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Konkona Sen Sharma,
A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.
Rebellious and uninhibited Reshma lives an impoverished lifestyle with her mother, Ratnamma, in 1980s South India. She is an ardent fan of film actor, Suryakant, and her one ambition in life is to meet and act with him. She runs away to Madras, and like, hundreds of young women, lines up outside Jupiter Studios to try and get noticed. With her plain, next-door-girl looks, she gets ignored but as fate could have it she is given a chance to play a minor role after she manages to sneak into the studios. The role exploits her as a sex symbol, driving males to the cinema houses to absorb her movements and beauty. Virtually overnight she, now renamed Silk, becomes a sensation, and together with the aging superstar, Suryakant, the one she had always fantasized about, she sizzles the silver screen with her sex appeal. Suryakant's brother, Ramakant, an author, is smitten by her - so much so that he would like her to opt out of movies altogether, so that he could marry her. But the rebellious ... Written by
Choli ke peeche kya hai? (What's behind the blouse?)
Imagine you are making a movie about something really energetic in its own way, for instance, the enormous amount of water that is required to fill a large Sintex tank on top of a building. You may begin by showing how water fills up such a huge tank, the energy of flowing water and so forth. It is however important to note here that it is not the water alone but also the magnanimity of the tank, the height of the building etc. that must get to play an important role. Without an uncompromising projection of how huge the tank is, how it was carried over to the top of a large building and, so on, it will become impossible to feel the enormous presence of the water that fills it.
And that would sum up how The Dirty Picture was executed. The energy of Vidya Balan in the central role was simply enormous. So much so, that the rest of the picture was unable to match up and consequently felt bland and weak in comparison. People often ask, if the writer writes the story, cinematographer films it, actors act and music director scores, what does the director get to do? The director must ensure that the energy of all people involved in the project is channelised in a single stream that gets projected on the screen and must be eventually, felt by the audience.
Director Milan Luthria fails miserably in his job here. A hammy comical Naseeruddin, a controlled Emraan Hashmi and a joke of a Tusshar Kapoor comprise the side characters around the unabashed and shamelessly unapologetic Vidya Balan. Her power over the crowd is merely shown each time by repeated shots of punching movie tickets, crowds of people rushing in and a different dance sequence on the screen. A shabby compromise! The promising biopic is not only slaughtered in its execution by the director but also in its clichéd screenplay (by Rajat Arora who adopts the same dialogue-styles from his previous OUATIM) that allows for an unnecessary narration sequence by Emraan Hashmi and a frequent spew of corny lines and witty (yet, effective) one-liners that end up disrupting the mood of the scene. The audience are however shamelessly satisfied without noticing the loose threads in the story. Like, what happened to the other character who sang with Silk? But who watched it for the story! People cheered when an extra half inch of Silk's bosom became visible or when she has finally got to kiss the medley of different heroes on screen. Special jeers and remarks for Hashmi's kiss. And I was in a multiplex hall.
Cinematography comprised of a sepia-ish hue to depict the 80s period in South India which went very well with the art direction but sadly, it avoided wider angled shots which could have been used to capture scenes involving Silk's audiences or at least to add authenticity to the period drama. This, coupled with the screenplay greatly limited the scope of this movie. The star power that the soft-porn star exhibited was neglected in various scenes. For instance, in the scene where Silk was creating a ruckus outside someone's house, the gathering of the crowd and their cheers were avoided and instead, the focus was on Naseeruddin, Tusshar and other star people involved. Better editing could have spiced up many of such shots.
Music score was mismatched and even slightly boisterous in some places.(I suspect that they must have hired the guy who gives those reaction sounds from Ekta's TV soaps for some of the scenes). Ooh La La was the only fun song. Honeymoon Ki Raat was a mind-boggler! Why was it even there? Sufiana was an unnecessary addition towards the end but they had to have it to show Hashmi kissing Balan.
Acting wise, however, this movie saves its face. Naseeruddin maintained the humour in the first half. Hashmi was consistent throughout. Tusshar was vapid and maintained a stupid look on his face in most of the scenes. Rajesh Sharma is indeed the discovery of the year. After a helpless police officer in No One Killed Jessica, he is unbelievably perfect as the B grade-ish producer. Expectedly, Vidya Balan saves the day by lifting the entire weight of the dirt of this picture and excelling herself as she has done in her past movies. Every performance since her past 3-4 movies has saved her movies from going noticeably awry. I was never a Balan fan from the start. But as of today, all I can say is that no one in Bollywood is in a position to make a picture that can sustain her energy and performance. It's like taking all the water meant to fill the Sintex tank and using it to fill your water bottle. The bottle is enough for you, not for the water.
Producer Ekta Kapoor must have a really weird sense of humour. This movie that holds the vulgar expectations of the audience responsible for the rise and fall of Silk targets the very same from the audience of this film. And apparently she has hit the right spot. Sadly, this is apparently what "Entertainment" in a film is all about! When I walked in for a fourth day's show, many people around me were able to repeat various monologues by rote and in sync with the actors. The Irony!
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