Like any other anthology that has been released on OTT platforms in the post-corona scenario, Lust Stories 2 is also a mixed bag of contents. While Konkona Sen Sharma’s segment soared above the others in terms of the way it approached many layers within a minimal time, Sujoy Ghosh’s attempt to add a fantasy layer to his Lust Story never really took off.
The first segment in the anthology is the one directed by R Balki, and it is perhaps the lightest and the more feel-good kind of movie in the whole lot. In this made-for-each-other story, the oldest lady in the house directly communicates to the youngest generation about the importance of compatibility in the physical relationship before tying the knot. It is basically the more explicit version of Jehangir Khan’s session with Kaira in Dear Zindagi about choosing a life partner. While the Gauri Shinde movie was more about the central character, Balki’s peculiar placement of the supposedly orthodox character gives the film a hilarious tweak. Neena Gupta was just spectacular playing the grandmother.
The Mirror from Konkona Sen Sharma is actually a really pleasing fusion. The film is about a designer discovering that her maid and the maid’s husband were having sex in her bedroom while she was not there. Instead of exploring the very impulsive thought of rage and disgust, Konkona pushes that idea to various areas. It subconsciously becomes a talk about the class divide. It addresses the hypocrisy we show when it comes to admitting our sexual pleasures. The non-verbal mutual understanding between the characters makes the whole thing look much more real. The sine wave-like graph of the drama in writing was the highlight of that segment, along with the terrific performances of Tillothama Shome and Amruta Subhash.
The weakest link in the whole anthology was the Sujoy Ghosh-directed Sex with Ex, which has the talk of the town couple Vijay Varma and Tamannah Bhatia playing the lead roles. Ghosh’s segment almost felt like a story that got tweaked unnecessarily to have some lust texture and will fit into the anthology somehow. The story’s fantasy angle will remind you of Ghosh’s short film Ahalya. But the story never really becomes compelling, and frankly, that excessive green screen world itself was a spoiler that gave me this Sasta Wanda Vision vibes.
The Kajol-Kumud Mishra starrer from Badhaai Ho fame Amit Ravindernath Sharma is that segment that had its moments. The graph of it was inconsistent. The pretty unsettling climax of that story actually deserved a better build-up. The first twist in the tale is something that won’t really shock you even when you may not have guessed the possibility. But the second twist kind of baffles you because the story decides to move away from the expected victory of good over evil. The build-up towards that climax, which included the casteist attitude of the character played by Kumud Mishra to the sexual abuse faced by the character played by Kajol somewhere, didn’t get that much registration in our minds. It was a segment that had the scope to enter a very grey and hopeless space. But the expected impact wasn’t there.
The sequence of these stories is actually done very smartly. While Balki’s story is pretty much like the first 20 minutes of a typical happy film, Konkona Sen Sharma’s movie sets the tone through its nuanced storytelling. Sujoy Ghosh’s movie causes severe damage to the rhythm of things with its fantasy-like treatment. And Amit Sharma’s segment gives you hope that the film will finish on a high. But I think that story demanded a more elaborate narration to make us feel really bad for that character played by Kajol.
Konkona Sen Sharma's segment soared above the others in terms of the way it approached many layers within a minimal time.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended