Lust Stories 2 review: The sequel’s a mixed bag of highs & lows

Netflix’s Lust Stories 2 tells four different stories all revolving around the titular human emotion of people and the ways it can have drastic ramifications.

Story

The first story of Lust Stories 2 follows Veda and Arjun, a pair about to get married when they and their supposedly “progressive” parents are hit by an actually progressive idea coming from Veda’s grandmother, who wants them to check whether they’re sexually compatible.

She also talks to her granddaughter about her own sexually daring days of old, and about reaching climax, its importance for both the woman and the husband. Veda and Arjun try it out and are satisfied with each other, before venturing into the next chapter of their life together — marriage.

The second story sees a sexually repressed working woman reawakening her drive when begins pleasuring herself looking at her housemaid and her husband having sex at her bed every day. Seema, the housemaid, also finds out Isheeta’s secret but doesn’t tell her about it.

It all goes well until a mistake by Isheeta leads to her getting on the defensive to conceal the fact that she’s been acting like a kinky voyeur. There’s a huge fight between her and Seema and the latter gets fired.

In the end, they meet again after some time has passed. On amicable terms again, Seema begins working at her house again.

The third story follows Vijay Chauhan, who knocks his car at a tree while on his way to an important meeting. While his car gets fixed, he stumbles upon Shanti, his wife over a decade ago who he thought had died. The two reconnect and Vijay quickly gets sensual, with the two having sex shortly after.

Shanti claims Vijay’s current wife tried to get her killed but failed. However, she soon spots a mistake and before realizing that Vijay is the one who wanted her killed, it’s too late. Vijay suffocates Shanti to death, goes to his car, and sees his dead body being dragged out of it.

He realizes that he’s been dead all this time and Shanti is shown to be the same case as well.

The fourth story follows Chandra’s struggle to get her son the best education outside India. She has always dreamed of a better life for her son but her husband, the upper caste sleazebag doesn’t want that.

All he wants is to coerce underprivileged women into sex but when the new maid Rekha catches his attention, Chandra is actually revealed. It was all her plan to get Rekha at the haveli and have her STD affect her husband. However, fate has something cruel for her.

Performances

Vijay Varma brings the same effortlessness here as he has done in most other movies. However, his chemistry with Tamannah seems to have a lot of misses than hits.

Tillotama Sen and Amruta Subhash are action powerhouses and showcase a tremendous display of their acting talent.

Kumud Mishra’s reprehensive character is so easy to hate, and Mishra does it with strong conviction and dedication.

Positives

Lust Stories 2 predominantly talks through the lens of women. The women take into their hands the power to use lust for differing outcomes.

Not every story is trying to do the progressive social message spiel that’s all too common with contemporary Bollywood.

Konkona Sen Sharma’s segment is truly admirable in the depth of its characters, their treatment, the way they’re written, and the way the filmmaker uses camera movements, shots, and angles to create an experience. There’s a genuine effort here that pays off wonderfully.

Konkana’s segment also carries with it many interpretive themes and a lot of gay subtexts as well, which is always welcome. Meanwhile, the Amit Ravindernath Sharma segment is also pretty compelling and has a lot to talk about beyond its central premise and themes of lust, like casteism and class divide.

Negatives

R. Balki’s short is everything that’s wrong with most Bollywood ‘social message’ films, with the quirky and unbelievable characters that, ironically enough, are supposed to be rooted and grounded in the gritty reality.

There’s so much sex education being delivered through goofy euphemisms and metaphors. The lovers talk more than they do here, and again in a shot of painful irony, the short and the grandmother character seem to be so progressive and yet shy away from showing sex instead of alluding to it like a comedy.

The stories all focus on Lust, but the filmmakers seem to be very limited on what it can be. Lust Stories season 2 rarely seems to be making an effort at the

Verdict

Lust Stories 2 is a compilation of enjoyable films that all revolve around the titular human desire, but the execution suffers from quite a couple of misses.

Lust Stories 2
Lust Stories 2 review: The sequel's a mixed bag of highs & lows 1

Director: Konkona Sen Sharma, R. Balki, Amit Ravindernath Sharma, Sujoy Ghosh

Date Created: 2023-06-29 00:30

Editor's Rating:
3.5

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