Lust Stories 2 (2023): Bold Contents Defy Traditions

Lust Stories 2 is an anthology movie that deals with the adult theme of sensuality, desire, craving, longing and passion. This anthology cinema is the second film from Lust Stories, which was released in 2018.

Despite the dominance of conservative norms, traditions, thinking and mindsets in India, the said picture was relatively well-received in the OTT space, which it seems has viewers belonging to the progressive mindset. That may be the reason, why we can watch Lust Stories 2 on OTT, with not many people demanding its boycott by the public. Despite the fact that its contents defy traditions and established belief systems.

Lust Stories 2 (IND/2023) Film:- details

GenreRomance, Drama
Original languageHindi (& a bit of Marathi in one)
Age-restrictionsA (18+)
Film length2 Hours 12 Minutes
WritersR Balki – Made For Each Other
Konkana Sen Sharma & Pooja Tolani – The Mirror
Sujoy Ghosh & Ankit Dahiya – Sex with Ex
Amit Ravindranath Sharma & Saurabh Choudhary – Tilchatta
CastNeena Gupta, Mrunal Thakur, Angad Bedi, etc.
Tillotama Shome & Amruta Subhash.
Tamannaah Bhatia & Vijay Verma.
Kajol & Kumud Mishra.
About – Lust Stories 2

Lust Stories 2 (IND/2023) Film:- synopsis

Four eminent Indian directors (Konkona Sen Sharma, Amit Ravindernath Sharma, R Balki & Sujoy Ghosh) explore sex, desire and love through short films in this sequel to 2018’s Emmy-nominated “Lust Stories” film.

Lust Stories 2 (IND/2023) Film:- {Spoilers Free} review

In an Indian society dominated by conservatives, not many people usually talk about Lust – the forbidden feeling that exists among all of us. Especially, when we hardly ever talk about the emotional needs of desire and longingness among the women folks of India. The recent movies, namely, Lust Stories (2018) and Lust Stories 2 (2023) have tried to challenge the well-established social norms and traditions in Indian society by taking a rather unusual, unfiltered, uncensored and honest view on the issue of lust.

No wonder, its stories made me uncomfortable, as they challenged the social norms.

In director R Balki’s anthology segment “Made For Each Other”, the grandmother – Dadi (Neena Gupta) challenges the well-entrenched convention of arranged marriage practices, wherein virginity is still considered a necessary virtue and pre-marital sex is considered unthinkable in Indian society. Neena Gupta tries hard to shine in her bold and outrageous role in this tale. However, I didn’t like the content of this particular story, as it seemed an unnatural push on the part of Dadi to verbally pressure her granddaughter to indulge in an act of sex and passion.

But then, perhaps we live in bizarre times, wherein Indian society and Indians are embracing change.

Konkona Sen Sharma directed the anthology segment “The Mirror”, in which the upper-middle-class single professional woman Isheeta (Tillotama Shome) and lower-middle-class maid Seema (Amruta Subhash) explore the contemporary issues of sexuality and sensuality among the working women of India innovatively. The themes of economic inequalities, material privileges and basic human sexual needs have been explored beautifully. Both Tillotama and Amruta are great in this tale about lust and realities.

Sujoy Ghosh directed the anthology segment “Sex with Ex”. An immoral man Vijay Chauhan (Vijay Verma) goes to extreme lengths to fulfil his two lusts – to get rich ambitions and to fulfil his sexual desire. He even uses and misuses his ex-Shanti (Tamannaah Bhatia) in real as well as unreal life in this dramatic anthology tale about the lustful man, Vijay. But, as the saying goes – Karma always hits back even in the most unexpected ways.

In director Amit Ravindernath Sharma’s anthology segment “Tilchatta” (Cockroach), a depraved man with extreme carnal desires Suraj Singh (Kumud Mishra) mistreats and abuses everyone, including his wife Devyani Singh (Kajol), his young adult son, the maids, the servants and anyone who comes into his contact. So, not surprisingly, Suraj Singh is hated by everyone as well as his family members. But he refuses to die like a Tilchatta (Cockroach) in this tale.

