The Dirty Picture accomplished 10 years of its launch on December 2, and what involves thoughts when one thinks of the movie (other than the track Ooh la la after all), is Vidya Balan’s superlative efficiency. Which different feminine efficiency has left as a lot of an enduring impression in current instances as Vidya in The Dirty Picture? The actor has develop into synonymous with nice performances, significantly her number of strong-willed girls who’re creators of their very own future. In a profession filled with wonderful decisions — from Paa to Kahaani, Ishqiya to this 12 months’s Sherni —Vidya has paved the way in which for a mainstream Bollywood feminine actor to be seen on her personal phrases, out of the shadow of her male counterpart. Her efficiency in The Dirty Picture stays memorable in methods multiple.
So a lot has already been mentioned concerning the dearth of meaty roles for feminine actors in Indian cinema and the hyper-sexualised, problematic roles supplied to girls. The mainstream viewers feeds on movies that painting feminine characters whose presence is all the time linked to that of the main man… as a girlfriend, a sister or a spouse. The examples are limitless.
That being siad, there are additionally movies with sturdy feminine components on the centre, with actors like Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil and Tabu having made illustrious decisions. Yet, hardly ever does a movie go away such an impression that it turns into a trailblazer itself —for ladies in movie. Vidya’s efficiency in The Dirty Picture, directed by Milan Luthria — achieves that.
Reportedly based mostly on the lifetime of ’80s display screen siren Silk Smitha, The Dirty Picture starred Vidya as Silk, who made her method right into a male-dominated trade by her intercourse attraction. In an early scene, she first catches the attention of the crew by dancing sensually to Nakkamukka. And but it’s her desperation to develop into an actor that places her in that place. Time and once more, she’s reminded that she’s strange trying and never lower out to suit the a part of a heroine. For the main woman should be truthful and historically engaging. Vidya’s Reshma (she was Reshma earlier than she turns into Silk on display screen) has none of these ‘qualities’. She’s voluptuous, and unsophisticated in her mannerisms, however vastly instinctive. In an early scene, she states that there’s nothing she will be able to’t do like a person, so there’s no distinction between her and a person. When every thing else fails to get her to her dream she makes use of her physique because the passport to get by. She flaunts herself with an unabashed sensuality that one can both hate or lust after however dare not ignore.
Abraham (Emraan Hashmi), a director who desires to steer clear of sleaze and make good cinema, and in whose movie she was first noticed, is abhorrent to Reshma. In no time, Reshma tranforms into Silk with some assist from producer Selvaganesh (Rajesh Sharma) and a few ‘tuning’ with co-star (and her outdated infatuation) Suryakanth (Naseeruddin Shah). Instant fame follows, which she is fast to seize and relish, in all her headline-inducing spirit. Wherever she goes, she seizes the limelight. As she builds a bond with Suryakanth’s youthful brother Ramakanth (Tusshar) that she begins to grasp the duality of all of it. “Silk bani hain mazaa lene ke liye, chahnewaalo ki bhi, or ladnewaalo ki bhi,” she says.
Vidya revels within the tightrope of successfully balancing sensuality with innocence. Her Silk is a walking-talking intercourse machine, and no matter she does, she dials it as much as the acute. She retains the harmless spirit of Reshma at the same time as she titillates the viewers as Silk. Her life mantra? “Jab upaarwaale ne zindagi ek di hain toh do baar kya sochna?”. There are a number of such dialogues that really feel a bit too superimposed, and the second half, which charts the eventual decline of Silk, turns into a little bit of a slipshod mess. But Vidya holds all of it by — managing to be unfiltered, coy, attractive and weak, all inside a single scene. Her Silk is a full-bodied creation, remaining true to herself all through the numerous dirtier revelations of the movie trade. Despite all odds, she stays decided and in control of her actions.
Silk makes use of her physique as her weapon. In doing so, in additional methods than one, she confronts the hypocrisy of the trade that fantasises about girls’s our bodies. Vidya, herself an actor who by no means aligned to look a specific approach to match the normative definition of a heroine, discovered an ideal synchronisation in Silk.
Even when The Dirty Picture fizzles out a bit in monitoring Silk’s downward spiral, she stays highly effective. The movie, and her efficiency specifically, has aged magnificently within the 10 years since launch.
The Dirty Picture’s success was unexpectedly big, each critically and commercially. It gained three nationwide awards, with Vidya taking residence the honour for Best Actress. The movie paved the way in which for a string of sturdy feminine characters on the centre — in addition to extra biopics — within the Hindi movie trade. Even after a decade of its launch, there’s nobody fairly like Silk. As she says, “Kuch logon ka naam unke kaam se hota hain… mera badnaam hokar hua hain.”