Tuesday, October 14, 2008

MADHUR BHANDARKAR'S FASHION












Synopsis of Fashion




The journey of the rise and fall and phoenix like re-birth of India’s number one Supermodel. Set against the glittering backdrop of the glamorous but ruthless world of haute couture fashion, this tells the story of one small town girl with a dream and the determination to make it a reality

Meghna Mathur knew in her bones that she was meant to be famous. Ever ambitious and bright with stars in her eyes, even as a girl with conservative parents from a small north Indian town – she dared to dream of bright lights and the big city… The world of fashion – the clothes, the colors, the make-up. . . all of these form a part of a fascinating world that Meghna’s longed to be a part of. Meghna never wanted to compromise on anything on her journey to success – as she puts it - whoever said intelligent women couldn’t be glamorous? She reaches the peak of her success and rises to walk the ramps for leading designers across India. The fashion world lies at her feet – the parties, the brand endorsements, the photographers, the models, the romance and of course - the shows, the shows, the shows! However karma catches up with Meghna as she slowly starts to pay the price for her fame and her journey to the top.

Her attempt at a comeback was going to be a near impossibility . . . However she was never a woman to turn away from a challenge… “Fashion” explores the world of style through the emotional personal journey of the key people that make the industry - the dream-weavers of that elaborate world of glamour: the models, designers, photographers, businessmen, agencies etc. In the world of image – makers - is it possible to conquer it and remain true to yourself?




Madhur’s Profile
A film buff since the time he was a teenager, in the early 80’s, he started as a Video Librarian with a collection of over 1800 Hindi Film VHS’s in Mumbai. His passion for Cinema prompted his uncle (well renowned Distributor of Hindi Films) to introduce him to the Ace Director RAM GOPAL VARMA to whom he assisted for a period of 5 years. In these 5 years he learned the ropes of direction and went ahead to direct his first Full length Hindi Feature Film in the year 1999 “Trishakti” – a hardcore Bollywood masala flick, a film for which he earned a lot of respect and recognition from all quarters of the film fraternity.

Success came in the year 2001 when he directed one of the most hard hitting films based on the Dance Bar Culture in India aptly titled “Chandni Bar”, (which released on September 28, 2001) This film was a revelation of sorts, a path breaking film in Indian Cinema which was Lauded by Critics and went on to create Box Office records. This film bought out to the fore front Madhur’s versatility as a film maker and Technician and also earned all Artistes in the film awards of the highest caliber, and if this was not enough the Government if India recognized his effort by conferring upon him and his team the said National awards and titles:

Obsessed by his inherent zeal to make socially relevant films he took another great step and in the year 2002 he directed yet another realistic Hard Hitting film based on the Role of an Indian Woman in Politics. Through the film titled ‘Satta’ (which released on February 07, 2003) he digs out the dirt and murk in the Indian Political System through the eyes of the protagonist, The National award winning actress Raveen Tandon. By now Madhur had established himself a serious film maker who chose hard hitting subjects simply because he understood them and was quite brilliant with his story telling to the large audience available in India. This film not only won him critical acclaim but also forced the Indian Film Industry to sit up and notice his talent. His taut storytelling and his capability of extracting fine performances by his actors won him the All India Association Human Rights Awards, an award that he still holds very closely to himself.

In year 2005 Madhur crafted one of this years most sensationally successful film till date, “Page 3” (which released on January 21, 2005). The film explores the cocktail culture, and the power play between the air-kissing, champagne –swigging and the caviar chomping A –list and socialites through the eyes of the main Protagonist – a female journalist (played by the National Award winning actor Konkona Sen Sharma). Through this film he showcased the invincible spirit of a journalist faced with adverse circumstances in the city of Mumbai. A film with Global appeal and stellar performances by the cast made this film a huge commercial success. This film was not limited to the Indian audiences as the recognition poured in from all over the world and it still continues. Madhur had proved it once again that any story honestly said could attract audiences. A master at story telling already, through this film he paid attention to the technicalities by personally organizing a dedicated crew for the film who believed in the story and shared the same vision. He has already created a niche for himself by picking up socially relevant subjects and making them into film for the large audiences around the world, which has earned him the reputation of being the Audiences director – something that he always remembers while selecting a subject or calling the shots.

Aristotle had once said, “The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows”. A century later the same principle still holds good, but with some modification. Today it could be said that ‘the secret of business is to know what the other person knows, and a little more’. Today the essence of doing business is to gain power. Theoretically ‘Corporate’ means ‘a characteristic of individuals acting together’, ‘a joint identity’, ‘the collective mind’. Madhur was always intrigued by what happened behind the heavy paneled doors where these executives huddled for hours together, deciding how the other millions would live their lives. He wanted an insight on such corporate meetings and when he did know what he went on, he couldn’t resist to tell the world what he knew. He went on to make one of the most memorable films on the corporate world after Shyam Benegal’s ‘Kalyug’. The film released on July 07, 2006 and was an instant hit.

Take a walk down its mean streets of Mumbai and get an essence of the city… Pause at one of its Traffic Signal and get the essence of life… In a day scores of people go past multitudes of Traffic Signal’s scattered all over the city. Vehicles purr our smoke and people sitting in them wait impatiently to get going. Though this waiting lasts but a few minutes it feels like a lifetime. Yet unknown to them an industry thrives deriving its livelihood from these people waiting at the Traffic Signals. The work force of this industry is not less than that of an average sized multinational. It comprises of a gamut of people thrown in together by fate or hunger. There are oddities to the likes of eunuchs, handicapped and impaired beggars, lepers, street kids, drug addicts, and prostitutes, vendors selling flowers, fruits, sunscreens to sunglasses. Yet it doesn’t end there. There is an intriguing world lurking behind all the poverty seen at these traffic signals. For the past decade on every Tuesday, Madhur has been religiously walking to the Siddhivinayak Temple, at Prabhadevi from his house in Bandra on every Tuesday. On his way he passes a number of traffic signals where he slowly began noticing this world and then doing a full fledged research on them he decided to make ‘Traffic Signal’ (that released on February 02, 2007).




Director's Note :
With Fashion, I shall continue the journey of saga of emotions that I had started with my trilogy of Page 3, Corporate and Traffic Signal. From exploring the unknown and unseen worlds of people from the world of sensational Page 3, suave Corporate sector and the grime of the streets around the Traffic Signal: Fashion is a revelation of the world that thrives way beyond the arc lights of the ramp and the fashion shows.




For a common middle class man like me fashion meant only great looking people and beautiful clothes. But my regular visits to the fashion weeks created a curiosity about the lives of those who adorn the beauty of the ramp. My inquisitiveness led to a revelation that the fashion world, for all its glamour and pretty packaging, is a not all about the glitz. More than the shimmer it is about the aspirations of people, dreams and the hard work and the compromises made to decide the priorities destined.




The fashion world, though on the surface level seems to shine with galore, has a mysterious depth to it. Fashion is not an expose but an attempt to look beyond the illusions of the ramp and the halo of the flash lights. It was a revelation for me, to look beyond the mirage of the fashion world through the viewfinder of the camera.




Fashion is a culture that is nourished with immense talent, prolific business sense and utter hard work that goes behind the beauties that adorn the ramp. But besides the sweat and grind, this world of limelight breeds with the blood of temptations, lies and perilous pitfalls that is inevitable during the climb for the top position and sadly there is only place for one, while thousands claw for it.




My Fashion, is a salute to the foot soldiers and the martyrs of this world who swim through the murk and the ugliness to create beauty on the ramp. It is a piece of life from the lives of those who toil to make the world a more Fashionable place to be in.