I liked the expected twists and unexpected turns that this story takes. Both Kajol and Kumud Mishra have given good performances in tales about grief and sacrifices.

Lust Stories 2 (IND/2023) Film:- posters

Lust Stories 2 (2023) Film Poster

Lust Stories 2 (IND/2023) Film:- {Spoilers Alert} about four (4) anthology tales

Focus on Story 1 – Made For Each Other

Two young people – Veda (Mrunal Thakur) and Arjun (Angad Bedi) are brought together by their respective families as their arranged marriage is proposed and accepted by both the families, bride and groom. However, throwing caution and social conventions to the dustbins, the bold and progressive Dadi – the grandmother (Neena Gupta) suggests Veda and Arjun, check their sexual compatibility before getting married.

Dadi believes from her own life experiences that only their great sexual harmony will ensure a long and happy married life. So, they copulate prior to getting married. So, all is well that ends well.

Focus on Story 2 – The Mirror

Seema (Amruta Subhash) works as a maid and lives in a small one-bedroom house (kholi) along with her husband and two teenage kids. Because of her limited means and income, both Seema and her husband do not get any kind of privacy to make love to each other. So, they shift their conjugation activities to the comfortable bed and the bedroom of her employer Isheeta’s (Tillotama Shome) apartment in a housing complex.

Everything was going fine for all of them.

But then one day, Isheeta (a relatively well-off educated single working woman) comes home early and watches her maid Seema in compromising sexual acts. However, instead of confronting Seema, Isheeta continues to come to her house early to secretly watch Seema and her husband copulating. This continues for a while until Isheeta, Seema and her husband get caught in the acts and confront each other in a loud manner.

Consequently, Ishetta fires Seema.

But as time passes by, both Isheeta and Seema miss each other. In the end, both of them decide to give their relationship (as employer and maid) another chance.

Focus on Story 3 – Sex with Ex

While on a long drive, the owner/driver of a luxurious car – Vijay Chauhan (Vijay Verma) meets with an accident near a strange little town. In that small town, he bumps into his beautiful ex-wife Shanti (Tamannaah Bhatia) and once again his carnal and animal instincts take over. He forces his ex-wife to have sex with him.

While they were indulging in intercourse, we were told the back story about their mysterious separation. Apparently, Vijay acted as a criminal mastermind to force his wife Shanti to leave him and disappear. He did so that he could marry the daughter of a wealthy businessman and become the CEO of the company.

In the end, we realize that it is a dream and wild imaginative sequence, wherein Vijay has died in a horrible car accident, but his lust for Shanti continues even then.

Focus on Story 4 – Tilchatta” ~ “Cockroach”

Suraj Singh (Kumud Mishra) has fallen into bad times as he has squandered all his riches. However, once upon a time, his ancestors ruled the area; therefore, he was also addressed as the Raja (King) by the people of the area. Now, Suraj Singh is an abusive and cheating husband. But his wife Devyani Singh (Kajol) silently bears his torturous violent behaviour and verbal abuse for the sake of her son’s bright future.

She has two wishes – firstly, to see her husband die and then secondly to see her son go to England (along with her) for his higher studies. However, in the end, that does not happen, as her husband refuses to die – like a Tilchatta – a Cockroach and her son catches the life-threatening sexual disease because of his lustful sexual acts with a maid.

So, her wishes remain unfulfilled and her dreams are crushed.

And it is a really tragic scenario for Devyani Singh.

Lust Stories 2 (IND/2023) Film:- ratings

FM’s rating3.75/5
IMDb rating as of the date 7.30/10
Rotten Tomatoes ratings as of the date33% Audience Score
Sukanya Verma/Rotten Tomatoes Once again featuring four short stories by four directors with decidedly diverse film-making voices, it is a fairly worthwhile follow-up whose potential as a streaming franchise cannot be undermined.
Lust Stories 2 (2023) – FM, IMDb & Rotten Tomatoes ratings

Lust Stories 2 (IND/2023) Film:- trailer

Lust Stories 2 (2023) – official trailer | Youtube

Now let us revisit and take a closer look at the Lust Stories film, which was released in 2018.
Lust Stories (2018) Film scene

