Direction: Milan Luthria
Production: Balaji Motion Pictures, Alt Entertainment
Cast: Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar
Rating: * * *
Plot: Based on the story of the late South Indian sex siren Silk Smitha, the film tell the story of a young Reshma (Vidya Balan), who dreams of becoming a filmstar. Since her mother decides to marry her off forcefully, she flees from her house and her quest to become a star takes her to Madras. After some struggle, lady luck favors her and she bags a role opposite superstar Surya (Naseeruddin Shah). The village belle Reshma now becomes Silk. To climb the ladder of success, Silk shows no qualms even in accepting casting couch displaying her body to the fullest. But for how long will her life be hunky dory?
You wish to narrate a story of a sex symbol that has tragic consequences but at the same time you are also eager for commercial success. So what do you do? Give ample footage to sex and naughtiness to make sure the audience is entertained or titillated enough before the tragic part starts. Milan Luthria follows that formula in The Dirty Picture, which excels mainly due to Vidya Balan’s earth-shattering performance.
It is difficult to know what the real Silk Smitha went through in order to get a break. But Rajat Aroraa (story, screenplay and dialogues) shows Vidya’s character happy to be a victim of casting couch to become a known name. The viewer is given no time to think about the rights and wrongs of Vidya’s acts as the idea was simply to portray her as unapologetic in whatever she does.
Intentionally or unintentionally, the writer takes leeway of this idea by going overboard with sleaze, which, after a point of time, gives a feeling as if the main intention is to please the frontbenchers. Even the dialogues are used as a tool to titillate. Having said that, Aroraa deserves plenty of applause for wonderfully mixing wit and philosophy in the lines especially in the second half. But it’s the way the tragic climax is conceived that gives you a sense of satisfaction as you move out of the hall.
There’s some sharp editing by Akiv Ali although the film loses some pace in the pre-climax juncture. But for this, the writing should be responsible.
Director Milan Luthria adds another feather in his cap by handling such an unusual subject with maturity and making sure their actors deliver quality performances.
Music composer duo Vishal-Shekhar rise well to the occasion. ‘Ooh La La’, the theme song, suits the film well even if Bappi Lahiri finds it difficult to pronounce ‘Fantasy’. ‘Ishq Sufiana’ and ‘Naka Maka’ are also a pleasure for your ears. The cinematography and background score are perfect too.
While playing the central character in such a movie, it was vital that Vidya Balan gives one of her top performances. However, she goes a notch further and gives her best act ever, although she looks way different than the original Silk Smitha! The way she easily portrays naughtiness, happiness, eagerness and lastly sadness will make sure her act will be the talking point throughout her career.
As expected from a brilliant performer Naseeruddin Shah, he shows his class in an unusual role of an aging South Indian star who continues to play a young actor. His expressions and the way he delivers his lines also succeed in tickling your funny bone.
After Vidya, the one who appeals the most is Emraan Hashmi. His mature act as a frustrated realistic filmmaker who later falls for Silk deserves applause. Easily one of his better acts. Tusshar does well as an innocent youngster who has a crush on Silk. Although not a significant role, he manages well and so does Mangal Kenkre.
Overall, The Dirty Picture has its downfalls which will be overshadowed by sleaze, entertainment and of course Vidya. These factors will also make sure the film enjoys very positive collections at the box-office.