Come August and Hyderabad will be the destination of one of the most controversial and ‘dirty’ movie shootings of the year.
Major portions of “Dirty Picture,” a film loosely based on Southern siren, Silk Smitha’s life will be shot in Film City and Jubilee Hills area. Hyderabad Times caught up with director Milan Luthria of “Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai” fame, who was on a location scout in the city. “It’s natural that we shoot portions of the film here in Hyderabad, to capture the flavor of the South,” says the director.
Controversies galore: Silk Smitha’s life on celluloid could ruffle a lot of feathers, considering she was involved with bigwigs from Tollywood. “We are not making the film for controversies. Our movie explores how she became one of the most powerful women at a time when men ruled the roost,” explains Milan. Earlier, Silk Smitha’s boyfriend and filmmaker, Vinu Chakravarthy, lashed out at producer Ekta Kapoor for not taking his consent before making the film. “It’s ridiculous. We are just using her as a parameter to make a film on women of that era,” says Milan. The choice of Vidya Balan to play Smitha on screen too was criticized by Vinu. “Vidya is a fine actress. She has an innocent face, yet there is this underlining sexuality about her that no one else has. It fits the role. She was sexuality personified in her sarees in “Ishqiya,” he reasons.
The men in her life: With Nasseruddin Shah, Tushar Kapoor and Emraan Hashmi playing the three men in Vidya’s on screen life, one can’t help but probe who in particular are the characters based on. “No one as such. Our writer Rajat has written the characters in such a way that it does not represent anyone living or dead,” treads the director carefully. But with a movie based on a Southern siren’s life, how come none of the actors from the South are involved in the project? “Well, it was a conscious decision. If one actor brings in the Southern accent, then we would have to take all the actors from here itself,” says the director, who is now gearing up to shoot with Akshay Kumar for the sequel of last year’s hit, “Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai.”
“We wanted to take the story forward to the time when Shoaib already became a dreaded don. We decided to replace Emraan with Akshay, as the latter’s seriousness and larger-than-life persona on screen suits the character,” says the director.
Friends in the city: Milan has many Tollywood connections. “I assisted Mahesh Bhatt during “Criminal” and I’ve been friends with Nagarjuna since. Same with Chiranjeevi, who did “Gentleman.” How come he never cast them in his movies? “By the time I started making movies, they stopped doing Hindi films. But I’ve heard good things about their sons, Naga Chaitanya and Ram Charan Tej. The next time I’m in town, I’ll drop in and say hi to my old friends,” says Milan.