Dibakar Banerjee exclusive interview: ‘Love Sex Aur Dhokha 2 is about us living for the camera’ | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

Dibakar Banerjee exclusive interview: ‘Love Sex Aur Dhokha 2 is about us living for the camera’

Apr 15, 2024 06:10 AM IST

In this interview, Dibakar Banerjee and the cast of Love Sex Aur Dhokha 2 talk about the creating a film for the social media-obsessed generation.

Dibakar Banerjee is one director who never misses. His 2010 film Love Sex Aur Dhokha was a watershed moment in Hindi Cinema; for its courageous and thrilling use of handheld camera and CCTV footage to tell three stories of deceit and voyeurism. After a decade he is back with a sequel, and this time around, he aims to position the camera through the layers of social media and how it has overshadowed our perception of truth and reality. (Also read: Love Sex Aur Dhokha 2 trailer: Bold, in-your-face look at digital generation, where influencers reign supreme. Watch)

Dibakar Banerjee reveals how both the LSD films are different from each other.
Dibakar Banerjee reveals how both the LSD films are different from each other.

In this exclusive chat with Hindustan Times, the director was joined with the actors of his new film- Bonita Rajpurohit who plays Kulu; Abhinav Singh who plays Gamepaapi and Paritosh who plays Noor, to talk in detail about the film, how it is entirely different from the first LSD and more.

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Dibakar, I was reading one of your old interviews during the release of the first LSD where you had said that the presence of camera can ‘alter the truth.’ Now that LSD2 is here after 15 years, are we also moving towards the time when social media has also altered the version of truth?

I think it is saying more. I think what we are saying is that we are living with two or three contradictory truths at the same time. Every moment of us. We are not living one truth, we are living the truth of our physical lives; we are living the absolute, indelible truth of our virtual avatars; we are living the truth of our Instagram feeds. All of them are truths! In fact there is a line in our film where a judge in a reality show says, ‘What a truth! Maza aa gaya!’ So I think we are living with many truths. Truth is no longer binary. That's what LSD 2 is about… There are many, many things possible and all those possible things are happening at the same time.

Were the stories and characters for the segments always in place for LSD2? How much of it was improvised as you were shooting the film?

Dibakar: Oh, no nothing was improvised! We had all the stories in mind but I did not have them. I had very rough ideas of what the three stories could be. But it was Prateek Vats and Shubham- my co-writers who came up with the stories and then we collaborated together. I don't think without them we would have had this film, so the screenplay is not completely my baby. They stood there and said, ‘This is wrong, this is bad, this is good.’ Their presence is deeply there in the film- their thoughts and their ideas and their concerns.

To Abhinav, tell me a little bit about your character- who is called Gamepaapi! The name is 10/10! By the promos he looks positively unhinged. What was the process like, in creating this person with Dibakar?

Abhinav: Yes, I agree! The name is 10/10! I was totally in contrast with the character. I don't like playing indoor games- any indoor games for that matter. I don't even like chess! I am more of an outgoing person, but also an introvert. But for preparing for this character, we had 40-45 days of workshop which Dibakar sir and our trainer Ritesh sir; and they had a lot of reference for me to watch out for and to prepare. I had to reduce a lot of weight which helped me get into the mindset of the character.

Dibakar: He was all jacked up like a Bollywood star! (laughs)

Bonita, coming to you- from the character promo that we saw a few days ago, there was this beautiful line where you said that you discovered a lot about yourself by watching films- through Cinema. Tell me a little about that, and also how do you wish to see trans representation on screen moving forward.

Bonita: This also relates to this conversation that is happening all the time. Because when I was growing up I would see trans characters on screen. In Indian mainstream films we would not see a lot of representation than in the foreign films. I would say that has impacted me to a great extent and has inspired me to be one on screen. I just had a dream but I had no idea how I would achieve this thing.

The characters that really moved me were Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl, or Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club. These were films where the trans characters were played by a male actor. It did not matter for me by whom it was played by. It did speak to me and it did come out as honest, which is what really inspired me to a great extent.

Paritosh, your character Noor is going through their own transition- physically and mentally. It is an aspect that we have rarely encountered in Hindi Cinema, so what was your reference point?

Paritosh: Haha! My reference point was Bonita! She was there throughout. When I was there Bonita was also doing her workshops. She was right there, in front of me, a person whom I could talk to. I could understand her journey. The transition of what we see in the film- these are topics which I was not aware in the beginning. I am hoping that now whoever sees the film they also understand what the transition feels; what the process is.

I re-watched the first LSD a few weeks ago and the film still has that sting even after all these years. Which left me wondering what were your reactions when you watched the film for the first time?

Dibakar: I haven't watched it in the last 13 years. After Ektaa told me that ‘Let’s make LSD2,' I completely walked away from the film because… two things happen. When you look at something that you have done in the past, it tries to weigh you down. I did not want that weight on my soldiers. Another thing is that there is no similarity between LSD and LSD2, except the fact that we are carrying on three stories which are interconnected very crazily in time. But there is no other similarity because LSD was about the camera slowly infiltrating into our lives and LSD2 is about us living for the camera. It is the direct opposite! So those stories would not have been possible in 2024. And the stories that we are telling today would not have been possible to imagine in 2010. So I have forgotten LSD. Only LSD2 remains for me. Of course I made the film so I have a vague idea of what LSD is about but beyond that really no!

Abhinav: I was asked to not watch the film and when the film released I was just 8 years-old! That time I was not allowed to watch and now when we were preparing the character, Dibakar sir did not allow me! I just watched it 2 weeks ago and I found it really crazy! It was really amazing!

Dibakar: Abhi aur kya hi bolega (What else can he say now)? (laughs) Kahi pe boring lagi LSD (Did you find it boring at any place)?

Abhinav: Nahi Sir, kahi pe boring nahi lagi (No, not even once)!

Bonita: Same as what Abhinav said! We were not told to see the film even when I asked. Dibakar Sir has said this before, it is like a new generation. A story that deals with the internet obsession and the Gen-Z so yeah that's why we never really watched it.

Paritosh: For me it was the other way round! When I was first getting the call for Dibakar's film, I was asked whether I watched LSD. To which I said, “No, I haven't.” That day itself I went home and watched it and I found it to be very crazy!

Love Sex Aur Dhokha 2 is set to release in theatres on April 19, 2024.

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