The Dirty Picture to release on Silk Smitha’s birthday | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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The Dirty Picture to release on Silk Smitha’s birthday

Ekta Kapoor’s The Dirty Picture, about an actor involved with three men, will open on December 2, the birthday of Silk Smitha, one of the film’s muses.

bollywood Updated: Aug 03, 2011 17:39 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

Ekta Kapoor has locked on a release date for her next film, The Dirty Picture. It will open on December 2, Silk Smitha’s birthday. “It’s a beautiful coincidence since she is one of our muses, along with other Southern actors like Shakeela, Nylon Nandini and Polyester Padmini,” exults Ekta.

She points out that while we celebrate the birthdays of A-list stars, these path-breakers, who lived life on their own terms, have been forgotten. “My film is not inspired by any one of them, but is a reflection of an era when they used their sexuality to carve a niche for themselves in the male-dominated South film industry. Many frowned upon them, but they were survivors and their power over the masses cannot be denied,” she says.

Silk Smitha was born as Vijayalakshmi in a poor family in Andhra Pradesh. She quit school after the fourth standard and moved to Chennai with starry dreams. She was re-named Smitha, and she added the ‘Silk’ after her character in the Tamil movie Vandi Chakkaram (1979). She became a ‘lucky mascot’ and no film was complete without her doing a song or a cameo. In 1996, she committed suicide after failed attempts to turn producer, and the personal problems and alcohol addiction that followed.

Ekta points out that like the Oscar-nominated Boogie Nights (1997), that charted a young man’s misadventures in the Californian porn industry in the ’70s and ’80s, her film too travels back to the ’80s, to tell the story of one woman. There’s plenty of talk about the many smooches in the film. Says Ekta, “Yes, there’s a bit of kissing, but we need to look beyond them, to the emotions attached to the woman involved, who didn’t fake her feelings and loved passionately. She was involved with three men — one who was attracted to her, another who loved her and a third, who hated her. It’s a journey of ups and downs.”

On her choice of Vidya Balan, Ekta argues that Charlize Theron was a Hollywood diva when she was cast in Monster (2003), based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a serial killer. “The film got her an Oscar for Best Actor (Female). I too needed a talented actor, who would take the audience beyond a woman’s body to unveil the different layers to her personality.”