Actress: Vidya Balan
Director: Milan Luthria
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Release Date: 2nd December, 2011
Cast: Vidya Balan, Naseruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar Kapoor
Producer/s: Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor
Writer: Rajat Arora
Music: Vishal & Shekhar
Imagine a make-up girl who became an extra and then the most wanted heroine of the early 80s.
Chronicling the meteoric rise and steep fall of the erstwhile screen sensation – Silk Smitha, The Dirty Picture is set against the colorful and entertaining backdrop of the South film industry of the 80’s.
The quintessential siren, Silk, knew her audiences, and it didn’t seem like anything would stop the fiercely ambitious starlet, till it did, in the shape of unrequited love.
To the world, she was the queen of sensuality. But at heart, Silk was just another woman craving true love.
An unfortunate encounter with deceit and infidelity led to dire consequences!
Balaji and Milan Luthria team up again after their smash hit, Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, to create a dazzling and spectacular musical entertainer that is already in the news for being the most keenly anticipated drama of the year.
Vidya Balan dreams of becoming a film star. Despite her talent, she has to give her co-star sexual favours. The film traces her journey from being a struggler to a superstar and then a fading star. In her journey, she has affairs with three men, including Naseeruddin Shah and Tusshar Kapoor. Read the review of The Dirty Picture for more.
Business rating: 4 / 5 stars
Star cast: Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Tusshar, Emraan Hashmi.
What’s Good: The script; the dialogues; the acting; the music; the narrative style.
What’s Bad: Nothing really except some boring portions in the post-interval part.
Verdict: The Dirty Picture is a wonderful film and will do extraordinary business.
Loo break: None.
Watch or Not?: Of course… but be prepared for vulgar dialogues too!
Balaji and Alt Entertainment’s The Dirty Picture (A) is the story of a struggling actress, Reshma (Vidya Balan), and how she makes it big in the glamour world.
Reshma runs away from home on the day she is to get married as she dreams of a career as a leading lady in films. After a lot of hardships, she gets to show her dancing skills in a film. The film’s director, Abraham (Emraan Hashmi), deletes the sexy song from the film as he is against sex-laden songs in his film. However, producer Selva Ganesh (Rajesh Sharma) adds the song and turns a flop film into a successful one. He now decides to launch Reshma as a leading lady in his next film as he sees a lot of potential in her. Rechristening her Silk, Selva Ganesh introduces her in a film with superstar Surya (Naseeruddin Shah). However, it’s not so easy for Silk who has to sell her body to win the superstar’s favour and not be thrown out of the film by him.
Silk soon becomes a big star as success kisses her feet. Of course, Surya won’t let her forget how it was because of him that she was a superstar today. His sexual escapades with Silk become regular.
Even as Silk’s career is on a roll, director Abraham falls upon bad times. But he is still wary of Silk who uses her sexuality on screen to entice the audience.
Silk begins to resent Surya’s sexual advances towards her and she soon finds a sympathiser in Ramakant (Tusshar), the younger brother of Surya and a struggling film writer. Much to Surya’s annoyance, Silk has an open affair with Ramakant. Although Ramakant is a good soul, he doesn’t have the courage to stand by Silk because of pressures from his elder brother. In disgust, Silk walks out on Ramakant.
Soon, Silk loses form as an actress and even storms out of the sets one day when her director points out so. Silk’s downfall begins and she is unable to handle it. She decides to herself produce a film starring herself. Her film opens the same day as director Abraham’s film does. As luck would have it, her film bombs at the box-office while Abraham’s film clicks. Her liabilities mount, her financier haunts her for his money.
What happens thereafter? Is Silk able to pull herself out of the mess she has landed herself in? Does anybody come to her rescue? Is it Surya? Or Ramakant? Or Abraham?
The Dirty Picture Review: Script Analysis
Rajat Aroraa’s story of a girl who has a burning desire to court the glamour world at any cost relies upon sex and sleaze to take the audience through her journey. One would expect the film to, therefore, have appeal just for the front-benchers but it is not so. Rajat Aroraa’s screenplay and director Milan Luthria’s handling of the subject are so extraordinary that the drama would appeal to the masses and the classes as much as to the front-benchers. Silk’s romantic tracks with Surya, Ramakant and the third man in her life make the film quite unpredictable, which is one major plus point. In the romantic portions of Silk and Ramakant, what comes as a great bonus to the audience is the way in which, through her affair with him, Silk gets back at the elder brother, Surya, humiliating him and crushing his ego at every point. Even Silk’s singular scene with Radhika (Shivani Tanskale), wife of Surya, is brilliant because it lets Silk pour out her frustration.
