LSD Review : Kartik Krishnan says LSD is Loh-Shakti-Dibakar!

Posted: March 16, 2010 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, film review, reviews
Tags: , , ,

Yes, we did it! Saw it. The UNCENSORED version. Now you guys go green! Have been told that not much has been cut out but its either beeped or pixalated.

Before you start reading Kartik Krishnan’s post, here is my twitter review. For lazy bums like me, 140 characters is just pure thrill. Also its a great tool to see if the film is interesting enough to hold your attention or not.  

Tweet1 – #LSD – d middle name is not sex. Its shock n superb. Welcm d new gramar of filmmking by @dibakarbanerjee. gr8 fun, superb acting n superfast.

Tweet2 – And Three films – all so different in genrae, tone, treatment. N its a hattrick. @DibakarBanerjee is the man!

Go book your tickets and read on.

Was always a fan of Khosla Ka Ghosla & Oye Lucky Lucky Oye albeit some minor reservations. I remember watching OLLO and not ‘understanding’ it fully in the theaters (a day after the 26/11 attack). In repeated DVD viewings, the film became a much more enriching experience to me.

Was looking forward to LSD with not so great expectations, and in fact skepticism. What is there to say about Sex scandals/MMS clips /Sting operations as they have been potrayed/spoofed endlessly in hindi films (Teesri Aankh, Kalyug, DevD, Madhur Bhandarkar’s films with ‘sensational news stories’ and of course Dibakar’s previous release itself having the brilliant ‘sansinikhez’ Rajendir Sethi reporter). These films and others I might be forgetting to mention are rarely good, often bad and mostly ugly.

Uptill now.

LSD is a landmark film. It deserves every praise we can shower on it. Scary, shocking, entertaining, mildly depressing, natural, pathbreaking in format. Just like how a Shiva, Roja, Satya, Lagaan, Black Friday are not just brilliant films but also a milestone in the “history of hindi cinema”; I sure hope LSD becomes one of these milestones. LSD may or may not be brilliant film (yes we can debate that after friday, though I feel it is brilliant), but it deserves to be listed in the aforementioned category.

You might ask “Aren’t you placing too much on the film ? Is it really that great”

I would nod my head and request you, beg you, plead with you to watch it (disclaimer – No I don’t do this hoping that I might get to work on his next film). Go watch it without any biases whatsoever & with an open mind. And I will try to list my reasons for the lavish praise I might be bestowing on this film.

1. Story(ies) – More info on the stories can be found here. Stark, shocking, straight out of life characters, stories that we keep hearing on the newspaper discussions over chai-ciggerettes, Porn clips that we keep exchanging on those shady pen drives, as “real” as people do/talk/behave without being filmy/dramatic (ok ok I admit the first story might appear “light/filmy” but that is how it is intended to be). The conclusions of the story do not leave you. Yes you might have heard it before, but in keeping with the “reality” of the film & the treatment, they f***ing grab you by your throat.

2. Dialogues/Scenes – Superb. Never seem forced. Funny and yet realistic at the same time. A very tough tight rope to walk on. And yet all characters talk “in character”. Slice of life and yet intresting. 

 3. Performances – Not a single actor/actress who is known. All new faces and all have been casted superbly. It never looks as though they are “Acting”. They are natural as hell. It never looks as though you are watching a “film”. Long takes and the actors still hold your attention. The FRIGGIN FILM doesn’t bore you. You are always in the roller coster ride enjoying it. All the characters are people who you might meet in everyday life. And who is the guy who plays Shruti’s Dad, and the bitchy Sonal at the supermarket ???

4. Technique & Craft – Dibakar has employed the three different unconventional types of approaches. The handy-cam feel (for ref see paranormal activity, blairwitch project), the security-CCTV cam (wide shots – for reference see Snatch opening robbery sequence) and the small-hidden cam which can be put on a shirt/lady’s purse etc.

All new grammar as far as Indian screen is concerned. Yes digital ‘short’ films have been employing such techniques for quite some time as of now but this might be the first time on the hindi film screen. And to such a hard hitting effect. Editing, Camera work is top notch. Yes actors are sometimes out of frames, their heads popping out, the camera not necessarily creating the most “visual” picture-postcard frame; but again that is never the intention is it ? A security cam/hidden cam/handy cam will never give you the conventionally formatted visually “normal” picture (how any hindi film might look). This is perhaps the biggest experiment and it works. Because here the stories have been written which need such treatment. It’s not the style over substance. Because of the content, it is how it is. Brave.

