The Dirty Picture: Dirt is in the minds

Man lusts for women. If the woman in question is single and vulnerable, then she must be an easy catch. All that happens between that man and woman is put behind the curtains and spoken in a hush-hush manner. But what if the woman turns the tables and exhibits herself as an object of desire? Man’s ego will not allow that kind of a situation. He creates obstacles for that woman to such an extent that living itself becomes difficult for her and calls her DIRTY. But still the woman remains herself. The woman we are talking about is SILK, the protagonist of THE DIRTY PICTURE.

Loosely based on the life of the southern siren, SILK SMITHA, The Dirty Picture shocks you with its dialogue, slaps you hard with its hero(ine) and moves you with its story. The story starts with a girl dreaming about cinema. Her mother asks her to stay rooted on the reality but the girl is so enamored with cinema that she escapes a day before her wedding and just enters into the city of Madras somewhere in the early eighties. 


Initially Reshma (Vidya Balan) does not find any work but makes daily trips to the studios in order to fall into the notice of that casting agent who can offer her some work. But that agent offers her Rs 5 and asks her eat something and decide whether to continue in cinema or else to go away as according to him she is unfit to be in cinema. Reshma decides that she will stay on by choosing a cinema ticket of her favorite star, Suryakant (Naseeruddin Shah) over a meal. Inside the theater she faces a situation of dealing with a voyeur of a man who offers her Rs 20 to spend the with him. Reshma cannot decide what to do but for once her spirits go up as a man found something interesting in her looks. She takes a chance and visits the casting agent again in a shooting spot. Reshma catches a whip and says she will withstand its lashes as well.

The director of the film, Abraham (Emraan Hashmi) is not enthused with his DOP for focussing too much on the body of an extra and cuts away the song. He develops instant hatred for that unknown actress who offended his creativity. But fate has different destiny for Reshma as the producer Selva Ganesh feels that he discovered a sex-bomb of an actress. He introduces himself as an opportunity to Reshma and turns her into SILK and offers her an item number opposite none other than Suryakant.

Surya Sir always needs some ‘tuning’ and Silk promises him a tuning for 500 times and presto, her turn at the stardom arrives. People come to the theaters to have a look at her thunder thighs, her waving bosom and her flaunting midriff. All in all, the collections of any new film begin to depend upon the way Silk has exposed her body.  Camera becomes her lover and the stars of her songs become her lovers by night. Silk is the most popular entrant of many a man’s dreams. But the society in general brands her as DIRTY. 

How can a DIRTY woman like Silk dare to survive in a world of decent people who though secretly like to bed Silk in their dreams? How will Silk deal with the situations she is in? Will her mother accept her? Will she be able to find a person who rightly understands her rather than just touch her? These questions are answered on the big screen and they better be seen on the big screen itself.

THE DIRTY PICTURE is an important landmark in the history of Indian cinema. It celebrates its protagonist who otherwise is just a vamp in cinema. It tells a story which connects with all those who have a common dream of finding themselves on the silver screen. The magic of cinema, the charm of cinema, the deception of cinema behind those arc lights, the stories behind the cinema, these all make for a bigger cinema which is called life. And the Dirty Picture tells in a no-holds barred fashion about the dirty tales of the celebrated, the games they play and the souls they sapped.

The film works just because of Vidya Balan and none else. It has a shock value of its own and Vidya brings herself into the role. She makes you connect with the story rather than with the skin show. Even
in the boldest of scenes you do not tend to get titillated as the focus is on the content. Kudos to the duo of Vidya and Milan Luthria for maintaining the fine balance and bringing out a moving tale of human drama and emotions.

The supporting cast of Naseeruddin Shah and Emraan Hashmi play well to complement the efforts of Vidya. Tusshaar is miscast as the simplistic writer Ramakant, but Rajesh Sharma excels as the producer Selva Ganesh who has a soft corner in his heart for his discovery throughout and who never takes advantage of her position. Anjoo Mahendroo as gossip journalist Nayla does well appearing in a ghastly make-up and attires.

Coming to the technical departments, Milan Luthria takes all the honours for creating the bio-pic whereas writer Rajat Arora takes away credit for penning a story which, though routine, is as powerful as it gets and writing a razor sharp diaglogue and for the screenplay which just races ahead. But one expects the finale of this gut wrenching drama to end much dramatically than the abrupt finish it has been given. The cinematography, art and Music take you back to the 80s which it has been set in.

The producer of the film, Ekta Kapoor needs a big pat on the back for investig in such a film and holding her neck out inspite of much criticism for going overboard with the promotion.

The DIRTY PICTURE is not dirty, it is our minds which are dirty for they have accumulated all the dirt. Free that dirt, may be there would be no more stories of the sort of SILK. But that would be asking for Utopia and so the stories will no end too and shall continued to be called as DIRTY.

Krishna Chaitanya.

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About krshychait

A working individual who has a great passion towards arts of India. The literary and cinema field have captured my imagination like no other.

2 comments

  1. Rainbow07

    Superb review…

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