Movie Review – The Dirty Picture (2012)

Year of Release: 2011

Stars: Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Haashmi, Tusshar Kapoor

Verdict: 3.25/5

Agar daag lagne se kuch accha hota hai toh daag acche hain“. And ‘Dirty’ picture is one of those ‘acche daags’ that have splashed Bollywood in quite a while. Unlike a lot of the recent movies, this one isn’t trying to hitchhike on the back of star cast (Rascals, Desi Boys et al) or incessant promotions (read It has a good story, power-packed performances and of course a lot of sleaze, titillation & double entendres.

The movie takes you through the rise and fall of a starlet whose sole claim to fame is her unapologetic display of sexuality both on and off screen. She knows what men want and uses that to achieve what she wants. Her motto in life is ‘You get only one life, so why think twice before living it’. But whatever goes up, has to come down sooner or later but it’s the journey that makes everybody’s trajectory different.

As Chanakya said, “There is no bigger power in the world than the youth and beauty of a woman”. Silk knows it and uses it to get a break in the Tamil movie industry. She realizes that in a male dominated industry she will need a godfather and uses the biggest star’s (Suryakant) lust for her to get ahead. Naseeruddin Shah as Suryakant, the aging but extremely narcissistic & egoistic super star, has delivered a good performance and is responsible for generating quite a few laughs in an otherwise serious movie.

The other man who comes in Silk’s life is Ramakant (Tusshar Kapoor), Suryakant’s introvert younger brother. He loves Silk but buckles under pressure when needed to stand for her. Tusshar is redundant in the movie and wouldn’t have been missed had he not been in it.

Abraham (Emraan Haashmi) is the guy who incessantly abhors Silk for what she does but is the one who stands up for her in the end. Emraan has also done justice to his role.

But if there is a ‘hero’ in the movie, it definitely has to be Vidya Balan. Her ‘bebaak’ & ‘bindaas’ avatar will make you see a side (or front, pun intended) of her that you haven’t seen earlier. She has totally embodied the character & in the age of svelte Sheilas & Munnis, she has proudly and unashamedly filled the screen with her rather fuller version. She has comfortably flaunted the paunch, the flab or anything else that isn’t contained in her itsy bitsy clothes. But it doesn’t look vulgar as the role justifies such portrayal of her.

The movie isn’t for the prissy & faint hearted with its bold scenes and even bolder dialogues. Although some of the double meaning scenes and dialogues could’ve been definitely avoided.

The 2nd half of the movie fails to pack as much punch as the 1st one and the movie loses its pace. Also the narration throughout the movie should have been a little more crisp than it was.

It definitely isn’t a path-breaking movie but Ekta Kapoor sure has got a hit in her hands.


  • The film is based on the life of popular softcore film actress Silk Smitha.
  • The song Ishq Sufiyana was shot at Golkonda fort in old Hyderabad.
  • Vidya Balan was initially skeptical about taking up the role, as she was uncomfortable with the kind of dresses she needed to wear for the film. It was producer Ekta Kapoor who persuaded hard to get her approval.
  • The first phase of the filming was done in Mumbai‘s Filmcity, where a set was made re-creating the Chennai of the 80’s. The next phase of shooting was done at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad.
  • In a scene, where Vidya and Emraan had to insult each other, was shot in promptu as the actors never rehearsed the scene before, and didn’t have any prior knowledge about the scene. Director Mithun Luthria later said that he wanted to catch the discomfort and awkwardness between them on screen, hence never disclosed about it before.
  • Producers of the film launched the trailer in a single screen (Galaxy theater) at Bandra in Mumbai. The theater was decorated to bring back the retro look of the 80s.
  • Vidya Balan had started her career with Balaji in TV serial Huma Paanch.
  • Vidya Balan watched movies like Chicago, Burlesque to prepare for the role and also took Salsa lessons.
  • Naseeruddin Shah has a dance number in this movie. Before this, he had danced in the song, Tirchi Topiwale from Tridev (1989).

3 thoughts on “Movie Review – The Dirty Picture (2012)

    1. @ Bollywood Fashionista – I absolutely agree with that. If it would have been any other actress, she would’ve definitely made it look a lot sleazier than it actually was.

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