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The Dirty Picture

The Dirty Picture

Product Specifications
Language Hindi
Video Format DVD
Genre Drama
Number Of Discs 1
Cricket Syndication Prod
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  1. 5 star (2)
  2. 4 star (9)
  3. 3 star (1)
  4. 2 star (1)
  5. 1 star (2)
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Reviews
  1.  dirty dirty dirty 22 November, 2013 On
    It’s the mid-1980s. An ageing, vain superstar is surrounded by his cronies as a script writer narrates to him a story about an orphan. 'This orphan hero angle is so '60s,' cuts in the star. 'Let’s give the hero a family for a change. Let’s give him a sister too. Then let’s get her raped.' Everyone around can’t stop marveling at the idea. The writer is impressed too. 'Let’s make this movie,' he says.

    The ’80s was probably the lowest point in our cinema. Doodh ka karz, behen ka badla and maa kasam ruled, as plot lines of each film resembled that of the other. The story almost always revolved around the film’s lead star, a comedy track was a must, there had to be a punch line in every scene, and crassness was a necessary ingredient. There was also a vamp prancing in skimpily clad outfits around the good-hearted hero, before he spurned her advances for the pristine heroine. But even as we may squirm at some of these films today, many of them continue to entertain us on lazy Sunday afternoons. Even camp, after all, must be celebrated.

    And that is what The Dirty Picture does. Meant to be a biopic of south siren Silk Smitha, the film really is a recreation of an era when hyperbole in cinema was cool. It also pays tribute to all things inane about our films. Even as it depicts an era when the formula ruled, The Dirty Picture lives the formula itself.

    Director Milan Luthria and writer Rajat Arora give us a dialoguebaazi-filled potboiler that plays to the gallery, and is a vehicle for its lead actor Vidya Balan to display histrionics. Entertainment is the sole purpose. It has its shares of inanities, especially in the latter half (another trait typical to our films – the post-interval mishmash), but has enough masala and good performances to ride us through to the end. If I may use the oft-repeated trade jargon, The Dirty Picture is complete paisa vasool.

    The tempo is racy. The Tamil song, ‘Nakka Mukka’ (from the 2008 film, Kadhalil Vizhunthen), blares as the opening credits roll. The song then appears at strategic points in the narrative, one where Vidya gyrates suggestively, licking her lips as she thrusts her hips hard. It’s a masterstroke, buying the rights to the song, and it continues to ring in your ears much after you’ve walked out of theatre. The Bappi Lahiri ditty ‘Ooh la la’ is, then, second best.

    Vidya plays junior artist Reshma (Hindi for silk, also probably a reference to one of Silk Smitha’s popular early films, Reshma Ki Jawani), before film producer Silva Ganesh christens her Silk. She goofs up her first big break -- an item song with superstar Suryakant. Naseeruddin Shah gives a pitch-perfect performance as matinee idol Suryakant, each body movement laudable; every expression priceless. Shah makes the role his own, making it impossible to envision any other actor in his place. “What makes you special?” he asks Silk. “I have had 500 women before you.” She looks at him, eyes sparking, and says, “But have you had the same woman 500 times?” He’s visibly surprised; even pleased. So are you.

    To have a Hindi film heroine who is unapologetic about using her sexuality to achieve means is always welcome. To have a Hindi film heroine who does it with such relish is a real victory. And Vidya Balan pulls off Silk in a manner no current female actor can. Heck, no actor in recent times has -- if I may say so -- the balls to give himself/herself to a role as wholeheartedly as Vidya has (barring, probably, Ranbir Kapoor in Rockstar). She is fearless, giving an uninhibited portrayal of someone who enjoys adulation, but dies a lonely death. She is the fantasy of millions, but craves love. She doesn’t get it. And Vidya brings all that -- the flamboyance, the sensuality, the heartbreak -- to her role (and without coming across even a tad vulgar).

    And she is aided by some fiery dialogue by Arora. The one-liners come thick and fast (so many, you lose track after a point), some meant to amuse, others a tool to shock. This is no out-and-out skin show (although there’s ample cleavage on display); it’s the dialogue that makes The Dirty Picture sassy.

