Tag Archive for 'Item number'

In love with a dirty girl

In The Asian Age, Suparna Sharma reviews The Dirty Picture:

The Dirty Picture is Adults Only, so is this review. Having sorted that out, let’s go. Ms Vidya Balan, and I say this with respect and not a hint of misogyny, has balls of steel. Not any ordinary steel balls. No. Hers are lipstick-red, clanging, solid, shiny balls, hard to dent and impossible to ignore.

It takes guts to take on a role inspired by the sleazy and tragic life of an extra whose magazine cut-outs and images were mostly conjured up in the privacy of bathrooms to assist ejaculation. Few actresses in Bollywood would have said yes to portraying Silk Smitha, the two-bit “item bomb” from south, and turned it into a career-defining concerto. And fewer still would have delivered it with the dazzling chutzpah and high jinx that the retelling of Smitha’s life demanded, and added their own generous sprinkling of sauce, salt and red pepper. Ms Balan lets it all hang out, metaphorically and literally, and deserves a loud and ecstatic standing ovation.

Barring the last 20-25 minutes, The Dirty Picture is an inspired piece of work. For producer Ekta Kapoor to zero in on Smitha (I am completely ignoring her oscillating stand on it is-it isn’t about Smitha) was obviously a commercial decision more than a feminist schema — you’ll be hard pressed to find a script on which the cliché “exposing is necessary because the script demands it” sits more happily. But to put together a team that not only tells the story with skill and cheekiness, but also comes together to create the naughty Eighties, is an act of mad genius. More:

The Munni-Sheila sisterhood

Nikhat Kazmi in The Times of India:

2010: The year when men might have truly been on Mars. For, when it came to grabbing headlines, it was women all the way, all the year through. Be it politics, business, sport or entertainment, it was She-La ki Kahani that had the twists and turns, despite all the brouhaha about Dabangg He-men making old-fashioned comebacks.

They may be branded as mere item numbers but Munni Badnaam Hui and Sheila Ki Jawani have become the exultant cry of a breed of post-feminism femme fatales who are determined to celebrate woman power like never before. If a risqui Munni saw nothing wrong in becoming a Zandu balm, or an item that’s aam – in short, totally badnaam – for her paramour, then Sheila seemed to be totally self-sufficient with her uber sexuality.

In a blatant display of narcissism, she declares she wants to hug and hold herself: Ab dil karta hai haule haule se, main toh khud ko gale lagaun. Kisi aur ki mujhko zaroorat kya, main toh khud se pyaar jataun…Read between the lines and see how the traditional stereotype of the woman gets busted with something as simple as Bollywood lyrics. Enter the new singleton who doesn’t necessarily need a husband, a boyfriend, to define herself. On the contrary, like Krishna Verma (Vidya Balan), the spirited and unencumbered protagonist of Ishqiya, she prefers a world where options exist and the straitjacket of conventional morality has been blown apart. More: