TheCalmDev (Dev J Haldar)

ravings, rantings and ramblings

The Dirty Picture

I had more incentives to watch this film. Meeting Vidya Balan, for one. Hosting the press conference, photos together, autographed CD and a special screening in the evening with Vidya, Emraan and Tusshar, all added up to it. Yes, the incessant TV promos, and radio song requests and commercials also added to that. However, there are few very noteworthy points that I must enlist, that makes The Dirty Picture a worthwhile film.
Choosing to make a film around the life of ‘the-most-infamous’ screen icon is itself a ticket to doom. I was in my early teens when Silk Smitha was a raging name in the South Indian Film Industry. Sitting up north in Delhi, it was common to not know famous South Indian film actors till they did not attempt a Hindi film. Silk Smitha was neither a hero nor a heroine, but I knew her name. Being infamous too has its far-reaching effects. However making a film on a scorned and ‘tainted’ film actor clearly shows that this film is stepping out of its comfort zone. 

It is a bold film. Bold not because the camera makes you sit on the edge of heaving bosoms, well-rounded belly button or thundering thighs but because attempting to make a film like The Dirty Picture in today’s day and age could prove disastrous. People’s choices have moved on. How or why would one be interested in a biopic? Or a film that is inspired? And that too about a sex symbol, the country doesn’t care for!

Director Milan Luthria isn’t the best thing that happened to the Hindi Film Industry, although, his films have garnered praises, good reviews and audiences in theatres. His last – Once Upon A Time In Mumbai – was a smash hit that took the very popular theme of Mumbai underworld. He is also making a sequel to it. So, the conscious choice of making a film that would revive the ‘now forgotten’ screen siren Silk Smitha definitely is a bold choice.

The other thing that made all audiences sit up and take notice was the casting. Stellar names that have come together for this cinematic outing. Veteran like Naseeruddin Shah in a film like this speaks for itself. The elegant and gorgeous Vidya Balan as the central character certainly piques interest. Emraan holds his own in films and did very well in Milan’s last. Not many would have been surprised to see Tusshar Kapoor (who is good when he has no dialogues in comic capers) in this film that is produced by his mother and sister. One needs to see the film to understand that the casting was very carefully done. Every actor has earned their spot in this film.

That brings us now to the production house – Balaji Motion Pictures. The brains behind BMP has transformed Indian television and cinema too with the recent spate of off-beat or unsually-themed films. Little surprise then, that BMP decided to take a ‘risk’ by reviving the life of Silk Smitha.

The Dirty Picture earned its share of controversy, when Silk Smitha’s brother sent a legal notice to the producer and director claiming that there was no consent from her family to make a film on her life. That case now has been put to rest. But I do hope the brother watches the film and realises that Silk has been portrayed so beautifully. The film exposes the human side of a person who was only objectified as a sex symbol. So, pipe down brother. This is your sister’s 2nd coming.

And now, for the hero of the film – Vidya Balan! Sizzling in the role of screen siren Silk, Vidya is the central character in The Dirty Picture. TV promos, theatrical trailers, You Tube vignettes and posters show us a Vidya we never knew of! Vidya has proved her mettle as an actress across different cinematic canvas right from the demure but self-righteous Lolita in Parineeta, a vivacious RJ with a moral in Lage Raho Munnabhai, an able-bodied Meenakshi in Guru despite her handicap, the possessed Avni aka Manjulika from Bhool Bhulaiiya, the suffering mother of a kid with progeria (Paa), the strong, aggressive and sexually rustic Krishna in Ishqiya to her current role of a buxom, in-your-face, high-octane sex symbol Silk. Vidya’s portrayal is as silken as it gets. She is Silk Smitha. Vidya clearly has proven, yet again, that acting is not about size zero, or maintain strategic friendships or having a designer wardrobe. Acting is about acting. Always has been. She gets into the skin of her character as men lech at her, both in-screen and outside as well. Yet, she manages to show the suffering of a woman who doesn’t have one constant friend in her turbulent life. Silk was controversy’s child and Vidya does that with so much ease. Silk was all about rebellion and exposing the two-faced attitude of society. Am sure preparing for the role mustn’t have been easy and it is not just about gaining weight for it. Actors these days get judged for their body types because we have set ourselves a very ‘coloured’ prototype of that. Actors need to act. Vidya’s class act reminds me of names like Waheeda Rehman and Sanjeev Kumar. Actors with 6-packs and bikini bods are not actors, merely clothes horses for a 3-hour commercial!