    But post-interval, the writing lags. The track involving Silk and Suryakant’s brother, played by Tusshar, slows down proceedings mainly because Tusshar fails to rise to the challenge of performing with far more able actors. He sticks out like a sore thumb.

    Emraan Hashmi, on the other hand, is good. The chemistry between him and Vidya is sizzling (the two dislike each other, making their scenes interesting). But the need to pander to Emraan’s ‘hero’ image jars. Why else would a filmmaker (played by Hashmi) turn hero suddenly, especially when there was a clear alternative Arora/Luthria could have opted for? He’s given a song too, one that is lilting but slows down the tempo. It’s kinda funny -- the film speaks of the misogynistic nature of the film industry but can’t entirely escape it.
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  2.  The Dirty Picture: Kitsch made kosher 8 June, 2014 On
    Pritish Nandy, in his recent article on Dev Anand quoted, “It was Bollywood’s worst kept secret that no one went to watch his movies anymore.” Taking a leaf from the column, I’d like to proclaim, “It’s our nation’s worst kept secret that almost everyone (especially men) must’ve surely watched films from the genre of Kantilal Shah, Tinto Brass & Co., which we euphemistically call, The Dirty Picture.” Milan Luthria’s latest offering, ‘The Dirty Picture’ delves into these forbidden territories albeit maintaining dignity, which isn’t a tough nut to crack (no pun intended).

    Vidya Balan essays the role inspired from the real life of Smitha Silk, and showcases her acting prowess through a nuanced gait, mannerism and body language in each frame. She seems a different woman with each leading character, be it Tushar Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, and Emraan Hashmi or even character artists (notice the way she retorts to a guy on his ‘pichkaari’, pecks on the cheek of an adolescent fan, dialogue-baazi with film critic, and interactions with her mentor).

    The performance is so strong that it towers over everyone else. The dialogues by Rajat Arora (the writer who left us awe-inspired in ‘Once upon a time in Mumbai), though smartly crafted, desperately try playing to the gallery. The leitmotif, ‘Nakka Mukka’ works, but Ooh La La still hits the highest note. A must-watch film, indeed! The only problem is you might have to lie to your parents after watching it. After all, it’s a dirty picture, isn’t it?
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  3. 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
     Brilliant Performance 6 November, 2012 On
    Balana captures the conflicted life...of a young woman unprepared for the realities of her dreams. Had Luthria's film fully committed to the painful truth as much as its leading lady, it may have honoured Smitha's memory far more substantially.
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  4.  Very Dirty 17 December, 2013 On
    As the name tells, it is very dirty movie.
    I dont like it at all.
    Vidya balan is such a good & beautiful actress .
    I dont know why she agreed to do movie like this.

    I agree , she acted very good.
    But, glamour does not suit her.
    worth to watch for her acting.
    Definitely not a Family movie !
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  5.  Nice 26 December, 2013 On
    The name of the movie might astonish you but the movie will tell you the reality that how an actress needs an attention to become popular in those days...By seeing the pictures from the movie will make you say Cheeeee, But infact the movie will show the way it is being done..

    Kind of emotional but nice
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  6.  A TRIBIUTE TO SMITA.. 28 December, 2013 On
    This one is the journey of a famous actress Silk Smita of those days. Vidya Balan did a splendid job. This one is a turning movie and better to say a milestone for her carrier. Naseeruddin and Imran Hasmji also did their job so beautifully. Overall it is a very good movie.
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  7. 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
     Loved It - The Reality Behind The Scene 11 December, 2013 On
    This was a fantastic movie depicting the real life picture of a movie star. The rise and fall of stardom, the compromises, the luxuries, the losses and the wins that become part of life once a person falls into this lifestyle. The life totally changes and becomes artificial rather than living a real life.

    Vidya Balan did a fantastic piece of acting and so did Naseeruddin Shah, Imraan Hashmi and other actors.
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