5. Music – The score is not available in the market place. Nor does the film have “song sequences” but they play in the background. But a kickass and perhaps a path breaking musical score with lovely lyrics by dibakar himself.

I want to go on and on but restrict myself for the fear of not giving any spoilers. Set aside your inhibitons, have patience, allow the film to take you in. It is a new experience but it will bowl you over I promise. Screw the fact that the music has not been publicised. Screw the possibly “sleazefest looking promos” if that’s how you feel about them. But please please go watch the film. Do yourself a favour. Highly recommended. Hell I’m watching it again this friday.

P.S – Sorry for the awkward heading. But could not come up with anything appropriate using LSD and which also sums up my thoughts. Though Dibakar surely deserves to be called an iron man for making such a film.

(PS – If you are still wondering who is Kartik Krishnan, click here and read the intro. Too lazy to write one more intro for him) 

  1. bharat says:

    wow guys, u really know how to tantalize cinema nerds to watch amazing flicks like LSD!! i can’t wait for it!!! by the way, loved ur review; plain, simple, and flattering!

  2. Fatema says:

    Awesome! Been waiting for this one ever since. Curiosity more than anything else. Now more because this is probably the only high-praise yet sane review Ive ever read from you 🙂

    WAITING for Friday!

    And where can I listen to the music is its not out yet???

  3. hardik mehta says:

    looking forward on friday.
    dont think that music is path breaking yaar. matlab achcha hai. lekin OLLO music was path breaking. sach!

  4. Neeraja says:

    Agree with Fatema on sanity of this review..hehe.
    Now waiting for her take on the film 🙂

  5. Dr. Fu Man Chu says:

    awesome KK…

    after the Untitled KK Project….now LSD….Go Digital Go!!!!!

  6. […] office success though. here is a review from a critic whom i've found out to be mostly impartial LSD Review : Kartik Krishnan says LSD is Loh-Shakti-Dibakar! I was born intelligent – education ruined me. Reply With Quote   + […]

  7. Fatema says:

    Errr…Neeraja public mein taang khichhayi? 😀

  8. Perx says:

    I hope they release an unrated dvd

  9. Neeraja says:

    hehehe nah seriously…taang khichayi review likhne ke baad. You didn’t like Rocket Singh, I didn’t say anything…but LSD is LSD darling LSD! 😀

  10. moifightclub says:

    @Neeraja…fatema ki bajaaaaaaaaaaooooooooooooooooooo. she didnt like up in the air ?????????? aur bolo ?

  11. Neeraja says:

    hawwwwwwwww! Fatema how can you not like UITA!!!
    (waise maine abhi tak nahi dekhi hai…aur bolo? :P)

  12. Fatema says:

    Bajao bajao, saalon sab milke bajao!

    But no one did get the point did you? Liking a film and it being a good film are totally two different things. UITA is over-rated. I did not like it for that reason. And Neeraja who says I didn’t like Rocket Singh? Padh, padh, theek se padh aur comments bhi padh!!! Just trying to figure what went wrong in the story-telling and reception.

    Aur LSD is not LSD Neeraja 🙂 I just might think that’s over-rated too 🙂 So taang khichayi MOST welcome! Heheheh.

  13. Kenny says:

    I agree with KK that LSD will be a chapter in the history of Hindi cinema.
    And Fatema, I’m one of those who don’t rave about Up In The Air. Fine, good. Watchable, forgettable. Felt the same about Juno. Liked Thank You For Smoking most among Reitman’s films.
    George Clooney’s performance was good but not that big a deal. Ben Foster in The Messenger had a way tougher role and delivered too. I’d rather he have been nominated instead

  14. Fatema says:

    Kartik – Totally disagree on everything you’ve said above. Great experiment. Great spirit. Ends there. Was hoping didn’t end up feeling like that though.

    Bajao ab sab milke. Neeraja? 🙂

    Kenny – SOMEONE finally agrees with me!

  15. […] ab!  He has competition only from Ramu. And the third release is Lahore. First, its LSD. Click here to read our take on […]

  16. Neeraja says:

    ok ok wrong choice of words. I meant you, like many others I know, had some tiny issues with Rocket Singh….but somehow I felt that the review focused more on the wrongs than the rights..I might be wrong though. Will read again.

    About LSD – Haven’t watched it yet but I wish people would talk more about what DB tries to convey through the film…how real and contemporary it is etc. rather than the technical experiment part.
    Wonder why Kaveree Bamzai called it misogynistic?

