Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Dirty Picture (2011)

The title certainly catches your attention and even better, the protagonist played by Vidya Balan is even more attractive. I have been bowled by her acting prowess in Parineeta, Paa and No One Killed Jessica. 

I was impressed that as an actor, she was not averse to pushing boundaries and essaying bold roles. The confusion between being Indian in your values and portraying western influences in our movies is not new. While we accept bikini babes and mini-skirts in Hollywood as a reflection of their culture, the same dress code makes headlines in our country, with each actor supporting the need to be bold since the role demands it. Nevertheless the need for a skin show in the disguise of glamour is a double standard we subscribe to. I wonder if this is dirtier than the movie.

Vidya Balan in her quest to portray an authentic image of the late Silk Smita and maybe other cabaret artists infact does not do justice to their lives or the profession they donned or the circumstances that pushed them to take on such a tough life. Silk Smita's came from a poor background and from a small town girl, she was determined to make a life for herself in films. 

Though she wanted to be a leading lady, fate had other plans for her. She went on to become the sex symbol in India,which she choose as a ticket to a better life.  Inspite of  carrying the burden of a raunchy woman who dished out cabaret dance numbers, at heart she was simply a woman who wanted to come back to a loving home. A failed affair with someone in the film industry, a promise of a marriage that was never meant to be, coupled with heavy production debts ultimately led to depression and finally, death.

Vidya Balan delivers the punch dialogues impressively, but she failed to bring out the yearning of a woman who craved for a normal life. You need to naturally be sexy and at ease playing such demanding roles in front of millions of people, Vidya was just a fat mass of flesh and she absolutely had no idea how to handle that. Moreover, wearing plunging necklines and bowing down to show ample cleavage does not deliver unless you really feel for that character, live it and breathe it. The discomfort comes through, more clearly on the big screen. Moreover, Silk Smitha essayed other non- sexy roles such as the quiet, strong housewife in Alaigal Oivathillai, clad in simple sarees. How can you conveniently forget that?

Overall, it was an absolutely disappointing movie. It was a lot of hype and our own acceptance of the word 'bold' that further contributed to the accolades. There have been better bolder movies than wearing bikinis and skimpy clothing.

To quote Marilyn Monroe: Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.'

1 comment:

Jay Talkin' said...

Ditto for me! The movie is no great shakes and did nothing for me, especially after all the hype. Vidya is great, no doubt, and people, who probably had a set image of her would know now that she can be unorthodox too. But she carried off the playfulness in her role with a lot of aplomb, I didn't buy in to the angst she wished to portray. I couldn't sympathize much with it.

Vidya is bold but I am not bowled over!