Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fashion has no passion

Well, I am no fan of Bhandarkar. And so it hardly should surprise my friends if i knit-pick on his latest offering 'Fashion', which most of them seem to like. Before anyone calls me a cynical critic let me tell you the simple reasons why i havent liked any of his movies.

He simply does not involve in story-telling! He simply dosent care. He bought to Hindi films what newspapers like Times of India bought to journalism - Gossip. And so it sells. Not surprisingly, he chooses subjects like Page3, Fashion and Corporate world. And yeah, the bar girls. The subjects in themselves are rarely explored in our movies and so his movies ride on the curiosity wave when they open. Well, maybe you need to appreciate his business acumen though for choosing these subjects (I mean we never saw the big boys like Yashraj try this for all the muscle they have). This is the only point i can concede to Bhandarkar.

And what does he do next. Goes and creates some characters and a plot thats too silly to bother about. His attitude is that of a perpetual outsider. He never owns the story or the characters and the result is we never get moved. All those front-benchers would cheer though for all the simplicistic approach. It simply dosent tax their brain! Its plain stupid to call his movies 'realistic'. They are a million miles away from realism.

Coming to 'Fashion', he named it so for all the attention it could get and he is right. The movie has almost nothing to do with 'Fashion' and is more about a lady's modelling career. The crux of the story, i understand, was supposed to be this lady's confident foray into the fashion world , her rise and her arrogance, her fall and her redemption. This subject requires sensitive handling to have the impact on the viewer to sympathize with the main character. And it fails here.

Many crucial sequences are lightly done. Some instances are -
When Priyanka aspires to become the 'supermodel', does she not know what professionalism is and what it means to mind her business? Especially so when she is doing the show for a leading hot-shot designer! She suggests the designer instead the best way to wear the dress and then obviously he makes her cry. Now, r we supposed to cry for her ignorance!?
Next comes the scene where she breaks up with her boyfriend. He is himself a model and still they end up fighting about the time she comes home,.The dialogue which Priyanka blurts out here about her boyfriend not seeing the kind of success she got looked forced and out of context. Bhandarkar must be desperate to pen a 'break-up scene' and this is the best he could come up with. This scene is supposed to shatter our heart for the two loving birds now done apart. I yawned.

Immediately next, we have the taxi scene where Priyanka smokes and asks the driver what is waiting for. This is lifted straight from 'The devil wears Prada (climax). Its just that it doesnt fit and make any sense here, ofcourse nor does the movie.

Yet another dumb scene in the film is when the 'supermodel' 'discovers' that she cant have children while on contract. So what was she thinking, she was being paid to carry and raise children!? The movie is filled with all these scenes which are neither logical nor emotionally touching. And so you dont feel sympathetic when she falls (after all it was ignorance, not arrogance that lead to her downfall!) and so we neither want her to come back and succeed again. So her redemtion exercise simply dosent take off and i wondered why was she forced back in modelling.

If there is anything that actually fires us for a moment, it got to be Kangana Ranaut. This movie works despite Madhur Bhandarkar. While the backdrop of the Ramp brings in the fire, it is Kangana who raises the quotient in the few scenes she does the cat-walk. The music adds up, especially in the scene when she fires on to the ramp after pouring in those drinks. Too bad, the movie dosent have more of those scenes. The background score was perfect. Probably Priyanka Chopra did her best playing this ill-sketched character. I cant really say.

The fact is that either Bhandarkar does little research or maybe he is simply incapable of it. For all the hype of realism, he could never think like an insider. All we get to see is superficial newpaper gossip kind of overview with gay designers and wardrobe malfunctions. But yes, we should thank him for not stooping too low with this subject! Think the horrible 'Traffic Signal' and the ridiculous 'Corporate'. While his 'Page 3' was a 100 years behind Govind Nihalani's 'Party', Production values and the backdrop of the Modelling world helps this movie stay put despite himself.


prasad said...

Couldn't have argued much with the post.

Ravi said...

I liked the movie. It is not that bad. I agree with you i did not like any of his earlier movies except chandni bar which i think is his best movie till date. There is no doubting Bhandarkar's talent. I did not get bored watching all the cliches that you have mentioned.
If you think he presents only an outsider's view, i recommend you to watch chandni bar if you have not yet watched it. I do agree with you he goes overboard in depicting realism ( page3) which sometimes make the movies look like documentary and also boring.
Fashion was atleast 30 mins longer than what it should have been but nonetheless easily one of the best movies to hvae released this year

peter said...

u knw wat i also thought that fashion is not up to the mark but after watching ....Golmal i thought its far far bettr ...!!

Harisha said...

Hey Amar saab, I saw the movie and liked it even if it does have some ridiculous scenes or may be they are nice scenes directed in a stupid way. The story wasn't that bad at all. But may be, it could have been directed in a much better way.