  17. Fatema says:

    Neeraja – Yeah, maybe reading it again might help. The thing is I was not reviewing Rocket Singh but trying to examine what Jaideep was trying to do with his genre and figure out the choices he must’ve made as a writer, in the light of the general and my personal reaction. There are tons of positives in the film but my aim was to figure what went wrong and where.

    About LSD – I think LSD was primarily about experimenting with form.It was pitched so and structured so hence everyone is raving about that only. And hence my disappointment with it as well. More, when my review is up. You haven’t watched it yet?

  18. Fatema says:

    Neeraja- Yeah, I don’t get it why either. Maybe she confused the gender. The film if anything is clearly misandristic if at all!

  19. kartik says:

    Read your review fatema –
    Hope I don’t sound personal/caustic. And you know am always up for the Old monk. Also forgive me If I might have incorrectly drawn out any conclusions due to may be half understanding.

    Mostly disagree from what I could understand.
    Would prefer this one ANYDAY over DevD. Was revisiting it the other day and had very very strong reservations against the film.

    “By virtue of its backers and also the comments inherent in its text, LSD chooses to pit itself as commercial cinema”
    How ? It’s just the title & the trailers that suggested so. Even No smoking was marketed with Phoonk De, Lagaan as an anti british war kind of film.

    Commercial cinema of what I may understand has the following ingredients – shying away from ‘real’ issues, ‘greyism’, less subtext more text, exposition, SONGS, deliberate comic sequences, in short the sort of “copping out” we usually associate films with. Please cite where the film LSD went commercial. If the marketing side of it, then yes I agree – may be there was no other way to get maximum audience into the theaters.

    “It begs to apply the commercial and artistic framework of formulaic, melodramatic ‘drama’, escapist, candy-floss films to itself.”
    Please exemplify and elucidate. I don’t think Dibakar wanted to make a Dardenne Brothers sort of film where EVERYTHING is shown (cinematic or not/intresting or not/even if a character goes to drink cold water from the fridge – it is shown). The only thing not shown is the characters farting/shitting/pissing/blowing the nose which kind of might be perceived as a ‘copout’ by some purists. Have some films by them and would be glad to lend them to you.

    “It is sad that it does that not only because it takes on too much responsibility but also because it does major disservice to itself”
    Please exemplify and elucidate

    ” It is a separate chapter in the annals of Hindi cinema, but since it refuses to be bold enough to pitch itself as so its success as a ‘path-breaking’ film will remain limited”
    Please state clearly what it is pitching itself as. Extremly sorry but I couldnt get the point

    “It has also proven that realism can be entertaining. And if the performances are compelling enough then no technique or face-value measures up or makes a difference.”
    Agree 100%

    “It fails to push the envelope in any form, genre, treatment, content etc”
    Please exemplify and elucidate. Also it would be great if you could list down some of the recent films which do the same as opposed to LSD.

    “It does not show us anything we haven’t seen before in any form we haven’t seen before.”
    I would like to know what exactly do we expect out of films. An Avatar everytime? A film like dark knight (which you know I revere sooooo much) doesn’t tell us something which we dont know – Anarchist psychopathic characters/ people who wanna see the world die. A film like memento with unreliable narrator (again seen many many times before the film may be even before Shyam benegal made Sooraj ka saatwan ghoda).
    Please exemplify and elucidate. Of course if to show something we havent seen anything before is to show a guy asking his girl “do u touch yourself” or a girl showing the middle finger to the guy, or the girl reading contempt in the pink walled whorehouse, or a girl behaving like the guy’s ‘mother’ by washing his clothes etc, then yes we havent seen anything like the aforementioned on indian screen. Question is – what do we want ? Was it pitched/supposed to be a hyper-real film ? Is it hyperreal/surreal with “nods” at great films (ala You think I’m joker Goodfellas scene in OLLO)

    “It would be unfair to compare but Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D, was far more ‘path-breaking’ in having achieved these things, even if the film as such was rather tame. ”
    Completely completely disagree. I don’t think there is an iota of unbelievability/ unrelatability/ indulgence as compared to Devd IMHO. Of course it is my subjective opinion and I might be wrong.

    “The tone of realism it employs and our familiarity with every one of those events, mindsets, values calls immediate identification but does not leave a devastating sense of disgust in us for our surroundings”
    Well may be he should have taken to make a film on a dad raping his daughter and potrayed it realistically (becos obviously that would have disgusted us) as opposed to making what he did, which even though are lovely (again IMHO) may not disgust. But the question is – why should we expect a “real/realistic” film to give us a disgusting impact for our surroundings ? I dont think that is EVER his intention. Be it Khosla, OLLO none of the scenes anywhere disgust though some might be shocking.

