Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fashion - Through Madhur Bhandarkar's Tinted Glasses

Swati keeps telling me that 'half truth is as bad as a lie'. (No prizes for guessing WHY she keeps reminding me of this!) Its a very sound thought, but Madhur Bhandarkar seems to be completely unaware of this. His latest flick - Fashion - is such a half truth about the fashion industry. Worse, its actually not even about fashion industry, its only about the world of modelling and fashion shows, which I think is only a small part of the fashion world. One review (I forget which) was absolutely right in saying that this movie should have been named 'Model' or maybe 'Supermodel' but it makes no sense naming it 'Fashion'.
Watching the movie is quite a pain, honestly. It feels like you are switching channels watching FTV and some silly tear-jerker soap. The inconsistencies are quite a thing, I must say. First of all, Madhur Bhandarkar would do well to go visit Chandigarh and interact with the girls out there. Not that I am an authority on Chandigarh girls, but I know enough about that city to know that the girls there can't be so dumb. Now, the leading lady Meghna Mathur (played by Priyanka Chopra - what a waste. I always thought she was talented!) is supposed to have won a beauty pageant already. How then is she so completely ignorant of some basic rules of a modelling contract ??? Come on Madhur, she is from Chandigarh, a happening city of India, not from Jhumri Talaiya !!
Some sequences don't make any sense at all. What was the need of that little cameo appearance of Konkona Sen and Ranvir, playing themselves? It didn't serve any purpose. Swati commented that Madhur probably wanted to show how dress designers bully their way into movies and impose their own opinions on even film stars. Really? Are we expected to believe THAT?
I have a dress designer friend who once jokingly said, "Yeah, all male fashion designers are gay. What a waste". She was joking. Mr. Bhandarkar - SHE WAS ONLY JOKING, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?
The movie is so full of stereotypes that it becomes all too predictable. The only thing that is not predictable is - when the interval is going to happen! Throughout the first half, you keep praying for the interval (because then you know that half of the movie is thankfully over!) The first half drags so much that you start wishing that the movie should simply end without the second half altogether. Thankfully, there is a break where you can go and get fortified popcorn and coffee and brace yourself for the torture that awaits you in the latter half.
I remarked to Vallarie - when is the wardrobe malfunction going to happen? When will Kangana Ranaut land up as a drug-addicted beggar on the streets, cutting a sorry figure? One could predict EVERYTHING. Why? I think I know why.
Madhur Bhandrakar seems to have perfected the art of picking up the current hot social topic and then make a movie out of it, claiming to show the 'real' picture to the audience whom he thinks are all stupid and gullible. So first Chandni Bar happened, then Page 3, then Corporate, and now Fashion. Unfortunately for us viewers, he is getting worse with every movie. What to expect from him next? Terrorism? Naxal movement? SEZs? Inflation? Global economic crisis? KSaas-Kbahu Kserials?
Madhur is like one of the five blind men trying to figure out what the elephant is like only by touching its tail, or trunk, or whatever. In this case, he seems to have only touched a picture of the elephant, of course blindfolded. His claims of having researched the topic thoroughly are hollow - that's the only thing that this movie proves.
The movie has no entertainment value either. Is there a message then, at least? Is Madhur trying to tell all parents not to let their precious daughters ever enter the world of modelling? Or is he warning the parents of all male fashion designers that their sons WILL become gay and turn effeminate too?
Lastly, his experience of making films for so many years starts becoming questionable. The gimmick of using his own film's reference in the movie is pathetic and amateurish, to say the least. (one model says to the other, 'isn't that Madhur? What's he doing here?' The other one replies - oh, he is researching the fashion field, must be making a movie.) What kind of self-fulfilling prophecy is this?
The saving grace of the movie is Kitu Gidwani, surely. Her portrayal of an impassionate, attached yet detached, professional Anisha Roy is praiseworthy. So is Kangna Ranaut's Shonali Gujral. I wish Kangna is chosen by some Director (not Ashutosh Gowariker or RGV!!! PLEEEEEEZZZZ) for some more substantial roles than what she has been getting like in Gangster, Life in a Metro....
All in all, a completely avoidable film. If you have 3 hours to kill and lots of money to spend - then spend it on anything else - it will be worthwhile.


Sharmila said...

Pushkaraj - why are you doing this? When did u of all the people start watching Hindi movies that dont have a morsel of truth in them? Don't u know that is the sole prerogative of us all who continue to wear rose tinted glasses and are happy to drown ourselves in a world of makebelieve for 3 and now just 2 hours? Sab kuch chalta hai - as long as it is packaged well. I have'nt seen Fashion but now I don't think I am going to do that.....

Pushkaraj said...

Believe it or not, I watch all kinds of movies these days. (Just in case you thought I watched only intellectual and arty films!) Come to think of it, I am just back after watching, hold your breath.... Dostana ! I now have such a bad headache, need a stiff whisky to cure it.