Netflix’s latest Hindi movie, Lust Stories, was everything the trailer promised – funny, emotional, and definitely exciting.
Four very different movies actually showcase one common thing – the concept of desire and sexuality from a woman’s point of view.
Here are 11 moments from the anthology that spoke directly to us.
1. In Kashyap’s story, Radhika Apte as Kalindi is every one of us dealing with an affair.
Enamored and encouraged by her more experienced husband (12 years her elder) Radhika Apte as Kalindi tries, and fails at viewing her infidelity as just a fling.
She wanted the experience but she wasn’t ready for the emotions – guilt, affection, and more that comes with it.
2. When Kalindi judges her younger lover for the books he has.
This scene was literally all of us.
And the reasons that Tejas (Akash Thosar of Sairat fame) gives are even better!
3. When Kalindi gets confused while explaining her own point!
Yes, that happens. In our mind – the logic is flawless. When it comes to expressing it, we struggle for words.
Also, explaining our inner ramblings by pretending we’re talking to someone – we’ve all done that! I often imagine to be on the couch of a talk show.
4. Zoya Akhtar’s Sudha (Bhumi Pednekar) is the picture of the Indian maid we are just a little too reliant on.
A restrained Sudha is not just looking after the bachelor pad, but also bachelor. Her affair with Ajit (Neil Bhoopalam) seems to blur out the class difference but then it reappears and becomes evident to not just the audience, but also to the protagonist.
5. When Sudha accepts the difference, and more importantly, moves on.
Contrary to pop culture references, women don’t always throw stuff and shout- sometimes it is with a profound passivity that we accept the situation we can’t change. Like Sudha.
Bhumi Pednekar is absolutely brilliant in the way she lets her expression, and extremely subtle gestures, showcase her inner turmoil. She has literally two dialogues in the whole movie.
6. When Reena (Manisha Koirala) ends her affair, on her terms.
Opposite to Apte’s rambling monologues and inescapable guilt, there is also Bannerjee’s Reena who portrays her choice with beautiful nonchalance.
It is crystal clear, that irrespective of what her husband or lover demands, starting an affair is as much her choice as ending it.
7. When Reena reacts at her husband’s choice of words.
When Reena’s husband comments, ‘I am allowing you your life, so live, don’t lecture.’, is the moment when she lets go of the guilt, and the secrecy, over her affair.
It is clear, that for her, the affair is not about love, or even lust for that matter – but about independence and finally controlling an event on her own terms.
8. When Megha (Kiara Advani) is at the receiving end of her mother-in-law’s demands of ghar ka chirag.
Karan Johar’s short film retains the masala of his full feature films with a slightly satirical tone. The middle-class aunties clichés exist for a reason–because they are true.
Megha’s expression as her mother-in-law tells her that bearing children is the only hasrat a wife can have is spot on!
9. When Paras (Vicky Kaushal) was the unaware, self-centered Indian man.
Paras’s failure in sexually satisfying his wife and failing to notice that is actually most Indian men. It is not that he does not care, it’s simply that he does not know there is anything wrong, despite her euphemisms.
10. When Megha lets Paras know that there is more to a wife’s life than just birthing kids.
Coupled with this is her statement on how she maybe apologetic for where she had the first orgasm (one of the most amusing scenes ever), but she is not apologetic for having had an orgasm.
11. When all the embarrassing but true instances of Indian parents were brought to the forefront.
The mother of a student where Megha teaches is the embodiment of every ‘society aunty’.
She has a problem with the literature her child is reading.
She objects to the skirt length her child is wearing.
And also casually judges a divorced teacher in front of the principal and her daughter.
I don’t think there was any middle-class cliché that Karan Johar did not touch upon.
Finally, we have female characters that exist in a wide spectrum and are not limited to just two extremes – the bold, promiscuous woman who smokes and lusts in abandon (your quintessential ‘bad girl) or the sati savitri ghar ki naari who can only go bold in defense of her or her loved ones’ ‘honor’.
Showing these grey characters is the real relatable aspect of Lust Stories.
For more stories on Netflix, click here.