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The Dirty Picture (2011)

The love story between an actress and a director, inspired by the life of the late south Indian actress Silk Smitha.



(dialogue), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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16 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Credited cast:
Reshma / Silk
Ramakant (as Tusshar)
Surya Kant
Silva Ganesh / Keedha Das
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Neha Bam ...
Silk's Biological Mother
Devyani ...
Girl in maroon dress
Imran Hasnee ...
Mangala Kenkre ...
A.R. Manikandan ...
Dilip Merala ...
Photographer at the race course
Vikas Shrivastav ...
Casting Director Sudhir
Shivani Tanksale ...


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 rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

2 December 2011 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Грязная картина  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


INR 300,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The song "Ooh La La " was used in the American TV series "New Girl". "Cece engagement". See more »


Silk Smitha: Mujhe jo chahiye, uska mazza sirf raat ko hi aata hain.
See more »


Referenced in Gang of Ghosts (2014) See more »


Ooh La La
music by Vishal-Shekhar lyrics by Rajat Arora
performed by Bappi Lahiri & Shreya Ghoshal
See more »

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User Reviews

Vidya Excels in a weak script
21 December 2011 | by (India) – See all my reviews

A fat lady from a humble background struggles and succeeds into making waves for her seductive moves in the silver screen. The above sentence it self creates a lot of hype and curiosity when transformed into silver screen. But not all films are equally great on screen as it is on paper. The Dirty Picture is one such film which could have been far better if the writer chose to be more risky like Silk herself. Silk Smitha is known to almost all Indians of different age groups who have satisfied their inner fantasies through the videos of this dusky seductress of 80s.Its a huge task in bringing out a character as challenging like Silk who death was as mysterious as her life. Coming to the film let's dissect it to figure out both the extremes. What went right :- Milan Luthria and Rajat Arora were totally successful in recreating the mindless era of 80s. The aging heroes used to play college kids, the settings were outlandish, the songs were bizarre with unique blend of eccentricity in the choreography and over all executions used to be loud with capital "L" – that summarizes the 80s films. All these elements were rightly incorporated in the film. The scene were the aging hero plays the role of college student and the way director says "fine shot sir" reflects the scenario of those times. But within such setting audience used to find entertainment,entertainment and entertainment thus a new star got created. With sensuality and boldness Silk rocked the milieu and rose to peak of stardom very early in her career. The growth of Silk has been portrayed with utmost sincerity and kudos to Luhtria for casting Vidya Balan arguable the Best actress of current bollywood. Rajat Aurora should be applauded for the gutsy dialogs which forms the crux of the film and provides ample 'entertainment" to the janata. The shallowness of 80s is rightly depicted in a subtle manner and evergreen hypocrisy of Indian people has been aptly portrayed. So what went wrong? Probably to provide 'entertainment" more emphasis has been given to the dialog baazi rather than a coherent script. The characters behave in a inconsistent manner. The reason for Abraham's hatred towards Silk is not convincing and neither his change of heart. In fact Luthria's dig on art cinema seems contrived. The narrative falls in the second hour following similar cliché loop. The psychological dip of Silk was shown in a hurried manner which doesn't evoke pathos and climax is one of worst scripted in recent times. What could have been a movement transformed into plain mediocrity. Like his other films Luthria's choice of subject is superb but every time he loses the scope of a masterpiece by playing it to the gallery. Coming to the acting department Naseeruddin Shah was average as aging superstar Surya. He started off in a brilliant way but then seem to be sleep walking throughout the film. Tusshar Kapoor is wasted in a insignificant character and he didn't rise above it either. Emraan Hashmi had a half baked character but he did justice to the role of Abraham who hated Silk. In fact the conversation between Abraham and Silk brought spark on screen whenever they crossed their path. Rajesh Sharma as Silva Ganesh was superb. Earlier seen in small yet significant roles in Khosla ka ghosla and No One Killed Jessica Sharma got a meatier role here. And as the successful producer with a unique mannerism he did better than the male star cast. .. Anju Mahendra was adequate in a small role of gossip journalist.And the main hero of film is Vidya Balan. As mentioned earlier one of the fine actress of our times Vidya simply rocked as Silk. Bold, inhabited oozing out ample amount of flesh and cleavage the territory was unknown for Vidya but she did justice to the role. Credit should be given to costume designer Niharika Khan and Moiz Kapadia, Vidya never looked vulgar even though she was playing dirty. Stupendous job by Bobby Singh, whose lens never tend to titillate the audience. Under able hand and being a powerhouse of talent herself Vidya showed the energy she had within. In every screen she was looking like the character and her voice only added to the gravity. Be it in the sequence when Vidya seduces a crowd in front of the journalist's house or giving a speech in the award function she showed confidence in herself as an actress. She is bound to sweep all award for her role in this film and No one killed Jessica. The other hero of the film is "ooh la la". Sung by Bappida himself the song is a time machine ride to the by gone era. And Pony Verma's choreography had the nostalgic feeling to it. Already breaking the music charts 'ooh la la" is a phenomenon. Sadly overall music album by Vishal-Shekhar is disappointing. Ishq Sufiana may be good to the ear but was totally forced in the film. Overall Vidya Balan excels in a weak film which had the potential to be a classic. But one thing which the film did succeed is showing the hypocrisy of Indian janata who openly criticizes sleaze but enjoys being dirty under close doors. Indeed a slap on the "clean" Indian society.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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