Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Dirty Picture Movie Review - Ooh La La !

The Dirty Picture may not be Silk Smitha' story completely but it draws many parallels from her life. It is a riveting tale of  the experiences of  the dusky Southern siren of the 80s who carved a niche for herself in the male dominated industry, walking down the seductive alley only to meet a dead end.

A movie of this canvas needed a director who could weave entertainment and oomph with a sensitive streak because beneath the spicy visual feast is a story of impoverished struggle, an urge to reach for the stars and to break the confines of conformity.

It takes the director of the stature of director Milan Luthria, the smart and uncompromising content from the pen of writer Rajat Aroraa and the foresight of producers Ekta Kapoor and Shobhaa Kapoor to come up with a movie like Dirty Picture that spells success right from the first reel. The movie is what Emraan Hashmi says –Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment.

Director Milan Luthria chalks out the story of a junior artiste who ends up being the most in-demand female protagonist of the early 80s. The rise is meteoric, the fall steep and unending.

Like Silk Smitha’s story, Vidya Balan who portrays Silk, tastes fame, languishes in it and later gets suffocated by it. She loves her alcohol and is later enslaved by it. She is daring, provocative, risqué and is a reason for millions of people to weave limitless fantasies. Silk is sensuous personified, she brings in an illusion of being a man-eater, but at heart, she is just another woman craving for true love. Deceit, infidelity and a sense of void does her in, steering her to tragic death.

The director has conveyed the concept so brilliantly in the screen that neither does it go overboard with drama and depression, nor does it debase itself with vulgarity and offensive overtures. Riveting screenplay and sharp dialogue by Rajaa Aroraa make Dirty Picture stand out. He was the backbone of Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, when it came to content; and he does an encore with this one as well. Bobby Singh's cinematography is another big plus. The background is colorful, loud and entertaining befitting the pompous sparkle of South Indian movie sets.

After the interval, for a few minutes, the narrative does become a tad slow and though the chemistry between Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan, two of the best on-screen lovers we have, is superior stuff, the editing could have been tighter. But then once we reach the point, where Vidya is conned by a producer of sleazy films, the sequences keep the viewer glued to the screen with a tragic, moving finale

Best Scenes of The Dirty Picture
1. Vidya Balan’s first encounter with Emraan Hashmi
2. The powerful sequence at the awards ceremony just before the intermission
3. The sequence where Vidya seduces Naseeruddin Shah who does not really care about her at the beginning. After that he becomes her putty.
4. Vidya Balan’s scene with Anju Mahendroo, the fiery reporter
5. Vidya Balan’s interaction with Naseer’s wife and with a dancer called Shakila both make for compelling viewing
6. Vidya Balan’s shock on realizing that she had been conned by a film-maker
7. The moving finale.

Music of  The Dirty Picture
Vishal -Shekhar are the best guys when it comes to theme-based tracks. Ooh-La La is rendered brilliantly by Bappi Lahiri and Shreya Goshal, the other two songs ‘Honey Moon ki Raat’ and ‘Ishq Sufiyana’ are superb as well. Watch out for the choreography of ‘Ooh La’ from Pony Prakash Raj, doing perfect justice of the mischievous 80s era.

Performances in The Dirty Picture
Dirty Picture has the best talents in a film combined (yes Tusshar included) and little wonder, they elevate the movie into a memorable watch.

Emraan Hashmi in spite of doing the ‘bad boy’ roles every time has always succeeded in showing various shades of the wrong guy. In this, he is egoistic, contemptuous and thinks no end of himself. Emraan plays the hot-blooded, practical writer director to the hilt. Tusshar gives a restrained performance and shines remarkably in his role.

The dictionary of acting, Mr. Naseeruddin Shah has been cast as an ageing South superstar, he is treated God-like, wears wigs, has dark glasses and is a perfect embodiment of the stars of that era. He pulls off his role with such amazing craftsmanship that he manages to get a fair share of whistles. A larger share of whistles obviously go to the voluptuous and supremely talented Vidya Balan.

Vidya Balan has exposed in Dirty Picture more than she has ever done but like she says, she believes in playing the character to the hilt, which she does with remarkable ease. One can definitely say that though it looks seamless, Vidya Balan must have worked really hard in perfecting every nuance to suit the character of Silk. We had predicted that Vidya Balan will win Filmfare Award 2012 and many other awards; it is not much to say that she indeed can carry a movie on her shoulders, a feat that hardly any actress can do in these times.

Vidya Balan truly is the best actress of Bollywood. Also bear in mind that her skin show may be ample but it is never vulgar, her character never looks cheap  nor do her costumes. Vidya Balan’s fleshy figure and all that flab after adding 12 kilos of weight only succeed in making her character extremely believable.

There are other actors too who are going to be singled out thanks to Dirty Picture. One of them is Anju Mahendroo, whose character is based on Devyani Chaubal, the journo who was hugely popular for her vitriolic writings in the 80s. Rajesh Sharma, the film-maker who ‘discovers’ Silk is also brilliant while Naseeruddin Shah’s wife in the film, Shivani Tanskale is also on to watch for. Mangal Kenkre (as Ratnamma) and Imran Hasnee are also competent.

Conclusion – The Dirty Picture is what you expected and even more. An exceptionally moving portrayal of a poor girl’s rise to dizzying fame and a tragic fall from the glory that she reveled in, with liberal doses of oomph appeal. Without doubt, Dirty Picture is the best movie of 2011 in terms of content and entertainment.

A tribute to Silk Smitha whose birth anniversary coincides with the release date of the Dirty Picture -December 2.

Rating : ****(Very Good)


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