Super dialogues by Rajat Arora. Need more coming from him in future offerings. Excellent background score as is the OST. All in all The Dirty Picture is a complete package and should set the cash registers ringing and a few big awards coming in. The film opens in India toay, and this aint no coincidence that today, 2nd December is Silk Smitha’s birthday! Happy birthday!

The Dirty Picture certainly is the film of this year! And like my wife, very correctly said, dirt was never this dishy!


17 comments on “The Dirty Picture

  1. vibsbha
    December 2, 2011

    after watching dis film.cant think of any other actress who could hve carrried off this role ……. vidya is Vidya and totally agree wid u on her reminding of the Waheeda rehman and certainly she is the Hero of the film right from her entry to her exit…… it was totally a OMG 🙂 i am hoping tht she gets acknowledged for her work……..even the make up the wrinkles under her eyes at the end……totally agree wid ur views and dnt hve words to say……. dialougues are an uuuuuufffff…..each and every word said on screen goes straight to d heart 🙂 thnk u for this review….. 🙂 was wtg for ur review 🙂

  2. Ankit Ojha
    December 3, 2011

    A review straight from the heart. I’ve never enjoyed any other movie like this one, and the same goes for the review!

  3. Reema Bhatia
    December 3, 2011

    Just loved the way you have put up the whole review of the dirty picture.. This definitely pushes me to go and watch this movie not once but twice.. A very bold concept and hats off to Vidya to take this up and live it up to more than 100%.. Thanks Dev for putting this up for us!! :))

    • Dev J Haldar aka Calmdev
      December 4, 2011

      Thank you so much Reema! Hope you do watch it, and fast! Vidya sure was a class apart! Hail, the new hero in Hindi Film Industry!

  4. Santanu De
    December 4, 2011

    I actually had gone to see the film without expecting much and was pleasantly surprised with a superbly made film, pacy storyline, witty dialogues and most importantly, absolutely stunning performance from Vidya. The way she has carried the role from an unkempt village girl, to a sex symbol and at last to an ageing, disgustingly plump woman, is highly commendable.
    Fantastic review, Dev as always. You seem to have mastered the art of narrating in the most simplified and artistic form.

  5. Patricia torres
    December 4, 2011

    Wow!! You’ve truly inspired me to watch the movie! I was surely going to watch it for naserrudin shah! But now I’ll watch it today! Very well written review! Thanks!

  6. Honey
    December 4, 2011

    Well written n executed Dev … I like the fact that you recognise that acting is all about just acting and not any anorexic heroine n an over-pumped hero.

    The film will surely b a delight to watch. Good review!

  7. Neha
    December 4, 2011

    Hi Dev, I never knew You write so nicely. This is the first review I am reading….coincidentally it is of The Dirty picture, but both your review as well as picture is hit.

    Become big fan of Vidya after this movie…she has always been an awesome actress.
    Keep up the good work of writing Dev.

  8. Rakshita
    December 30, 2011

    Any movie can neva be as gud as dirty picture nd any actress cant be as gud as VIDYA BALAN …… Excellent work …. Neva seen am actress lyk hr who does justice to al d role she accepts …… VIDYA BALAN S D BEST …… Go on vidya no s as gud as u are ……..

    • Dev J Haldar aka Calmdev
      December 30, 2011

      This could be of consequence to you: actor Naseeruddin Shah said that Vidya is the only actress for whom roles are written. In this ‘hero’ dominated film industry, it is quite an achievement to carve a niche like that! Am sure you join me in wishing Vidya more successes to come!

  9. Pingback: Kahaani – film review « Dev J Haldar

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