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|The Dirty Picture
Cast:Vidya Balan, Emraan Hashmi, Nasiruddin Shah, Tushaar Kapoor
First things first – kudos to the cast and crew for bringing out a film like this! ‘The Dirty Picture’ has all the ingredients of a commercial cinema
to keep the audience engaged for 140 minutes, and believe me, it’s definitely not a biopic, and for sure the movie doesn’t feel like a
documentary. The makers of the film wanted to accomplish three things with this film, which are – “entertainment, entertainment,
entertainment”. Today’s audience wants entertainment, and the film just provides us with that.
Synopsis: As we already know, the film is inspired by the life of ‘Silk’ Smitha – the sex siren who rocked the south film industry during the
eighties and the early nineties. Thus the name of the lead character in the film, ‘Silk’. But I believe the similarities just end here. Reshma aka
‘Silk’ is a girl from a small town in Tamil Nadu who runs off to Madras just before the day she is to get married to fulfill her ambition of becoming
an actress. But as fate has it, she is unable to garner any opportunities of becoming a lead lady and ends up being a ‘sex siren’ and a ‘vamp’
in films. The rest of the story is about how her career reaches new heights and how it falls to unseen depths, as she becomes addicted to
alcohol and begins to age.
Cast and Performances: The primary cast of the film includes names like Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi and Tusshar
Naseeruddin Shah plays the role of a ‘Southern Superstar’ and he fits the bill perfectly. Tusshar Kapoor plays Nasseruddin Shah’s brother
and a budding writer who falls for ‘Silk’. His character in the film is a very subtle one and he gels into his role well. Coming to Emraan Hashmi,
one has to say that his acting only keeps improving. Emraan Hashmi’s voice plays a crucial role in the film as he is also narrating the story and
his hatred for ‘Silk’. His encounters with Vidya Balan are simply superb.
But of all the cast, the credit definitely has to go the lead lady Vidya Balan. There was Parineeta, then was Ishqiya, then No One Killed Jessica
and now it’s The Dirty Picture. One has to say that she’s gotta have guts to play such an audacious character that smokes, drinks, shows
oodles of cleavage and utters filthy one-liners. Vidya Balan’s efforts have to be supremely appreciated for she manages to pull off everything
that the character requires with supreme panache while not making it look vulgar. For those of you who were thinking that Vidya Balan was
risking her career playing the role of ‘Silk’ and she doesn’t have the ‘oomph factor’ of Silk Smitha, just watch the movie and decide for yourself
what the lady is capable of.
The rest of the cast is just as convincing.
Technical Departments: After Vidya Balan, the film belongs to the writer, Rajat Arora. His story, screenplay and dialogues are simply superb.
It is tough to write an entertaining film inspired by the true story of a ‘sex goddess’ who ended her life abruptly. But Rajat Arora does a
fabulous job, and a few one-liners and dialouges of his are sure going to have the audience in splits.
The camera work and editing are slick and suit the mood of the film. ‘Oo la la’ is already playing on many lips, and the background is perfect.
Lastly, the credit has to go to Milan Luthria. This veteran filmmaker is just continuing his form from his last outing (Once Upon a Time in
Mumbai). He succeeded in extracting brilliant performances from all his actors and the lead lady especially.
In a smart conversational excerpt from the film, the hero downplays himself as an ordinary guy who doesn't excel in any particular domain. But
the heroine finds uniqueness in his commonplace conduct since he never overindulges into anything. She tags him with the paradox - 'perfectly
average'. That precisely defines the film as well. It's perfect in whatever it offers. But what it offers is quite average in volume.
|Ek Main aur Ekk Tu
Director: Shakun Batra
Cast: Kareena Kapoor, Imran Khan
He's cream cheese. She's white chocolate. What a peculiarly milky combination, I thought at first. What I didn't realise is how these two pasty
ingredients can combine to create a light, smooth-textured cheese cake.
And that is exactly how Karan Johar's [ Images ] Valentine's Day treat Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (EMAET), directed by debutante Shakun Batra tastes.