Lust Stories (IND/2018) Film:- details

GenreDrama, Romance
Original LanguageHindi
Age-CertificationA (18+)
Film Length 2 Hours
WritersRadhika Apte & Anurag Kashyap
Ruchika Oberoi
Dibakar Banerjee
Sumit Saxena
AwardsInternational Emmy Awards – 2019 Nominee Emmy Best Performance by an Actress Radhika Apte India
International Emmy Awards – 2019 Nominee Emmy TV Movie/Mini-Series India
TaglinesDiscover love and everything in between
About – Lust Stories (2018)

Lust Stories (IND/2018) Film:- synopsis

Directed by four talented Indian filmmakers (Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee & Karan Johar), Lust Stories offers a refreshing and nuanced portrayal of women’s complex desires – an anthology of four stories that sheds light on modern relationships from the viewpoint of the Indian woman.

Lust Stories (IND/2018) Film:- {Spoilers Free} review

Director Anurag Kashyap and lead actress Radhika Apte (as Kalindi) take an unabashed and unflinching look at female sexual desire in this anthology segment of the film. This is indeed a bold theme that pushes the envelope of morality in society. One often wonders, in a case of role reversal, what if the lead of this story is a male protagonist (Kalind), then the issues of sexual desire will certainly take a quite different turn in Indian society.

In this anthology segment of the film, the director Zoya Akhtar uses the characters of Sudha (Bhumi Pednekar) and Ajit (Neil Bhoopalam) to expose the blatant hypocrisies and double standards of the highly moralistic middle class of India. As usual like the character of Ajit, many middle-class people have one set of moral rules and standards for themselves in their personal lives; meanwhile, they continue to cross the proverbial Lakshman-Rekha, while expecting other people to stay within the moralistic Lakshman-Rekha defined by the society.

In the director Dibakar Banerjee’s anthology segment of the film, the lead actor Reena (Manisha Koirala) seeks meaningful and fulfilling relationships in her life. But she is caught between her husband Salman (Sanjay Kapoor) and her secret lover Sudhir (Jaideep Ahlawat), as her emotional and physical tug-of-war continues to occur between Salman and Sudhir. Incidentally, Sudhir is Salman’s best friend. So, what are the choices for Reena, as she seeks to change her life?

In this anthology segment of the film, director Karan Johar explores the theme of unmet sexual desire and ultimate sexual fulfilment through the lead actress Megha (Kiara Advani) acts and actions. Also, Rekha (Neha Dhupia) pushes the same ideas. The basic question in this tale is – what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behaviour in contemporary Indian society? This story certainly pushes the limits of the envelope.

Lust Stories (IND/2018) Film:- poster

Lust Stories (2018) Film Poster

Lust Stories (IND/2018) Film:- ratings

FM’s rating3.65/5
IMDb rating as of the date6.40/10
Rotten Tomatoes ratings as of the date100% Tomatometer & 63% Audience Score
Anupama Chopra/Rotten TomatoesIn Lust Stories, directors Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar deconstruct the splendour, complexity and chaos of lust.
Lust Stories (2018) – FM, IMDb & Rotten Tomatoes ratings

Lust Stories (IND/2018) Film:- trailer

Lust Stories (2018) – official trailer | Youtube

Lust Stories 1 & 2 (IND~2018 & 2023) Films:- conclusion

To conclude, I would say that in a small step, the Lust Stories films have tried to give the thoughts and desires of real women a rightful space on the screen. Nevertheless, I would like more women writers and directors to take control of the narrative. And please don’t judge it harshly, only watch it without any prejudices to broaden your horizon and learn new aspects of human lives and changing Indian society.

Lastly, a word of caution perhaps, these are not family movies, they deal with adult themes, so do not watch them with your extended family members. Okay, with an open mind, do try and enjoy! And if you like anthology series/movies like Lust Stories from India, then do check out our article about the Modern Love Chennai series too.

Featured & Other Images: Lust Stories 1 & 2 Films | Netflix.