Director: Milan Luthria
Cast: Vidya Balan, Naseruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar Kapoor
Genre: Biography, Drama
Synopsis: Loosely based on Silk Smitha, a sex symbol from the South film industry. The bindaas Silk knew her audiences well and she seemed unstoppable until she fell in love which could not be fulfilled. She was the queen of sensuality to the world but an ordinary woman at heart who sought true love. An unfortunate encounter with deceit and infidelity led to the tragedy that became her life.
Review: After the successful “Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai”, The Ekta Kapoor-Luthria-Arora trio take it up one notch higher with “The Dirty Picture”. It’s not perfect by any means, the plot has many ironical loopholes, but the end product is impactful nonetheless. Anchored by a fire-powered and uninhibited performance by Vidya Balan, “The Dirty Picture” exposes the dirty and biased Southern industry of the 80’s. Where the hero can fire a shot at a 500 rupee note in the air and make chiller out of it, but the heroine and the vamp are nothing but card-board cut outs. Yes, we still see that kind of cinema, but the harshness and crudity of the 80’s for women as well as Cinema at large is shockingly and accurately depicted.
The film follows the journey of an applause hungry and ‘not afraid to use her sexuality’ Reshma. Her journey from the small town Reshma who runs away from home to the sex-siren ‘Silk’ takes the usual struggle cum casting-couch turns. Which is why the first half is slightly predictable. But its gets infinitely better after the interval. She becomes a victim of fame, a victim of the human need for love. Refreshingly bold yet vulnerable, applause hungry and proud yet craves for normalcy. ‘Silk’ is an absolute pleasure to watch, in every way (pun intended).
Performance-wise, Vidya takes a bold and luscious character and makes it bolder and violently breath-taking. Hats-off to a well written character and an even better portrayal.
Watch out Rani Mukherjee, someone’s dethroned you (and how). Naseerudin Shah as usual makes the chauvinistic, hypocritical, and womanizing character seem like it’s been carved for him. Emraan’s chemistry with Vidya although sizzling, his performance is rather withdrawn. That could be the result of being overshadowed by two spectacular actors (Balan and Shah).
Musically, the hit south number ‘naka mukka’ is used exceptionally well at key plot points of the film. But hold your breath; the cream of this well-baked pie is the dialogue. Rajat Arora scripts one after the other sparkling dialogue, enough to keep the audience clapping every ten minutes. In fact, I will go as far as to say that I have never before watched a film being held together by a constant wit and repartee of dialogue.
The film is the end leaves you thinking, with many questions raised. For example, can a woman be bold and still receive long lasting love. Is the hunger for fame and applause always fatal? The climax however, is sad but not depressing; Luthria makes sure to end even that with a bang.
Verdict: Gutsy, high-powered, and held together by crisp & laudable dialogue, the film definitely makes for a riveting watch.