The Dirty Picture Review by Taran Adarsh

“Intermittently, real life is far more appealing and compelling than fiction. And a biopic — which attempts to recount a person’s life story or at least the most historically momentous years of his/her life — is most demanding for not just the storyteller/s, but also the actors who bracket together with those films. Occasionally, a dash of some imaginary anecdotes are incorporated in biopics, since the moviegoer seeks some diversion and entertainment in a movie, besides enlightenment.”

“THE DIRTY PICTURE not only draws attention to the life of a sex goddess, but also makes us responsive of the catastrophe behind the facade. Silk — the principal character in THE DIRTY PICTURE — provides titillation to millions of viewers, but dies a forlorn and heartbreaking death. She battles fame, fortune and alcohol. Brave, daring and provocative, THE DIRTY PICTURE doesn’t cross the line into impropriety and offensiveness.”

“THE DIRTY PICTURE is embellished with several powerful sequences. Note the sequence when Vidya convinces/seduces Naseeruddin Shah, after he refuses to work with her. It’s remarkable. Also, the first encounter with Emraan Hashmi. Noteworthy! Much later, the volatile sequence at the awards ceremony [the intermission point] is amongst the highpoints of the enterprise. The second hour has its share of super moments as well. The one featuring Vidya outside Anju Mahendroo’s mansion is super. Vidya’s interaction with the two women [individual sequences, both] — with Naseer’s wife first and Shakila, the dancer, next — packs a solid punch. Vidya’s interaction with the maker of porn movies is another shocking twist. The finale, of course, moves you no end.”

“Vidya’s sizzling show and dare-bare act is sure to seize the viewers by complete astonishment. It’s a novel casting because it is nothing like what Vidya has done before and is completely diverse to her image. But let’s give Vidya the due: She delivers an astounding performance, pushing the envelope yet again. It wouldn’t be erroneous to state that Vidya will walk away with the awards for the sterling act in this film. Besides, she carries off the hot attire without making her character look vulgar or tasteless. In fact, Milan and costume designer Niharika Bhasin Khan have ensured that the sexy-looking persona is aesthetically depicted. Vidya had put on oodles of weight to get the look of the character right and the flabby body only adds a lot of authenticity to the character she depicts on the big screen.

Naseeruddin Shah, who has been cast as an ageing South Indian superstar, sports wigs, dark glasses and painted moustache, reminding people of the stars of that era. He plays to the gallery, provoking claps, laughs and whistles, thus pulling off the role with élan. One has to credit Emraan Hashmi for willing to take on bold, aggressive characters. I actually wondered what prompted the actor to share screen space with Vidya, who has a meatier role and enacts the central character, but he walks his own path throughout the film. He plays the headstrong, hot-blooded, rebellious director to the hilt. Tusshar is wonderfully restrained in a significant role. His sequences with Naseer and Vidya, both are truly fantastic.

Anju Mahendru is first-rate, reminding people of a real-life lady journo, who was hugely popular for her writings in the 80s. Rajesh Sharma, the film-maker who ‘discovers’ Silk, is outstanding. An actor to watch out for! Shivani Tanskale, enacting the role of Naseeruddin Shah’s wife, is perfect. Mangal Kenkre [as Ratnamma] and Imran Hasnee are adequate.

On the whole, THE DIRTY PICTURE banks heavily on shock-value, sex-value and most importantly, script-value. It’s an exceptional portrayal of an ordinary person’s rise from scratch to extraordinary heights and her subsequent fall. Without doubt, it is one of the most comprehensive scripts to come out of the Hindi film industry in 2011. A film with a universal theme and terrific mass connect, it has remarkable potential to set the cash registers ringing for one more valid reason — entertainment, entertainment and entertainment. ”

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