After going through the art presentation of Netflix Originals Lust Stories (2018) by our pioneering film directors, I was assured that there isn’t any dearth of talent in the entertainment industry. Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar are the brains behind the art and aesthetics of the film, and the planning and execution of its script and the plotline. These filmmakers are known and regarded for their on-screen depiction of human character, emotions, feelings, bonding, love, warmth and pleasure, as their fictitious stories often involve and engage the audience.
I was right in my choice as, apart from entertaining its audience with an unfolding set of drama, beauty and boldness, Lust Stories’ script was accompanied by meticulous and marvellous individual performances. After long, I saw Manisha Koirala on an OTT platform, as she almost disappeared from the big screen after her cancer treatment in 2013. Her performance is equally matched by performances of Radhika Apte, Bhumi Pednekar, Neha Dhupia and Kiara Advani. The story focuses on how the entrenched system of patriarchy and its set up affects and influences the choices and decisions of all the sexes alike.
The meaning of sexuality might be interpreted differently by different individuals, given the relationship. But what if a woman had an extramarital affair or entered into a live-in relationship with someone else? What if she chose another way round for gratification of her sexual needs and passions?
This might cause conflict and chaos between couples who, on account of mutual suspicion, might end up cheating and playing with the trust of one another. This has become the chief characteristic of modern-day relationships; growing intolerant towards differences in attitude and perception of the other through our egos, and restricting space for any negotiation, taking pride in patriarchy.
This has become a plus point for patriarchy, where biological roles have gained prominence in distinguishing gender-specific roles, restricting the scope and significance of liberty and autonomy. Thus, we have a variety of feminists around us, taking the stage in elaborating upon why patriarchy matters. But rather than providing any solution by questioning, they’re asserting their claims against the prevalence of patriarchy.
There are many analytical frameworks in our mind, but none will work to our advantage in dealing with what we term ‘patriarchy’. Rather, we need to build a consensus through our deliberations for opening up spaces, seeking a greater understanding of our perceptions, opinions and world views. Liberation and autonomy shouldn’t be seen in opposition, rather as co-existing and inherent qualities of our self-assertion and articulation as goes the tenet of the mini series Lust Stories.