'Fashion has nothing to do with Geetanjali Nagpal'
Princy Jain, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 23, 2008
First Published: 11:06 IST(23/10/2008)
Last Updated: 17:19 IST(23/10/2008)
It’s not based on Geetanjali, say the makers of Fashion and star Kangana Ranaut following the Delhi Commission of Women calling for a stay order on the film in the Capital city. It is the big Diwali release for director Madhur Bhandarkar, slated to hit theatres on October 29.
True to life?: Kangana Ranaut's character in Fashion is rumoured to be based on model Geetanjali Nagpal's life.
The DCW’s concern is that Kangana’s character in the film has been based on Geetanjali, a former model found begging on the streets just over a year ago, in Hauz Khas. She was bedraggled and not quite in a balanced state of mind. The DCW stepped in and got her treated at VIMHANS. The commission now wants to make sure that the film does not portray the character based on the ex-model in a negative way. So, Barkha Singh, DCW chairperson, wants to see the film first.
“I got to know about the whole issue only after some media people told me last week,” says Singh. “Once we started probing, we found a website where Kangana Ranaut has said in an interview that her character in Fashion is based on Geetanjali Nagpal.”
Singh now wants to find out first-hand. “If it seems that there are objectionable scenes, action will be taken.” She has faxed her objection to Bhandarkar’s office.
Bhandarkar and Kangana both deny that Geetanjali was the inspiration for the character, Shonali Gujral. Kangana says, “It is the story of a supermodel who goes through an emotional breakdown and everything.” She contends, “It’s not even loosely inspired by Geetanjali’s life. When Madhur narrated the character to me, he never referred to anybody — alive or dead. It’s the story of an individual, but not of anyone specific.”
Says who? “It has nothing to do with Geetanjali Nagpal,” Bhandarakar emphasises. “It’s a movie about models in the fashion industry. Kangana’s character is an ultra-successful supermodel; I doubt if Geetanjali was a supermodel ever.”
The director adds that there have been numerous stories of the downfall of models and actresses, from India and abroad, so why harp on Geetanjali? “One has heard of successful models and actresses getting into drugs or going to rehab. Inspiration can come from anywhere. Moreover, Geetanjali was begging on the streets. My film has no such reference in Kangana’s story.”
The speculation got stronger with the latest promo, which shows Kangana smoking and sitting at a theatre. “It shows her state of mind. She is lost, [she] is in a trance.”
Asked if Fashion would be shown to the DCW, he says, “As an independent filmmaker, I have the fundamental right to show what I feel like. Where have these authorities been for a year since I announced the film? I have put a disclaimer at the start [of the film], saying it’s a work of fiction and has nothing to do with anyone living or dead, or with people connected with business or the fashion industry.”
— Inputs from Himadree