms of storytelling. “Lust”, a term which seldom features women expressing it – the four directors, Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Karan Johar and Zoya Akhtar interpret the term beyond what it just stands, bears and breeds for.

Anurag Kashyap breaks the fourth wall by documenting possessiveness with the help of Radhika Charudutt Apte, who delivers an outstanding performance. It makes the viewer engrossed into the short story due to the distinct storytelling, but in terms of all four – unfortunately, this is the weakest.

Zoya Akhtar’s, which comments on the social status of caste and women. While it struggles with making it interesting by adding curves to the screenplay in terms of entry and exits, but it just adds to clumsiness. Layers slowly peel off, and the housemaid (fabulous Bhumi Pednekar) stands proudly during her confrontation with another of her own kind. And the short story chews us off with its savouring commentary on hierarchy.

Dibakar Banerjee’s short story comes with complexity of relationships and emotions, the best of the lot. It’s an emotional intriguing rollercoaster of emotions which shoulders on Manisha Koirala, Jaideep Ahlawat and Sanjay Kapoor. Lust occupies space, and the film plays out spaciously with the help of Cinematographer K.U. Mohanan, a reminiscent of Woody Allen’s kind of relationship handling.

Karan Johar’s story is perhaps more cinematically “filmy” while it dwells into Indian Women’s suppression and Men’s coming-of-understanding. How society expects and guards women towards bearing of children rather than fulfilment of desires, Karan Johar smartly and conveniently handles the “ice-cream” with all creaminess. And you’ll never ever again feel the title track of “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham” in its real essence.

Lust Stories gives a broader sense which I would recommend to watch in your personal zone. Especially, the nuances of each story – be it of relationship complexity, emotions or even a character looks at another speaks volumes of power of storytelling and a term, which hasn’t been often used. While the best part is the distinctive storytelling by four directors which support and suit each other introspectively. And each represents woman poignantly and unravels the suppressed layers.

The fact that, Censor Board and the Sexual Representation works in India makes Netflix a platform which provides the filmmakers with fundamental right in exploration – without caution.

Language: Hindi
Release: 15 June, 2018
Rating: 4/5


Copyright ©2018 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.


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