Rom-coms are an enduring albeit foreseeable genre, be it local, Hollywood or exotic. What sets them apart is how they play out in terms of
treatment, imagination, voices, chemistry or soul.
EMAET is neither on the epic side like Dharma Productions' great, grand ancestors nor weighed down by an overload of pop culture references
of those that define the genre. Instead the confection's appeal lies in its underplayed wit, quirky within plausibility protagonists and a refreshing
disregard for conventional conclusions.
Almost like a big studio flick with an indie mindset. Almost.
Save for a passing acknowledgement to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai , the sensibility and reference points of Batra's brand of romance, co-written with
Ayesha Devitre, are closer to the likes of (500) Days of Summer, Garden State and Annie Hall, reflecting on interrelated themes like, opposites
attract, coming-of-age-aided-by-a-free spirited-girl, modern-day relationships and urban humour.
The writing doesn't have the smarts of the afore-mentioned films or the bite of, say, Farhan Akhtar's contemporary conversation but EMAET's
endearing, unassuming quality and refusal to take the run-of-the-mill route, like Dharma's Wake Up Sid, makes it a much better film than I
expected to see. What's more? It's barely two hours.
So you have two doozy characters living in the exuberant city of Las Vegas (captured splendidly in David Mac Donald's lovingly lit frames).
Imran Khan plays Rahul Kapoor, a product of upscale, uptight, fussy upbringing (a subdued Boman Irani , Ratna Pathak in an exaggerated
version of her character from Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai).
Along comes Kareena Kapoor as Riana Braganza, the hairstylist with red highlights, representing her carefree ways and relaxed rearing by a
super cool Catholic family.
The curious case of extremes doesn't stop here. He drives a Prius. She rides a nitro scooter. He's lackluster. She's livewire. He got fired. She got
dumped. And in a drunken stupor, the duo accidentally gets married. This is the part where any/all alleged similarities to What Happens in Vegas
So while Riana's two-years older than Rahul technicality is never a topic of speculation, their camaraderie is more Lucy-Linus than
Lucy-Schroeder. She pulls his ears, pinches his nose, bullies him and gets away with everything. He's happy playing second fiddle. For all their
attractive looks, together they make a platonic, U/A impression. But it seems deliberate and works.
Once in a while, you pause to ask why neither of them has a single friend? Okay so Rahul is a mollycoddled introvert but what about Riana? The
girl's practically Miss Congeniality.
The ensuing episodes gradually unfold into disarming interactions between Rahul and Riana, revealing their contrasting traits, opening avenues
for amusing banter against Amit Trivedi's zingy score, Vegas and its many gamble-free attractions. Considering it does little except provide fun
props, glittery backdrops and a venue for the impromptu wedding, the city's contribution is largely superficial. And so once the gimmick bag is
exhausted, the story moves to Mumbai .
Typically at this juncture, most rom-coms lose steam or turn trite but Batra allows Rahul and Riana's story to chart its own natural progression
unafraid to see where it goes. The upshot is as real as our first introduction into the warm-as-a-bun, funny-without-trying-hard Braganza
household. While on fun, the frequency of its well-timed, droll moments is much appreciated. Especially: Imran's disastrous date, his job interview
at a Japanese firm or his hostile but hilarious attack with a piece of cutlery on a deserving candidate.
Imran is tailor made for this role. I read somewhere how he harbored a secret crush on Kareena for the longest time. No wonder the gleam in his
eyes when he gazes into hers screams fan boy. Sweet thrills aside, his Rahul is a self-effacing underachiever and Imran's puny physique, stiff
body language and understated hesitation score adequately.
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is told from his perspective but belongs to Kareena Kapoor. After doing ornamental roles in films like Bodyguard and
Ra.One, it's nice to see the spunky actress in her element again since Jab We Met . Though vivacious, her Riana isn't a child-woman like Geet
but a free-spirited, unflappable adult armed with plucky impulses and scrumptious smile that helps Rahul come-of-age and EMAET worth a