The Dirty Picture is a successful endeavour

Niraj Rathod

29 Oct 2011
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Director Milan Luthria takes you back into the Tamil film scene of 1980 and once he does that, you don't bother if he or his writer is situationally or factually correct because they tell a story, a thing that has not happened in Hindi films very often in recent years.

The film, The Dirty Picture, has been totally promoted around Vidya Balan, the protagonist of this story despite the film having three heroes, Naseeruddin Shah, an acknowledged performer; Emraan Hashmi, a star in the making forever and; Tusshar Kapoor, a jack in the pack: a great risk in a country where a heroine dominated film find the going tough. Visually and thematically, it is a Vidya Balan show all the way, but, frankly speaking, the film is the triumph of the story, screenplay, dialogue writer and lyricist Rajat Arora; he is the real hero of The Dirty Picture.

Vidya Balan has only one dream since childhood, to make it to the silver screen. Her idol is the action hero, Surya played by Naseeruddin Shah, a family man so to say but the glossy magazines put his score with girls at 500.

Vidya Balan, having fled from home, grows up to be worldly wise, convinced that she has what every men wants in a woman and she is ready to put this knowledge to use. Vidya Balan, struggling to be in a dance number in a film, happens to be at the right place at right time one such day of her struggle and ends up dancing for a film. The director, Emraan Hashmi, a man with an eye on Hollywood, deletes scene, calling it obscene. Vidya Balan is disappointed and ready to pack her meagre belongings and go back when she learns that if not in cities, she has finally arrived on the film scene through rural audience; as the film flops the producer adds her 'obscene' song to re-release the film at rural centres.

She is now a craze, a mascot must for dances in films and next she finds herself sharing screen space with her idol, Neseeruddin Shah only to be rejected by him after a few takes. Vidya Balan walks into his makeup room with a proposal for him, "You may have tuned up with 500 women but how about tuning up with one woman 500 times?" Sure enough, Naseeruddin Shah is convinced and the shooting resumes and thereby starts the legend of Silk, the screen name given to Vidya Balan.

When shirked by Naseerunddin Shah, she finds an apt replacement in his brother, Tusshar Kapoor, an aspiring writer and her weapon to hit back at the former. Like all such characters the success goes to her head and the downfall begins and there comes a time when she even walks into the abode of a p**n film maker. The lonely woman craves for company, someone to talk to and drowns herself in alcohol but the irony plays its part that her biggest detractor, the man who made an obsession of hating Vidya Balan is the only one who is charmed by her eventually and the only man who ends up caring for her.

The Dirty Picture boasts of no star draw, the package itself is its draw, the creative team and the performers; the combination here is near perfect. Being Vidya Balan show all the way, she comes out with flying colours; from fitting into 1980s South films' weighty sexy oomph girl to a loser, she plays all these with conviction. Naseeruddin Shah as the caricature south superstar gives one of his seasoned performances and the parts involving him and Vidya Balan, accounts for most of the first half which makes for most interesting viewing.

usshar Kapoor is passable as substitute lover. It is Emraan Hashmi's tongue in cheek filmmaker character which again makes things interesting; he plays a role different from his usual fare and is impressive. Milan Luthria shows his versatility with The Dirty Picture with deft handling as nowhere does he give into temptations to titillate or expose unnecessarily. Rajat Arora's scripting is taut but his dialogue writing is outstanding; not merely one-sided one liners, there is repartees galore, all packing humour and punch. Music is good with two popular numbers, Ooh la la… and Ishq sufiyana…

The Dirty Picture is a reasonably priced film and has opened well at multiplexes to positive reports; while its pattern of appreciation may differ from place to place, in totality it is a successful endeavour.
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