Actually, all through the portion after Silk walks out on Surya and romances Ramakant, the venom she spews on Surya makes the drama oh so interesting, if only because Silk gets opportunities to give vent to her pent-up emotions. Silk’s romance with Surya gives an insight into the working of the film industry in yesteryear and that will be loved by the public. The third romantic portion of Silk is excellent because of its purity.
Mention must be made here of the dialogues of the film which are no less than a hero of the film. Rajat Aroraa’s bold and sex-laden dialogues don’t only go brilliantly well with the subject of the film but also convince the viewer that they are truly a very inspired piece of writing. No doubt, there would be a small section of the audience, especially the orthodox and elderly ladies and men, which would feel repulsed by the vulgar and obsence dialogues but there would be a large section which will greet those very dialogues with loud whistles and claps. In fact, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that Rajat Aroraa’s dialogues could well bag all the awards for the best dialogues this year and his story and screenplay could well be strong contenders for those awards.
Among the clapworthy/whistleworthy/laugh-worthy dialogues are those about not singing a song when on the border, pen-leaking, pichkari mein dum, imaarat-mazdoor, paanch sau baar tuning, when Ramakant teaches Silk to drive a car, and almost all the dialogues between Silk and Abraham and many of those mouthed by Silk. Silk’s speech when she wins the best actress award is remarkable for the dialogues and the points it makes.
All in all, Rajat Aroraa’s script deserves distinction marks and although it may hurt the sensibilities of a thin section of the audience, it would be simply loved by the majority, especially by the younger generation. No doubt, the drama dips at places in the second half but that will not tell on the box-office fate of the film for the simple reason that the audience would have made up its mind by interval point that the film is excellent – and that decision would not really change despite the few loose points in the script.
The Dirty Picture Review: Star Performances
Vidya Balan deserves the highest praise for accepting the role of an actress who wears sex on her sleeve and for delivering a flawless and absolutely uninhibited performance. She seems to have submitted herself completely to her director and to the demands of the script and has acted so naturally that it is difficult to imagine anyone else doing what she has done in the film. She would easily bag every best actress award this year for her remarkable show of talent. Naseeruddin Shah is first-rate as the lecherous superstar. He gets into the skin of the character of Surya and does a splendid job of it. Tusshar shines in a role that’s quite different from the usual hero roles. He is suitably restrained and acts very well. Emraan Hashmi delivers a memorable performance, first as the frustrated and failed director and then as a guy in love. His dialogues are superb. Anju Mahendroo shines as journalist Nyla. Rajesh Sharma is wonderful in the role of Selva Ganesh. Mangal Kenkre as Reshma’s foster-mother, and Neha Bam as her biological mother lend good support. Arya Banerjee makes her presence felt as rising star Shakila. Shivani Tanskale leaves a mark as Surya’s wife. Navin Gothi (as the love-lorn fan of Silk), Vikas Shrivastav (as casting director Sudhir), Sarang Sathaye (as choreographer George), Brajkishore Tiwari (as the pornographic filmmaker), Imran Hasnee (as director Vijayan), Mukesh Ahuja (as the man whose pen leaks in his pocket) and Ashok Awasthi (as the guy who makes Reshma an indecent proposal in the cinema hall) lend fabulous support. Others provide good support.
The Dirty Picture Review: Direction & Music
Milan Luthria’s direction is superb. He has handled the film with remarkable maturity and has made a film about sex and sleaze appealing to all strata of society. His biggest victory lies in not letting the film degenerate into a crass drama meant only for the front-benchers. Vishal-Shekhar’s music is hit. The Ooh la la song is already a rage and seems to have become the new national anthem. The Ishq sufiyana song is also beautiful. The picturisation of both the songs (by Pony Verma) is excellent. Rajat Aroraa’s lyrics are just too appropriate for the situations. The Naku muka song, playing in the background (music by Vijay Anthony) is appealing. Bobby Singh’s camerawork is lovely. Action scenes, choreographed by Javed-Aejaz, are appropriate. Sets, erected by Priya Suhas, are good. Editing (Akiv Ali) is crisp.
The Dirty Picture Review: Komal Nahta’s Verdict
On the whole, The Dirty Picture is a lovely picture. It will work wonders at the box-office and work in both, multiplexes as well as single-screen cinemas. Its dialogues, music, performances and mature handling are its biggest plus points. A sureshot hit! For the genre of film it is, The Dirty Picture will write box-office history!!
The Dirty Picture: Komal Nahta’s Video Review
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