‘Fashion’ exposes Bhandarkar’s limitations (Opinion)

November 3rd, 2008 - 12:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Priyanka Chopra“Fashion” was expected to expose the cold realities of India’s fashion industry, but it ends up revealing Madhur Bhandarkar’s limitations as a writer and director.Just like his last two films, “Corporate” and “Traffic Signal”, in “Fashion” too Bhandarkar skims the surface instead of digging deep. For those who are aware of his style of filmmaking, it is a predictable narrative.

The movie, touted as his costliest and most glamorous so far, is said to be doing well at the box office. But it doesn’t go into the heart of the industry, such as the business aspect, the intricate backstage work that goes into shows and aspects of design.

“Fashion” shows modelling as a dazzling profession on the outside but as brutal from inside and this is one of the drawbacks of the film. Every profession has its merits and demerits and perhaps the director shouldn’t have demonised modelling the way he has done in the movie.

Another problem with the storyline is that despite being successful, the two starry-eyed girls from small towns played by Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut are often shown as leading miserable personal lives - a cliche if there ever was one.

Kangana, whose character is reportedly modelled on real life model Geetanjali Nagpal, is a high-profile model with loads of attitude. She indulges in drugs, leading to her downfall. Priyanka too goes through the same.

In reality, there are several successful models leading a normal and contented life.

Another flaw is that Bhandarkar portrays virtually all male designers as gay.

It may be certainly an uphill task to have a gripping storyline about people changing their clothes frequently - there are 11 character-based ramp walks and Priyanka has 137 dress changes in the film!

Bhandarkar, whose “Chandni Bar” and “Page 3″ showed the stark reality of the lives of bar dancers and high profile socialites, could have made the film more arresting and informative with greater detailing and research.

From the beginning, the movie throws the viewer into the chaos of the fashion world but leaves viewers looking for more meat.

Bhandarkar, who co-scripted the story with Anuradha Tiwari and Ajay Monga, fails to capture the intricacies of the fashion world. Bhandarkar’s “Fashion” will perhaps be remembered as just another superficial movie on the style industry like Hollywood’s “Gia”.

(Arpana can be reached at arpana.s@ians.in)

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