The Dirty Picture (Film Review)


A word of caution for the readers, I am a big fan of Vidya Balan and I love all her films even if those are bad. After Ishqiya, Vidya Balan did a very different kind of serious role in No one killed Jessica. As usual, she was awesome. But her real talent is perhaps to portray successfully a role that she is nowhere near in her real life, a sex siren. Yes, that’s what Reshma (Vidya Balan) re-christened as ‘Silk’ is in the film ‘The Dirty Picture.’ The film is supposed to be loosely based on the life of Silk Smita, the South Indian actress of the 80s.

The film starts with a little girl Reshma having big dreams and landing up in Madras with the dreams of acting in films. Not even being able to get any role as an extra she ends up offering everything to a casting officer. The decent guy takes pity on her poverty and gives her some money to eat some food. She returns to him pay him back and gets the role of a ‘hunter wali’ dancer and then there was no looking back for Silk. Selva Ganesh (Rajesh Sharma) offers her a role opposite superstar Suryakant (Naseeruddin Shah) and Silk being a huge fan of Surya since childhood, very easily becomes his prey.
The story flows smoothly and grippingly as the different characters some in as producers, directors and actors who fell in love with Silk, exploited her and was even responsible for her downfall. Abraham (Emraan Hashmi) as the art film director who claims that he is not a pimp when he is asked to cast Silk in his film, is a welcome break from his ‘serial kisser’ image.
Even though Silk is in love with Suryakant, he feels threatened by her popularity and decides to subdue her aspirations. Tusshar Kapoor, the man who loved her leaves her because he does not approve of certain things in her life. Interestingly, Abraham starts taking a liking for her even though he hated her at one time.
Vidya Balan and Naseeruddin Shah shared a unique on screen chemistry in Ishqiya and it’s once again here that the duo show their magic. The picturisation of the song Ooh la la is a good example where the vivacious Silk (Vidya Balan) is far superior than the ageing superstar Suryakant (Naseeruddin Shah).
The screenplay is excellent, the storyline is gripping and fast moving with brilliant performances from everyone. Dialogues are crisp and interesting, notably the ones when Reshma gets renamed as Silk by Selva Ganesh and she quickly names him Keeda Das (worm) because ‘Keedey hee toh banatey hain silk’ (worms produce silk)  and when she shoots back to the casting officer when he complains that she doesn’t even look anything good…do din se chini kha rahi hoon, namkeen kaise lagungi.’ (have been living only on sugar for the last two days, how will I look ‘salty’ (read sexy))
It’s a very touchy story of a woman’s journey to stardom and the fall from the top; the failures in her love life, exploitations and being the victim of different manipulations from people from the opposite camp. 
The film as it is named ‘The Dirty Picture’ is full of ‘dirty’ scenes if the film lingo has to be believed. Revealing dresses, raunchy dialogues, intimidate scenes and even bold smooches, but may be its Vidya Balan, nothing looks cheap and everything fits perfectly in the story.

Milan Luthra’s direction, Rajat Arora’s dialogue, Niharika Khan’s costumes and Bappi Lahiri’s music together with great performances by almost everyone, including Anju Mahendroo as the film critic, makes the film a pleasant watch.
A great film from Ekta kapoor’s banner, possibly we could expect some more real life dramas told in such  a touchy way.