Lust Stories 2: An Engrossing Anthology About Love, Sex, And Desire

Much like its predecessor ‘Lust Stories’ (released in 2018), ‘Lust Stories 2’ also offers a fresh perspective on female desires.

Lust Stories (2018) — directed by Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, Anurag Kashyap, and Karan Johar — was a well-made anthology about female desire.

The protagonists in these segments belong to different generations, socio-economic statuses, and upbringings. But the common aspect that bound them was sex and lust.

The standout story in Lust Stories was the short directed by Zoya Akhtar. Her story was about a domestic worker and her boss. Zoya expertly tackled the issue of a class divide through the lens of lust.

Now, after a gap of five years, you have Lust Stories 2. Much like its predecessor, this also offers a fresh perspective on female desire.

Made For Each Other

Lust Stories 2 begins with R Balki short Made For Each Other. This short primarily looks at checking sexual compatibility before marriage. It opens with Veda (Mrunal Thakur) and Arjun (Angad Bedi).

You have both families discussing when their marriage should take place. At that exact moment, Veda’s  daadi (grandmother, played by Neena Gupta) asks Veda whether she and Arjun had pre-marital sex.

As expected, this leads to a complete silence in the room. Daadi also adds that checking sexual compatibility before marriage is as important as doing a test drive before buying a car.

In the hands of a lesser actor, daadi’s dialogue may have sounded awkward. However, Neena Gupta makes the cool daadi work with her natural performance. Her scenes with Mrunal in particular are very good to watch.

Mrunal Thakur and Angad Bedi don’t have a lot to work with. Nevertheless, they make for a good lovey-dovey couple.

The Mirror

The Mirror, directed by Konkana Sen Sharma, is more intense than Balki’s short.

Isheeta (Tillotama Shome) is an individual leading a mundane life. She has repressed sexual desires.

But one day, things take a significant turn when she accidentally sees her domestic help (Amruta Subhash) engaging in a sexual act with her husband in her house (Isheeta’s).

Instead of confronting the domestic help, Isheeta gets drawn to the scene. She gets a lot of pleasure from watching them.

This segment primarily looks at the inner desires of Isheeta and the complexities that arise from her voyeurism. This short also shows that lust knows no caste, colour or gender.

Both Tillotama and Amruta Subhash are in wonderful form with their uninhibited performances. Though it reminds you of Zoya Akhtar’s short in Lust Stories, Konkana adds many more layers.

Sex With Ex

Sujoy Ghosh’s Sex With Ex is a thriller in typical Sujoy Ghosh’s style. This segment of Lust Stories 2 doesn’t completely draw you in, but it isn’t a complete waste either.

David Chauhan (Vijay Varma) is involved in an accident on the outskirts of a town. While searching for a mechanic he visits a hamlet where he runs into his ex-wife Shanti (Tamannaah Bhatia).

Shanti was assumed to be dead for a long time. Expectedly, this reunion brings a flood of memories.

The best part of this segment is the real-life sensuality that Tamannaah and Vijay Varma bring to the table. The twist at the end also takes you by surprise.

Tilchatta

The last chapter of Lust Stories 2 is Tilchatta (Cockroach) directed by Amit Ravindernath Sharma.

It deals with two issues mainly — firstly, it is about an upper-caste man who still feels that he is living in the age of kings; secondly, it is about a woman trying to find her agency in an abusive marriage.

The patriarch here is Kumud Mishra and the married woman is Kajol.

Tilchatta takes place in a sprawling haveli. Amit Ravindernath Sharma does a wonderful job of bringing out the toxicity and suffocation that Chanda (Kajol) and her son are going through in that large space.

There is an affecting subplot concerning sex workers since Chanda was a sex worker before getting into this haveli. This subplot adds more heft to the drama.

Both Kajol and Kumud Mishra bring their A-game. Kumud Mishra shows once again why he is considered a brilliant actor. He is absolutely terrific as the torchbearer of patriarchy. The way he unabashedly gazes at the bodies of women with so much lust makes the viewers hate him.

Kajol, as the woman trying to find her agency, conveys a lot with just her body language. As viewers, you want her to take the bold step which she eventually does, although things don’t go exactly according to the plan.

Verdict

Much like Lust StoriesLust Stories 2 also makes a bold attempt at bringing taboo topics to the forefront through the digital space.

(Views expressed here are personal.)

Follow Me

Subscribe for Updates
Copyright © 2024 Rigoberthareviews | All Rights Reserved. | Designed By Nagendra 9030706987