It is no coincidence that I am listening to Jagaave Sari Raina while penning down my thoughts on the film Dedh Ishqiya. If love had to be defined in words, Dedh Ishqiya comes the closest in filling in the right letters in the correct places to weave a tale of magical fascination. And with a few classical thumris thrown in between as background score, the film attains the level of perfection, highly missed in recent Hindi films. However, the director – in his predictable style – misses the bus in the last 10-odd minutes.
Dedh Ishqiya is full of perfect moments. Every frame that has Madhuri and Naseer saab together, exchanging those flirtatious glances, wooing the other with subtle nuances, poetry and unmatched facial undertones, steals your heart and leaves you breathless. Quite the contrast, Arshad and Huma – depicting the raw flavour of love. Gulzar’s poetry simply transports you into an world of illusion, where you can cuddle with your loved one, while sipping on the tastiest wine, and humming the best of ghazals.
All the sweet talk of love does not take the audience’s mind away from the central plot of deceit, greed and a treacherous game in which love is a mere pawn. Vijay Raaz, an underrated actor, forces you to seat back and take note of the talent that goes unused in this age of meaningless 100 crore film business. The film flows like a bustling stream in the first half, that reaches the sea bed with full force towards the middle of the second half. And then loses its course.
Set in a dilapidated mahal of a dead Nawab, Dedh Ishqiya takes you into a time warp. The use of lights totally helps the viewer sink into the period of thumris and extinct nawabs. The crisp dialogues and catchy one-liners help the audience remain glued to the pacy screenplay. Except, in the end the director ties himself in the knots and relies on the much-tried formula of coincidences and hyperbolic melodrama to un-entangle himself from the plot. But with the beautiful memories one forms in the last 2 -odd hours, the few minutes of slip can easily be forgiven.
Lastly, I thank Vishal Bhardwaj for opening up the wonderful world of thumris for me. Have been playing Begum Akhtar in loop since last night.
My Rating: 4/5 stars.
P.S. There is a spoiler hidden somewhere in this page
DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights
Gone are the days when innocence and piety could make you the most desired. This is the season of getting dirty! Shed your inhibitions, keep your dogmas at bay, exercise your right to free thought and indulge in this blissful celebration of female sexuality.
India is a nation with its feet in the twenty first century but its mind is still in the middle ages. Sex is a still a taboo word, a concept which is dirty and better kept under the wraps of satin inside the bedroom. People of this country find it hard to distinguish between sex and sexuality. And when one breaks away from the norms, (s)he has to bear the brunt of being the rotten fish.
In our society, women enjoy all the freedom as long as their male counterparts will. How much we tend to deny it and claim to be progressive, we are never comfortable with the idea of a liberated woman. Her desire, specially those that are carnal, are majorly scuttled by their male partners. Any woman trying to live on her own terms is described a slut, a pariah for the society.
With a pseudo liberated society in place, in 2011, how difficult must it have been for Silk Smitha to carve out a niche of her own and reign over the masses back in the ’70s! Failed in love, betrayed by her own, exploited by the industry, for her desire to be famous, to become an actor and the desire to be successful.
The Dirty Picture is a celebration of femininity which is much wrongly portrayed as titillating sensuality and vulgar display of physical assets. Vidya Balan gets into the sleeves of the character of Silk (only except her accent which flawlessly educated for a small village girl). Outstandingly ravishing, the comfort that oozes out of Vidya’s demeanor on screen mesmerises the audience in me. A powerhouse of talent that she is, one is forced to forgive the lackadaisical male cast members. What earned Tusshar Kapoor a role in this film is not a mystery to me, given her sister is a producer of this film. Emraan Hashmi has less scenes than Tusshar, and thank God for that, to prove that he cannot act. Naseeruddin Shah proves to be the saving grace.
Dirty Picture is audaciously aesthetic, seductively serene, piously pompous yet ecstatically earthen. The tonal quality of the film is appealing. Background score accentuates your cinematic satiation. Ignoring the slowering of pace in the second half, blotched up efforts to speed up the climax and a few melodramatic sequences (like the Award Acceptance Speech by Silk) the film proves to be worth the prices of tickets. And behold, it is not a senseless masala potboiler. Neither is Dirty Picture preachy. With a better male cast and a good screenplay writer, Dirty Picture could well become India’s answer to Hours or A Single Man.
My rating – 3.5/5
Watch it for Vidya Balan.