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RATING – 2.5/5


The Dirty Picture

Raunchy? Yes! Bold? Very! Good? No!

Milan Luthria’s The Dirty Picture, is easily one of the boldest films you have seen recently. But how I wish it could have been ‘one of the best’.

It is very clear after watching the film that the makers’ foremost priority was to shock you. So in the first half you see Silk (Vidya) do all the raunchy moves, which are received by tons of seetis from the audience. The jaw dropping dialogues bring out the laughter and Silk does all that she can to satisfy those who are lured in solely by the promise of skin-show. And obviously they are unlikely to complain.

But the filmmakers could not quiet succeed in making an emotional drama that it could have been, rather, should have been. With the sole focus being on sex, the writers failed to weave a captivating screenplay. Forget this, when Silk (Balan) commits suicide in the end, it doesn’t give you a shock or a tear; it gives you a huge relief as you see the exit gates open.

Reshma, a village girl enters Madras, in order to chase her dreams, and gives it all to become a star. Not afraid to expose and compromise, she impresses all with her guts and later on becomes a siren in the South film industry. Along the way, she gets entangled in three love affairs, all unsuccessful, and receives ample hatred for doing the bold and vulgar films from the society. And as good times bid her farewell, she lays in the bed she made for herself.

With the plot being extremely predictable, what was required was a tight script which besides entertaining helps the viewer to relate with the protagonist. But here, what is served is only ‘entertainment entertainment entertainment’. While the first half is genuinely funny, engaging and shocking, it’s the film’s latter half that gives your back an uncalled-for ache.

The film is made watchable, thanks to its two stars, the ‘dirty’ dialogues and the ‘boombat’ Balan. While the dialogues are wonderfully and astutely penned by Rajat Arora, Vidya Balan is impossible to describe in a word. It’s hard to imagine who else could have gathered the guts to carry such a herculean role with such perfection. She is absolutely spectacular and, in short, is the ‘hero’ of the film.

Of the male actors, Naseeruddin Shah creates a major impact. He is exceptional and entertaining as a middle-aged South superstar and a Casanova. Both Emraan Hashmi and Tusshar are first rate, the former obviously with a better role.

Vishal Shekhar’s music is decent to say the least. ‘Ooh la la’ is a definite chartbuster; other songs though hummable, seem to be unnecessarily forced in the narrative.

Milan Luthria deserves to be appreciated for conceptualizing such a bold film but a little more effort in the writing and the end result could have been much better.

I am going with 2 stars for the film and an additional half for Vidya Balan, making it 2 and a half for The Dirty Picture. Silk certainly tries hard to make up for the flaws, but it isn’t enough to make it a ‘lovely’ picture.  If you are looking for just the shock value, this average fair may not disappoint you!

Chaitanya Sharma
[email protected]