    “Again, because there is nothing here that we haven’t seen before.”
    Please exemplify and elucidate

    “If Vishal Bhardwaj wants to make films like Guy Ritchie and Dibakar adopts Tarantino’s style then we well and truly deserve to be named after Hollywood.”
    Well may be we should have been called Follywood when Ray made Pather panchali after watching De Sica’s neo-realistic films. Or may be Sollywood when Mani Saar made Yuva(spanish
    Amorres perros). Or Kollywood when Gupta made Zinda (Oldboy – korean film). Or Jollywood when Ramesh Sippy made Sholay(Seven Samurai by Kurosawa).
    I don’t think we will ever see anything that has not been seen before. Please exemplify and elucidate.

    “The outcome of this technical experiment, however, is too explained, too straight, too simplistic. ”
    Please exemplify and elucidate

    “It is however non-gimmicky and non-interfering but stops short of challenging”
    What would be a good example of the camera being challenging while entering the “interfering” zone. Please exemplify and elucidate.

    P.S – On a seperate note. May be we expect our heroes to do too much. We expect a Goodfellas everytime a Scorcese. Even though Casino,Shutter Island,Departed, Gangs of New york are superb they are all shadowed by the expectations. May be which is why a kickass shakti is met with lukewarm reactions after a sholay, or a 5 national award winning Kanaththil and superlative Iruvar is met with dissenting heads after a brilliant Nayagan.

  20. kartik says:

    correction – I meant “We expect a Goodfellas everytime FROM Scorcese”

  21. Fatema says:

    Well, this debate would have been much better over Old Monk but then if online then online. And don’t worry, if I find you caustic or personal I will give it back to you in the same way 😉

    – Like I said, Dev D treated a number of things in a new way and hence in comparison could be called more path-breaking than LSD. However, I am no fan of the film myself.

    – LSD throughout the choice of its very first story, the comments it’s making by spoofing candy-floss cinema puts itself in the same bracket. And like you said, the way it was marketed. And Lagaan is commercial cinema.

    – Not in its form, or even content. Not even in the choices it makes. But as a film that clearly pitches itself as an answer to YRF’s glossdom by opening with a silly spoof story. If that had been left out, LSD could have been viewed differently. It draws the context of commercial cinema around itself by doing this.

    – It takes too much responsibility in trying to prove itself better than candy-floss. Does disservice because by pitting itself so, limits its own scope.

    – Pitching is positioning Kartik. The context you place your film in. The pov you speak from.

    – Why do you want examples of other films that might have pushed the envelope or no? How is that relevant to this discussion?

    -It’s not about expectations. It’s about tempering our enthusiasm and taking a reality check. Different does not mean path-breaking all the time. And something good does not become great in mere comparison to its surrounding mediocrity.

    -About nothing in it seeming fresh to me, well, it did not. It was very well-crafted, steeped in reality and true to its characters. But that’s about it.

    -The camera being non-interfering is a good thing according to me But its justification was forced. And its explanations of existence was well, quite average creatively. Even forced. In the first and third stories especially. It was unnatural in terms of human behaviour as well as story progression.

    -On a separate note, I don’t. I view each film as an individual piece in itself free from the burdens of other films. However, of course with an eye of what the director is capable of. So, when I watch a Scorcese film I don’t expect a Goodfellas but yes I do expect something that speaks of his individuality and genius because he has shown it to us what he is capable of.

    I am sorry I am unable to answer a few of your questions here solely because I realize we come from very very varied povs and nothing I say will ‘convince’ or ‘satisfy’. More over Old Monk!

  22. Fatema says:

    K – Coming back to my comment about being named after Hollywood. I speak from a personal sense of being let-down as I see this becoming a trend, especially with those very makers who have the courage and genius to push the envelope of our limited cinema. The examples you give are more of individual instances of inspiration/influence. I don’t deny that VB or DB are creative masters in their own right and their weaving of their influence/inspirations is invalid. Its just that this obsession with Western geniuses is becoming a trend which troubles me, personally.

    And about the intention not being to bring a devastating sense of disgust, I agree. My comment was not a qualitative one, it was merely descriptive.

    And, as I have maintained, it is a good film. And our discussion is going into a hair-splitting zone now, which is unfair to the film.

  23. anil says:

    what the shit is the review for?????????

  24. AGUSTINE says:

    what LSD is NOT- original or honest.
    check this out….

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