Milan Luthria is charting unknown territory by exploring the wild side of a woman with his new movie 'The Dirty Picture'. The director is hopeful that it will strike a chord with the audience despite an overdose of sexuality and oomph in Vidya Balan's role because he feels lust is no more restricted to the bedroom.
'I thought there was no point in doing something that has already been done. So I decided to take a woman and explore her in my own way,' Luthria said in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.
'After all we are an evolving nation; with the internet being the most common tool of communication, pornography is reaching out to every household. These days people no more feel sorry about their desires. Lust is a part of our lives and nature, so why shy away from it?' added the director who helmed 'Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai' and 'Taxi Number 9211'.
In the film, Vidya's character unabashedly expresses her desires.
'There is fun in knowing unknown things, exploring a woman's mind, body and spirit in such a way as has never been done before. So, when the idea came to me, I was like why not? This is interesting and challenging. When our country's top-notch directors like Mahesh Bhatt and Yash Chopra have made women-centric films like 'Arth' and 'Lamhe' respectively, why not me?' he asked.
But 'The Dirty Picture' is something that has not been attempted by A-list filmmakers.
'It is much easy to take a familiar route, but it's difficult to be different. And I was very clear from the very beginning that I didn't want to talk about their love or suffering. I wanted something spunky. I wanted to show a woman who has guts and glory.'
The film was launched as a tell-all tale of southern sex symbol Silk Smitha, but later the filmmakers said it was not so.
Asked why, Luthria said: 'We are living in a media age where information gets exaggerated. We have always said that it was based on a dance girl, but it was not Silk Smitha as in those days there were other women in the industry like Disco Shanti. The story is about a dance girl who left a mark while she was pitted against so many men.'
'It is the journey of a dancer and what goes on in her mind, what made her a phenomenon and how troubled relationships were part of her life, how she battled fame, fortune and alcohol. So it's not about Silk. You have to see it to believe that it's a work of fiction,' he added.
The film has an interesting star cast. If Vidya has shed inhibitions to ooze oomph, Naseeruddin Shah is cast as a lecherous actor, Emraan Hashmi an impatient lover and Tusshar Kapoor as wicked, but innocent.
'Naseer is my friend. I remember watching his movies like 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron' and 'Chamatkar'. I wanted to tap that side of his, but I wasn't sure how he would react. But I was sure that his fans would love to see him in this role,' said Luthria.
'When I narrated the script and his role, I was surprised. He loved it at first go. He told me, 'I want to do everything - dance, get wet in the rain, be a lech, go over the top',' he added.
The film will land in the theatres on Dec 2 and Luthria is waiting for the audience verdict with baited breath.
'We wanted to fire the audience with all powerful bullets in our armory. A lot of effort was put in music and I am glad the audience is noticing our product, which has no big names. This shows the perception of the audience is changing and it is nice to see them lapping up something experimental,' he said.
But all this was not easy.
'There were times when we were not sure whether we were heading in the right direction. But I am lucky that producer (Ekta Kapoor) believed in my vision and trusted me completely,' he added.