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Beyond Bollywood: Indian cinema’s new cutting edge

by Rahul Verma.

A new wave of Indian independent film is breaking the all-singing, all-dancing stereotype of Bollywood via low-cost, offbeat movies and edgier subject matter.

A sleazy shop assistant seduces a vulnerable colleague for a money-spinning sex tape; two hopelessly-in-love students are brutally murdered by the girl’s family; an intrepid TV reporter embarks on an expose of the notorious casting couch. This triptych of stories set in 21st-century metropolitan India unfolds over 98 minutes of blurry, trembling CCTV, mobile phone, camcorder and hidden-camera footage in the film LSD: Love, Sex Aur Dhokha (Love, Sex and Betrayal).

Surely the only Indian film to reference sex and drugs in both its title and abbreviation, LSD: Love, Sex Aur Dhokha is one of the new wave of Indian indies – edgy, off-beat films challenging the stereotype of Indian cinema as tear-jerking, all-singing, all-dancing Bollywood. It fared more than respectably when it was released in India last year, making £1.25m from its paltry £200,000 budget, and was selected to open the inaugural London Indian film festival (LIFF) in 2010, and thereby act as the flagship for this fledgling cinematic phenomenon.

Read the rest of this article from the Guardian.

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