Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Dirty Picture

Rating : 7/10
Release Date : 2nd December, 2011
Time : 144 minutes
Director : Milan Luthria; Writer : Rajat Arora; Music : Vishal-Shekhar
Starring : Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar Kapoor, Rajesh Sharma, Anju Mahendru

“Hero ho ya villain, har kahani ki vamp sirf main hoon”

The story is quite well known. Vidya Balan wants to be a film actress. At any cost. Gets her chance and grabs it with both hands, pun intended. She encounters the mega star of the era and her childhood crush, Naseeruddin Shah. Goes for him, ensuring her rapid rise to stardom, along the way making a few enemies like Emraan Hashmi, a director who wants to make meaningful cinema and stay clear of item numbers etc. However, after an incident involving Naseer’s wife, she decides to go for his younger brother, the diffident, underconfident Tusshar.

“Public kahin aur khujlana chahti hai aur tu unka dimag khujlane main laga hai”

A mix of booze, arrogance, unprofessionalism, wayward ways, the passage of time, the addition of a few kilos on the waistline and the entry of new girls soon sees the demise of her popularity and we watch her struggle to cope with the new reality in most of the second half.

“Dikh raha hai kitne mazdooron ne kaam kiya hai is khet main”

Its time to pay homage to a few masterstrokes by the film-makers of The Dirty Picture. First is the name itself, adding at least a couple of crores to the box office intake. Next is the casting, brilliant for its choice of unusual suspects – right from Vidya for the lead role of a bare-all vamp, Naseer for the role of a lecherous superstar and Emraan for the role of a director who hates smut. In the film itself, what stands out is the dialogue, which is pithy, punchy, raunchy, laden with double entendre and very funny. And the way the story is told, with enough smattering of South Indian film ethnicity yet being almost universal in its essential outline, is also commendable

“Kya tum ne suna nahi ? Maine 500 ladkiyon ke saath ‘tuning’ ki hui hai !”
“Par kya aapne ek hi ladki ke saath 500 baar ‘tuning’ ki hai ?”

The film was too long. By the time the interval happened, I had genuinely thought that they were (like Dhobi Ghat or Delhi Belly) going to go ahead without a halftime. The end also prolongs, and maybe chopping off 20 minutes could’ve made it a better film. Apart from the sensational ‘Ooh La La, Ooh La La’, the other songs struggle to hold their own, the one with the dance off, in the second half being possibly the worst in terms of musical aesthetics and necessity in storyline.

“Jab devi swayam saamne prakat ho, to mandir ko kya dekhna”

The film is illuminated though by its performances, each of the actors deliver in their roles. Vidya never looked so young (first half) or so carefree (all of the film), doing the matka / jhatkas and short hemlines, low necklines with √©lan and surprising comfort. Naseer shows once more how he is one of the best chameleons of our time, behaving just as you would expect a superstar to behave. Special mention for Rajesh Sharma, the producer who ‘finds’ and names Vidya, he gives a great performance (as always, as in Khosla Ka Ghosla, NOKJ amongst others).

“Raat ko to 12 baje ki suiyon ki tarah chipke rahte ho, aur din main 6 baje ki tarah, bilkul alag”

Its not all about titillation. There are several interesting comments about the film world. The sycophancy and ‘respect’ accorded to the megastars, the arrogance that success breeds, the illusionary comfort that addictive substances bring when alone (cigarettes, booze etc) and also how success is only temporary and in the bad times the only thing that can tide you over is your behaviour in the good times. There is a story here, an interesting one, one which describes the hypocricy of our wealthy elite well. As Naseer comments in the film ‘jab kapde utarne lagte hain, to sab se zyada maza to sharifon ko hi aata hai’.

“Teri biwi tere bare main theek hi kehti hai, ‘Holi khelne ka shauk hai, par pichkari main dum nahin hai’”


Rishikesha Krishnan said...

Liked your review. I am not a Hindi film buff, but I am persuaded to see the movie...

Tanmoy said...

I have heard that Rajesh Sharma used to be a cab driver. He has come a long way in terms of acting, too. Do you reside in Kolkata( since you are with RPG)?

Anonymous said...

Saw Dirty Picture yesterday...I shared the same feeling about it, like you. However when I did some browsing on Silk Smitha, I was quite 'put off' to say the least...I felt that they should have done a little more research before starting off !

Firstly, Silk Smitha was 'far less raunchy'.. she did compromise but at the end she had a remorse and she did try to make up by producing some movies showing her in a 'better light' which ofcourse flopped and left her penniless. The fact which contributed largely to her suicide

2. Balaji has managed to make reel-Smitha shed more clothes (and earn more money !!)than the original one could have ever imagined. Somehow this makes me feel very bad, because it kind of tears off the 'bacchi kucchi izzat' if I may say so of Silk Smitha (not that I adore her !!)...and this done posthumoulsy and specially when she does not have any one who can protest, is impardonable

Anonymous said...

dirty picture was one of the most rubbish movies I have ever seen the story line made me sick. what a horrible concept when I was 10 in 1930 if I my father had seen this he would have called the director and slapped him .