Saucy, sensational and shocking – that’s how producer Ekta Kapoor defines her most special project “Dirty Picture”, which she feels could be touted as India’s version of international film “Boogie Nights”, based on the story of a young man’s adventures in the Californian porn industry of the 1970s and 80s.
” ‘Dirty Picture’ could be India’s ‘Boogie Nights’ – a film that shocked the sensibilities of people,” Ekta told IANS.
The difference, perhaps, is the inspiration of “Dirty Picture” – late south Indian actress Silk Smitha, whose rise and fall as a sex siren and ultimately her death made for a moving story, according to Ekta.
“I would be surprised if I don’t get unbelievable critical acclaim for ‘Dirty Picture’ and a national award for my actress, Vidya Balan. The movie has one of the most well-written scripts I have come across and a lot of youngsters in my office have looked at it with great admiration,” she added.
Silk Smitha was born as Vijayalakshmi, but she found her new name following the success of her Tamil film “Vandi Chakkram” in which she had stunned audiences with her oomph quotient. Her character in the film was named Silk, following which she became Silk Smitha.
She went on to become a symbol of sensuality after doing bold and semi-nude roles and she even tried her hand at producing movies. But gradually, after getting sidelined by younger actresses, financial crisis and personal problems took a toll on her life.
Ekta, who is riding high as a successful film producer with unique and experimental projects like “Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai”, “Love Sex Aur Dhokha”, “Shor In The City” and now “Ragini MMS”, says the film is “closest to my heart”.
“At no point have we tried to justify her (Smitha) or criticise her. We will just let the audience live her life… after that, it is up to the audience to walk out of the theatre with tears or a smile,” she said.
The movie, directed by Milan Luthria, will be an insight into the life of Smitha, who titillated the audience with her sensual roles throughout her career, but had a tragic end at the age of 35.
Choosing Vidya for the role has been the best decision ever, says Ekta.
“She has such a range of acting… her expressions are well controlled… We couldn’t have found anyone better than Vidya for this role. It’s a casting that very few would think is viable because it is going to be nothing like Vidya has done before. But I am confident she will push the envelope as far as she can,” she said.
Ekta, daughter of veteran actor Jeetendra, agrees her movies are a little experimental for the Indian audience, but she doesn’t mince words when she says “I can’t be a slave to appreciation”.
“There will always be some films that the audience would like and some that they don’t. But if I start becoming a slave to appreciation, I will be subjecting myself and my talent to one particular type of taste. I don’t want to do that.
“I don’t want to be sitting and thinking how many stars will my film get. It’s rubbish! I make films that I like – some get really appreciated, and some don’t. Till now luckily they have done well, but I can’t become a slave to that. And I won’t – never,” she said in an emphatic tone.