FILM REVIEW: THE DIRTY PICTURE
Cast: Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar Kapoor and Anju Mahendroo
Rating: Four stars
One needs guts to make a film like The Dirty Picture, inspired by the life of South Indian 1980s sex siren Silk Smitha. Producer Ekta Kapoor and Vidya Balan should be commended for taking up the challenge.
The Dirty Picture needs to be lauded for its oomph factor, shock value, skin show and most importantly the script. The result is that director Milan Luthria succeeds in doing justice to Silk Smitha and has managed to extract wonderful performances from his actors, in particular, Balan, who is sure to sweep all awards. In one line, the film is entertainment, entertainment and entertainment.
The Dirty Picture is the story of Silk, a struggling actor who wants to make it big in the film industry and the moment she gets a break, realises where her USP lies. It also traces her journey, her success and her downfall sprinkled with low moments and unrequited love.
In terms of performances, Naseeruddin Shah surprisingly plays to the gallery, something the thespian has always abhorred. However, his character of a successful yet arrogant commercial actor demands this particular nuance. He is fantastic as always.
Balan scorches the screen. It’s a gutsy role and something she has never attempted in the past – a bold role with which she has pushed the envelope. Credit goes to her for not falling into the trap of vulgarity.
Emraan Hashmi is restrained and gives a wonderful performance as the director who is against movies that sell on the basis of sex. In his few scenes with Shah, he actually manages to steal the show under the veteran’s nose. Emraan will certainly be one of the candidates for this year’s best supporting actors. Anju Mahendroo gives a wonderful and admirable performance as a reporter. It’s a performance that will be remembered in years to come.
Tusshar Kapoor is passable though the scene where he breaks into a dance a la Jeetendra is quite hilarious; certainly, his best moment in the movie.
The film has many memorable scenes. The first one being where Silk collects her award and in her speech takes on the hypocrite society. The second is the one where Balan starts dancing on a car outside a party hosted by Anju Mahendroo.
However, the interactions between Balan and Hashmi are rather tedious and slows down the narration.
Milan Luthria is an intelligent director and when one makes a movie that seemingly has sex and eroticism as its calling card, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of vulgarity. However, the director avoids that.
The music by Vishal-Shekhar is superb and Ooh La La is extremely catchy. Ishq Sufiya is another musical gem.
On the whole, The Dirty Picture could be the film of the year and set the cash registers ringing. Even though it’s a biopic, there is not a single dull moment in the film.