December 04, 2011

Bolo, Dirty Dirty Dirty!

This Friday afternoon, after buying the 55-rupee ticket for Rs100 at Gaiety from Abdul Bhai (name changed to protect identity), we had a short chat. He was glad. The movie had opened really well. Standing at the gate of the iconic theatre, as if he owns the premise, he was also aware of the 'House Full' status of Chandan Cinema at Juhu. "Vidya Balan has pulled it off amazingly, carrying the film on her shoulders!" - he beamed.

Vidya Balan - the casting choice that had shocked us all, has proved to be the only reason to watch the film, so much so that it's difficult to imagine some other actress playing this role. With possibly one of the most unforgettable female roles in Hindi Cinema, she has successfully obliterated my judgment of the film. It was quiet an emotional experience for me, because I was not just watching her act or perform, but also wondering what the actress would have gone through in order to do what she did. Thanks to the inconsistent writing of the film, I was able to detach and think and appreciate her so much more - reminding myself of her filmography and admiring her guts to do something as outrageously bold as this. The fact that I found her barely titillating or 'hot' helped me think of her as a woman rather than an object of desire - which could have hardly happened with some other actress. The film surely failed to do justice to her, but perhaps I didn't mind that. The 'hero' had overawed me, and that experience was more than what I had expected. Just one scene can summarize my opinion of the film - the pre-interval 'award function' scene. I would have hated that scene in the screenplay and no one in the world could have convinced me that it will work. Vidya Balan did, by making the scene memorable and by making the scene her own, and going well beyond it. She surely goes well beyond the picture as well.

Another interesting question is troubling me for the past two days, since I watched this film - how else could have the writer approached the character? The writing was truly one-dimensional and devoid of any depth that this fascinating character apparently promises. But then was there any other option? I may be wrong, but the character in real life must have been frankly superficial, kind of disillusioned, and must have gone through terrifying conflicts from within - trapped in the whirlpool that she created for instant 'success', going deep with every passing day, till the time she could not afford staying alive. To treat this character truthfully would have resulted in a dark and disturbing psychological drama, with the protagonist so flawed that we could have only pitied her. Instead, the writer decided to project her as an underdog, an optimistic dreamer, with smart and quick decision-making abilities, and charm and confidence. Under the garb of her 'bindaas' attitude, the writer managed to cover the disillusioned, superficial character she was, and made sure the audience rooted for her. Though I want to determine a better approach of writing this character, the choice made by the writer was perhaps the only way to make a commercial entertainer out of it. The black marketeers should thank him for the same reason for which the critics are being harsh in their reviews. It is, after all, for the makers (including the writer) to decide what they would like to hear - "More Dirty, Less Picture" from a critic, or "Haan bolo, Dirty Dirty Dirty!" from those swarming at the gates of single screen theatres, reaping the great opening the film has made.


  1. Sir,what would you say about the dialogues which made me think for one or two second?

  2. Watching at Gaiety, where the crowd applauded and cheered every line, it was difficult to judge. But in my opinion the dialogues were a bit too smart. Those with double-meanings were truly embarrassing, and there were some hilariously over-smart lines like "Uska munh manhole ki tarah khula rehta hai". How ridiculous!

  3. I liked the movie , but in full honesty, i came out of the theatre with a feeling that something was missing, was wondering ,if three hours was too short to chronicle her "dirty" life.My disappointment at the lack of depth in the movie, was appeased with the perception lurking...could it be that ,"silk" was not of very high intellect, hence she led a very 'surface' life...but certainly not devoid of emotions !!

  4. No, i havent watched the movie yet. i am writing to share a sad moment. just today when i read the cinema section of the delhi times a bit more closely, to my i found out the PVR Director's Cut cinema was screening 'Citizen Kane' and that it was going to change next friday with some other movie, and stuck up neck deep that i am in my current project, i can't even discuss the hypothetical scenario of going to watch that movie this week with anyone around! :(

  5. PVR has started to screen Classics every Thursday. It is a great initiative. I watched 'GoodFellas'. But missed 'Citizen Kane' for a meeting.
    The next three movies they are showing are:
    8th Dec: Hum Dono
    15th Dec: Schindler's List
    22nd Dec: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

  6. Hey, I too enjoyed the movie. It was a truly meomorable work, aminly due to BAlan's prformance, who I feel is the greatest actress of our times