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19 Dec 2011

Review: Dirty Picture

I watched a film last week. It has to be one of the most poorly made movies I have ever watched! Initially, I thought that direction and editing was bad. The picture was probably meant to be cheesy but in an attempt at making it cheesy in a funny way, the director had failed miserably. The film revolved around a girl (Reshma) who wanted to be an actress and ended up being an 'item girl', going by the name Silk. One of those that has flab hanging off everywhere and she shows it proudly. There is a stand-off between her and a director Abraham, who hates making such poor 'skin and flesh show' type of movies. In the end, they  make it seem like Abraham has won the battle, while Silk dies. Supposedly a case of 'the rise and fall of the actress' in some sort of a 'good prevails evil' theme. Epic fail! I felt as if the director could not decide whether he wanted to make her the victim or the vampire and kept changing his mind in the climax. So, he made her a vampire and then turned around with an anti-climax. He left a loose end with the love story angle between Silk and Abraham. Why? Where was that going, anyway? Why start something and not finish it?

The film was supposed to be based on a lot of things viz South Indian cinema, life of actress Vijaylakshmi a.k.a Silk Smitha, Rajnikanth (as the stereotypical South Indian actor), etc. While there may have been traces in there which allowed you to identify with those names, the film was still a farce. They used the name Silk and showed a paunchy actress in absurd clothes, displaying fat hanging from all sides (especially the centre) to mark Silk Smitha. The character based on Rajnikanth wore flashy clothes, was worshipped by all and did the bullet split act that is the most oft-repeated of all Rajnikanth jokes. The rest of the characters were scatters of this and that, to fill in the story. Even Abraham.

The actors have all acted well. Vidya Balan is a great actress. You could see that in her performance of scenes where she brings out the difference between a 'cold' flat scene and a 'hot' steamy scene, performing the exact same thing but without the zing the first time. However, she is not a sexy actress. Sensuousness is not her thing. She has done her best but her act is not natural. Maybe they wanted it that way. Maybe Silk Smitha was the cheesy actress. If that was the case, she was a good fit. Naseeruddin Shah, as always, is another very good actor. He never fails to deliver. Emraan Hashmi has done very well too. Having only known him as the actor that kisses endlessly and takes off his clothes on screen, I had not quite seen his acting skills. He has fared well.

The choice of actors has been good, without question, but a lot of great actors cannot make a brilliant movie if the director and editor have not done a good job. There are some interesting props in the movie. The old rotor-dial phones where you dial a number and wait for the dial to set back into place before dialling the next, the long chords you stretch across rooms, the popular red Maruti 800, country streets, chai kada and country girl with stars in her eyes, are all good ideas. Only, it fell short in execution.

Yet, the movie is quite popular. Maybe it was good and was made to be the way it was. It made me feel like I had eaten a bucketful of KFC chicken by myself. There were good bits and yucky ones but in the end, I did not come out feeling good. If I had to slot the actual movie in either Silk's or Abraham's basket of films, as per the film, I would throw this in Silk's. They have used some of the so-called sexy shots too many times.  There weren't even great. While trying to say that the directors in the movie focussed on xyz thing, the director of the real movie has focussed on the xyz thing too. Dirty Picture feels dirty alright. Filthy. I have not been able to decide if it was popular because of what they show in the movie (cinemas filling up for the item girl Silk & her stuff) or because it was made exactly the way it was supposed to be. I would not watch it again. I am not sure if I would recommend it but I am not sure I would discourage anyone from watching it either. I guess I have not decided how I feel about the movie. Unpleasant is one word that comes to mind. How unpleasant, I'm not sure.

One thing is sure. They have used a great deal of cinematic liberty. Must have. If the actress was really all of that, it is no wonder she killed herself in the end. Did Silk Smitha commit suicide? I am not sure. I cannot be bothered googling it.

If I had never watched that movie, I might not have missed a thing. On second thoughts, maybe I would have not known what to write today. There's a thought!

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