The anticipation for the second season of Lust Stories was what led us to write about how censorship has evolved in Indian cinema. Having watched the season intently, scene by scene, we now present our thoughts on the stories.
The stories are presented in the same pattern as the first season, with four brilliant minds directing different stories featuring different actors.
The directors this season are R. Balki, Konkona Sen Sharma, Sujoy Ghosh, and Amit Ravindernath Sharma, all of whom use their skills to present captivating stories.
The first story features Mrunal Thakur and Angad Bedi as a new couple discussing their potential marriage. Neena Gupta, Veda’s (Mrunal Thakur) quirky grandmother, advises them about the importance of sexual compatibility in a marriage.
She urges them to ensure they can satisfy each other’s needs and live a happy life together.Despite the initial dismay of the families towards the grandmother’s blunt and progressive thoughts, the couple listens to her.
However, when the conversation turns to “sex,” it seems that the mic is on mute for everyone, reflecting society’s orthodox views on premarital relations.
Balki’s story humorously battles these views, although certain aspects of the dialogue delivery miss the mark slightly.
Konkona Sen Sharma
Konkona Sen Sharma’s story stands out among the others with its portrayal of class issues and sexual repression and gratification.
Amruta Subhash in a still from the film; Image Source: Hindustan Times
The story follows Isheeta, played by Tillotama Shome, who unexpectedly discovers her maid Seema (Amruta Subhash) having sex secretly in her house.
It is later revealed that the man is her husband, who sneaks into her house daily due to the lack of space and time they have together at their own home.
Isheeta finds herself sexually aroused by the sight of Seema and her husband and starts sneaking into their house each day to watch them. Sen explores voyeurism, a concept less explored in Indian cinema, in a thrilling manner.
She further directs Seema catching Isheeta and finding herself aroused by being watched.The confrontation scene in the story is wonderfully directed, revealing their secrets and leading to Isheeta and Seema making remarks about each other’s backgrounds.
The two women face off in a brilliantly directed scene, and Tillotama delivers the story’s best lines, visibly hesitant to confront Seema, knowing she has made mistakes herself.
The ending, however, leaves much unsaid and unexplained. Nevertheless, it manages to complete the story.
The third story in this anthology, featuring Vijay Verma and Tamannaah Bhatia, is relatively weaker compared to the rest and fails to entertain.
The story struggles to present itself as a thrilling tale. Although it starts off promisingly and has potential, it falls short in providing amusement.
Tamannaah and Vijay portray an estranged couple who engage in a temporary extramarital affair, cheating on their current partners, driven by their lust for each other.
The plot twist feels weak because of the runtime and overall ick that Vijay’s character gives, and fails to shock the watchers, the way it intended to.
Amit Ravindernath Sharma
The fourth and arguably the most thrilling story is Amit Sharma’s film featuring Kajol and Kumud Mishra, both delivering outstanding performances.
The story showcases an abusive relationship and the subsequent revenge. The story begins by depicting Kajol as a helpless woman trapped in a marriage with an abusive husband who refuses to let go of his family’s broken reputation.
Kumud Mishra takes advantage of his tarnished “royal” status, indulging in lustful activities and using his title to his benefit. Kajol seeks revenge against her husband for his mistreatment and portrays her character brilliantly.
Her husband holds her past as a sex worker against her and threatens to send her back to that life if she doesn’t comply with his wishes.
Kajol discovers that an STD has been spreading among the sex workers in their brothel.
To get her revenge, she brings one of the sex workers, Rekha, to their house under the guise of working as a maid, knowing that her husband would lust after her.
The story takes a tragic turn as the joy on Kajol’s face transforms into horror when she sees her son accompanied by Rekha instead of her husband.
In conclusion, the second season of Lust Stories presents a collection of thought-provoking and engaging tales.The directors, R. Balki, Konkona Sen Sharma, Sujoy Ghosh, and Amit Ravindernath Sharma, showcase their skills in storytelling, exploring themes such as sexual compatibility, class issues, sexual repression, and revenge.
While some stories may have minor shortcomings in dialogue delivery or execution, the overall anthology captivates the audience with its unique narratives and powerful performances.