Producers: Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor
Director: Milan Luthria
Cast: Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah,Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar Kapoor
Music: Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani
Making a biopic is always a risky proposition. After all, how do you capture the essence and nuances, and then portray the life of someone you never knew? The Dirty Picture is apparently based on the life of item girl, Silk Smitha, though the makers have never said so officially.
Either way, director Milan Luthria has done a tremendous job of tracing Silk’s traumatic journey to success and her subsequent fall. The film definitely touches your heart and you feel for the character.
The plot is not without blemishes and there are flaws in the writing. But when the credits roll in the end, you’re in a forgiving mood for four good reasons – producer Ekta Kapoor’s gutsy decision to back a film like this; a commercially successful director Milan Luthria’s decision to accept this responsibility; Rajat Arora’s dialogue; and, above all, Vidya Balan’s decision to play this character and her splendid performance.
When you stumble over a flaw, it’s but natural to wonder how someone else would handled the film. But here, there’s no doubt that the four pillars (Ekta, Milan, Rajat and Vidya) of this film have done full justice. That’s where the film scores, big time!
The film has three heroes but the main hero is Rajat Arora’s dialogue. And this cuts like a double-edge sword. In Luthria’s previous films too, dialogue (by Rajat Arora) has played a vital role. But in this film, the dialogue of all the characters is so strong that it tends to overpower that of Silk (Vidya Balan), at places.
The film starts very well and full marks to Arora’s screenplay and its translation into celluloid by Luthria. The pace is quick and moves like the Rajdhani Express. Despite this, Luthria has been meticulous with every single nuance. In fact, the film moves at such a fast pace, that the interval comes as a surprise. The one-liners, Balan’s bravura performance and how she clambers to the top keep you riveted to the screen.
And considering the protagonist’s life, there are many scenes that could have appeared cheap but have been executed tactfully. Full marks to Luthria and Balan! However, there’s one scene which was not needed – one with double entendre between Ramakanth (Tusshar Kapoor) and Silk, where the latter is learning to drive. The dialogue is in bad taste and should have had been deleted.
There are also some hiccups in the second half of the film. In the first half, it is obvious that Silk uses Suryakanth (Naseeruddin Shah) to reach the top. Thus, her falling in love with him and getting jealous is not justified. Also, Tusshar’s character is a little sketchy. He’s a writer but he doesn’t seem to have written anything.
And even after Suryakanth realises that Silk has been using him and that she’s is now using his Ramakanth, his brother, he doesn’t seem to care nor does he do anything to warn him. The sudden change in Abraham (Emraan Hashmi) and him falling in love with Silk is too much to swallow. The song before the pre-climax is superfluous. And if Silk shares such a good rapport with her neighbour who runs an eatery, why doesn’t she offer her anything to eat? Also Silk’s sudden decision to visit her village and meet her mother, which appears half-baked.
Though the pace drops in the second half, there are a few scenes that are beautifully handled and that stay with you long after the show is over. Silk’s realisation after the police raid at the porn filmmaker’s office is jaw-dropping and gives you goosebumps. As for the climax… the telephone conversation between Abraham and Silk and then the latter dressing up brings tears to your eyes. In sum, the rise and fall of a super item girl, and the dark side of the film industry are unforgettable.
This film couldn’t have been what it is without director Milan Luthria and writer Rajat Arora. And the two receive amazing support from cameraman Bobby Singh. Musically… fantastic again. The songs and lyrics are brilliant.
Performance-wise, just two words for Vidya Balan, Hats off! An award-winning performance, indeed! Naseeruddin Shah, once again, proves that he’s an acting powerhouse. He’s simply superb. Emraan Hashmi, with a restrained screen presence, manages to make an impact. He’s fantastic. Tusshar Kapoor is good. Anju Mahendru is all right. Rajesh Sharma (the producer) is terrific.
Verdict: Hit, Hit, Hit!