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The Dirty Picture – movie review

A struggling female extra rises to become the most sought after heroine of the early 80s


The Dirty Picture - movie review

The story of The Dirty Picture is set against the colorful and entertaining backdrop of the fierce male-dominated South-Indian film industry of the 80s. This film chronicles the meteoric rise and steep fall of the erstwhile screen sensation. A story loosely based on the life of the South’s sex-siren of the eighties – Silk Smitha. The Dirty Picture – movie review…

Reshma (Vidya Balan) runs away from her house to get role in the films, wearing revealing clothes. She lands up as an ‘extra’ with dancing in the background. Her bold dancing titillates the male audience in the cinema hall. This brave, daring and provocative girl had a meteoric rise in the South film industry.

Reshma is now a junior artist who became the most sought after female protagonist of the early 80s. A friendly director suggests her to take up a stage name “Silk”. She is lucky again and gets a break against the superstar Suryakant (Naseeruddin Shah). The superstar is uncomfortable with this new dancer, but Silk uses her charms in the superstar’s make-up room and pleases him.

The superstar is just using her to fulfill his desires and she is aware of the fact. But this second break fetches her lot of film appearances and she becomes the rage of the audience. Meanwhile her ‘personal meetings’ with the ageing superstar continues, but only at nights.

During the day time, he just ignores her in presence of the media and in public. One day the superstar insults her by telling that ‘Silk is that dirty secret that no one wants to talk about in broad daylight.

She feels heartbroken and finds consolation in the superstar’s younger brother who is also a writer – Ramakant (Tushar Kapoor). Ramakant truly loves her and wants to introduce her to his parents, but Silk blows up this chance to settle down in her life at a party, and that’s when her downfall begins.
Ramakant is no longer interested in her. Silk’s life starts falling apart and becomes an alcoholic and this leads to her further disgrace now even that feminists and critics degrade her.

Still, there was hope in Abraham (Emraan Hashmi), a film director who hated, but realized that he is falling in love with her.

But destiny has something else in store for her.

The sex-siren, Silk, knew her audiences and emerged triumphant and created a distinctive space for herself in the male-dominated industry.
To the world, she was the queen of sensuality. But at heart, she was just another woman yearning for love in a ruthless world. Adverse encounters with deceit and disloyalty, by Suryakant and then from his brother, led to dire consequences.

Towards the end in the film The Dirty Picture, she dies a forlorn and heartbreaking death. She battles fame, fortune and alcohol.

The Dirty Picture has titillation, sensuality and impish one liners, however the story doesn’t cross the line into indecency and offensiveness. It is the best performance ever from Vidya Balan, who is well supported by Naseeruddin Shah and Emran Hashmi.

Cast of The Dirty Picture:
Vidya Balan – Silk / Reshma
Naseeruddin Shah – Superstar Suryakant
Emraan Hashmi – Abraham
Tusshar Kapoor – Ramakant
Anju Mahendroo – Naila
Rajesh Sharma – Selvaganesh
Mangal Kenkre – Ratnamma
Shivani Tanskale

Credits & Crew of The Dirty Picture:
Banner – Balaji Motion Pictures, ALT Entertainment
Producers – Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor
Director – Milan Luthria
Lyricist – Rajat Arora
Music Director – Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani
Cinematography – Bobby Singh
Choreography – Pony Verma
Editor – Akiv Ali
Screenplay – Rajat Arora
Dialogue – Rajat Arora
Costume – Niharika Khan
Story / Writer – Rajat Arora
The Dirty Picture – movie review