Vidya to steal the thunder?

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Vidya Balan’s new avatar in the upcoming The Dirty Picture has been attracting a huge amount of media attention, which has grown as audiences have been teased by Silk’s wardrobe items and raunchy, bold item numbers through various trailers and the recent music release event. The Dirty Picture is receiving such a racy reaction that fans and pundits are prepared to call the ALT Entertainment (Balaji) production the film of the season beating the musically charged Rockstar, action packed Don 2 and this years christmas release Desi Boyz.

The Dirty Picture is said to follow the journey of a rising southern sex symbol in the 1980s, whose life falls tragically from the ever growing rise to fame. Vidya plays that voluptuous star who is inspired by such stars as Silk Smitha of that era, so much so that the character bears the name of Silk also. For an actress who has showed a great deal of grace and charm in her films such as Parineeta and Paa, Ishiqya was a removal from what the actress had become known for, but The Dirty Picture is proving to be the boldest move in her career. In true Balan style, no stone has been left unturned to ensure that her performance is as believable as possible, even taken up smoking and putting on weight.

When the promotions were launched, the film grabbed the attention of many wondering what to expect from the Ekta Kapoor production but also for legal reasons. Touted as a biopic of the late sex symbol Silk Smitha who is believed to have committed suicide in 1996, The Dirty Picture had angered the brother of the late actress complaining that no permission was sought and that the film was portraying Smitha in a negative light. Following statements from the Balaji production house it is clear that the film is a celebration of some of the best item girls of that time. On her appearance in We The People she admitted that originally she was concerned about such a role but has had a blast doing the film and is confident about the final projection.

Criticism aside, those in the industry are predicting that the film will dominate the screens when it releases Dec 2. T.N Kapoor, of Bharti Film Distributions believes that The Dirty Picture is likely to do well because of the initial responses and its growing mass appeal and even attributing much of that success to Vidya saying “Vidya’s already generated a lot of buzz with the way she is presenting herself in the film.”

Rockstar, which stars Ranbir Kapoor, released on Friday and has seen a great response since, but T.N Kapoor believes that “Rockstar is for youngsters and caters to the audiences of bigger cities” meaning it has a specific audience it caters for which so far has been very receptive to the film.

On the topic of Desi Boyz, which sees Akshay Kumar and John Abraham team up, T.N Kapoor said “Desi Boyz is good but whatever little I have heard about the story, I don’t think the audiences will be able to digest it. But since it is a solo release, people would definitely go and watch it as they wouldn’t have any other option to choose from.” Although much has been said about Don 2, especially after the successful opening of SRK’s Ra.One, Delhi-based distributor Joginder Mahajan believes there is nothing extraordinary about the film and believes it will only find success in multiplexes.

One concern for the industry pundits also remains the fact that these films including Don 2 were made on budgets above Rs.70 crore, which could prove difficult to recover the cost and make a profit at the same time.

“I feel The Dirty Picture will work more than other films as it has appeal for both mass and class. The Dirty Picture will not only work in the metros but it is likely to work in B and C class cities like Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Bareilly among others.”

While fans will be spoilt for choice between action packed scenes or a bit of the 80s glamour, only time will tell to see which film will come out on top.

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