(Review by an amateur)
(Written in 2011)
‘Oh la la oh la la’…. the catchy music, Naseeruddin, and Vidya Baalan were reasons enough to believe the movie would be a good one. And so we ‘dared’ to see it within first few days. Watching a movie in Nanded can be imagined to have reactions. So usually all us friends (‘VIPs’ for people), book the box and see movies together, whenever there is a good one. Having shared, however one experience on a facebook group ‘Nandedians’ once about an odd behaviour in the cinema, one citizen disliked the fact that I had time for ‘movies’, but not to respond to their problems/queries. My other beloved citizens however saved me and convinced him that a Commissioner is entitled to a movie once in a while. And he is not duty bound to respond to all issues and queries on facebook!
‘The Dirty Picture’ however evoked more than required genuine concerns from my PA as well as the cinema owner. It was an ‘A’ movie (and good guys are not supposed to get ‘A’ ever!). And it was forbidden to be seen with ‘family’. We felt nostalgic for a while about ‘Mumbai’ and put our foot down to go and see this movie. The precaution of not going in the official car was however taken to reduce the number of ‘raised eyebrows’.
The movie is anything but ‘dirty’. Even otherwise, the wise say that ‘dirt’ is in the mind /eyes of the beholder/watcher. We felt on the contrary, that it is a very honest attempt to tell the story of ‘vamps’, characters, we all love to love privately and condemn publicly! To that extent, the movie is beyond ‘entertainment’ and has a serious message. It is an irony, however, that to sell the movie, and in keeping with the core of the story, it has been marketed as a ‘dirty’ picture.
Vamps exist in real and reel life. And the movie subtly tells ‘their’ perspective. ‘Boldness’ is not a virtue that comes easy. While, it is considered a virtue for ‘men’, once it comes to ‘women’, the same ‘virtue’ becomes a ‘vice’. Thus however much we may love or hate, say, Rakhi Sawant, this much credit must go to her that she is bold. And it is a fact that we ‘love’ or ‘hate’ her, but don’t ignore her. The boldness for a woman is reflected in all her decisions that are not ‘standard’. A ‘standard’ till date is ‘getting married’, taking up jobs that ‘suit’ women and ‘sacrifice’ for the family. That is the ideal Indian woman we all admire. That is how our mother has been, and that is how we expect our wife and sister to be. But we also admire/love women who have done things differently, provided they are not from our families.
So in some form, the double ‘standards’ of the society, of men are brought about well in the movie (sharifon ki sharaafat!). The movie has some similarity with the movie ‘Fashion’ in that how ‘success’ gets on to the head, how self-love beyond a point is dangerous! Vidya Ballan has acted wonderfully and makes the character absolutely live.
The movie salutes women (and men), who earned fame in ill-fame (badnaam ho ke naam kamaya). Looked from their perspective, the good and evil finds merging. As Swami Vivekanand also says, ‘the chastity of a woman has value only because of the non existence of it in the street woman’.
At another level, love and hate too merge, once they are intense. The ‘good’ director hates the ‘bad’ actress to an extent that hatred converts into love. Does this aspect not find similarily in our lives too?
To summarise, the Dirty Picture falsifies its own dialogue that people see movies only for ‘Entertainment, Entertainment and Entertainment’. They are seeing movies for entertainment plus a mature handling of an issue. Bollywood has arrived.