A decade of The Dirty Picture: When Vidya Balan and co. opened up new avenues for Bollywood

On December 2, 2011, Vidya Balan left a mark in the industry by saying that it’s only “entertainment, entertainment and entertainment’ that works at the box-office and it doesn’t matter if it’s by a male protagonist or a female. The Ekta Kapoor production, Dirty Picture, directed by Milan Luthria proved to be the super hit at the ticket window and the highest grossing film led by a female protagonist at that point of time.

The film raked in Rs 80 crore at the domestic box office with footfalls of 1.15 crore, which was a record back then and it paved way for a new wave of cinema led by the leading ladies of our industry. Of course, the film also featured Emraan Hashmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Tusshar Kapoor, but it was eventually Vidya, who was riding the project on her shoulders. The film was keenly anticipated right from the word go as the trailers, particularly Rajat Arora’s dialogues had caught attention of the audience.

The follow up to the hit trailer was the music, with Ooh La La emerging a chartbuster of epic proportion. The film won three National Film Awards including Best Actress, Best Costume Design, Best Make Up Artist. The success of The Dirty Picture paved way to give producers more confidence to bankroll projects led by the female protagonist and exactly four months later, Vidya consolidated the success with another smash hit, Kahaani.

It has been a decade since the film’s release, and it continues to be the fourth highest grossing film for producer, Ekta Kapoor, after Dream Girl, Veere Di Wedding, and Ek Villain. The Dirty Picture is also among the highest grossing female led films even today. Interestingly, exactly a day after the release of The Dirty Picture, Milan Luthria and Rajat Arora are all set for the release of Tadap, which marks the acting debut of Suniel Shetty’s son, Ahan.