He is among the new-age breed of filmmakers whose films defy the stereotype. His first two films Khosla Ka Ghosla and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye ! fetched him the coveted him National Award and his latest film Love, Sex Aur Dhokha (LSD) (which released last Friday) is already the hot topic of discussion. Bollywood Hungama's Nikhil Ramsubramaniam got chatting with one of the finest talents of new-age Hindi cinema- Dibakar Banerjee about his latest venture LSD
Last Friday was a memorable day for you as your latest film LSD released on the same day as you won your second National award. How was the feeling?
It was great though it was a bit hectic. I was mixing interviews between Oye Lucky and LSD (smiles)
LSD is touted to be one of India's Premiere Digital Film...what do you mean by that?
Even I don't know myself (laughs) I think it was something that we thought of during the promotion of the film to tell the people that it's not digital the way you've been expecting Digital. Its Digital in a way that not only does it use the Digital Camera but the aesthetics, the editing style, the shooting style, the story telling style comes from the digital medium itself which is from the world of MMS', YouTube uploads, downloads, Home Movies etc.
Apparently you wanted to call the film Pyar Sex Aur Dhokha but the title got changed to LSD
The title went through many revisions. It was called Pyar Ki Teen Kahaniyan, Love Cam, Pyarscope etc. until we finally went ahead with Love, Sex Aur Dhokha (LSD)
The film talks about voyeurism through 3 different stories...how did the idea first germinate?
It started with me being at a shop in Delhi where a security camera was being installed and I saw that people who were around started behaving differently. I realized that when people are on camera they start behaving differently. It also started with a story that I wrote about Honor Killing. It was actually a letter that I wrote a long time ago to Manmohan Desai from a guy who was dead. And the film is also based on the many MMS clips, YouTube downloads, Home videos, Marriage videos that I saw.
How much of the film has been drawn from real life MMS scandals or Sting operations?
The whole film has been drawn from real-life instances. However, it has not been drawn from any one single incident as such. Our life comprises of many such incidents and I have taken bits and pieces from all of them.
The critics have praised the film tremendously...what kind of audience reactions have you been getting?
Audience reaction has been very, very good. In the first weekend, we are the highest grosser among all the three films which opened this week. Our film is actually taking head on the IPL mania and all our shows are holding fort in spite of the IPL matches. Even on Monday, when Mumbai had a big match against Kolkata, most shows of LSD had very good collections which is really heartening.
Is the film targeted at the metros or do you think it has a pan India feel?
I think it would appeal mainly to metros and smaller towns and probably not the rural sectors.
Which among the 3 stories is your personal favorite and why?
I see all three stories as one story. I cannot have one without the other because if you see the way the three stories are connected in the film, you will realize that they are all just one story at the end of the day.
What was the reason behind casting new actors?
The film is based on found footage using real cameras so it was not possible to have a known face else the impact would have been diluted. Hence, we were very clear about casting newcomers for the film. We went through a 2 month casting process where we shortlisted a group of actors for each role and then my casting director took a very rigorous workshop with them and over the course of the workshop, we kept eliminating the contenders and arrived at our final set of actors.
Are you upset with the censors chopping a few crucial scenes?
I am not that upset with the censors chopping the sex scene because in my opinion, the sex scene is still intact in terms of the emotional impact of the scene. Contrary to some reports in the media, it's not a 7 and a half minute sex scene, it is a 7 and a half minute scene that leads to sex. Where I was a bit upset was when the censors removed all lines alluding to caste references in the first story and that in my opinion diluted the impact a lot.
The music of the film has become quite a rage even though the songs feature in the background in the film. Your comments...
The music has got a tremendous response. Both the songs (the title track and 'Tu Gandi Achchi Lagti Hai') are currently in the Top 10. Our music was released very late, just ten days before the release of the film, and in spite of that it has really caught on big time.
Ekta Kapoor the producer...how was she to work with?
Fabulous. Ekta is very intelligent, an extremely canny producer who knows what she wants to make and how she wants to make it.
After two National Awards you hope to get third time lucky?
I didn't hope for even the first or the second one. It just happened. I think Awards are something which are best enjoyed as unexpected bonuses. I think the only award that you can expect is that the audience likes your film
The buzz is that you are now making a political thriller with Abhay Deol next. Is it true?
Yes...I am making a political thriller next. It may or may not star Abhay Deol. It all depends on his availability of dates.