Netflix has released the trailer of Lust Stories, an anthology of four short films directed by ace filmmakers Zoya Akhtar, Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Banerjee. The films tell different stories but seem to have one common thread among themselves: a look at contemporary relationships from the perspective of women. Films and TV shows in India have, for the most part, eschewed this and focused instead on the male standpoint in regards to love and sex. Last year’s Lipstick Under My Burkha was one rare exception, and as expected sparked a censorship controversy after CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) refused to clear it.
It is heartening to see these well-known filmmakers collaborate and use the censorship-free (for now, anyway) platform that Netflix provides to tell perhaps salacious but nuanced tales from the point of view of well-rounded female characters. At least that is what the trailer suggests. The cast is excellent. Radhika Apte, Manisha Koirala, Bhumi Pednekar, Neha Dhupia, Kiara Advani, Vicky Kaushal, Sanjay Kapoor, Jaideep Ahlawat, Akash Thosar and Neil Bhoopalam play pivotal roles in Lust Stories.
Yes, love stories are already done to death in India. But Lust Stories is made up of more than love stories and if they set a norm where future filmmakers make a film with the mindset of treating female characters like real human beings instead of caricatures, who is complaining. I admit I was a little nonplussed by the title, and even now I think they could have thought of a better one.
Lust Stories will begin streaming on June 15, 2018.