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Madhur Bhandarkar: playing Fashion police

Be it films or interviews Madhur Bhandarkar believes in baring it all. Princy Jain catches him en route to Chandigarh.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2008 14:33 IST
Princy Jain
Princy Jain
Hindustan Times

Refuting rumours that his latest film


is based on model Geetanjali Nagpal's life, director Madhur Bhandarkar says that he was always intrigued by the idea of finding what goes on behind the ramp.

Excerpts of an interview:

Why Fashion?

I have always been intrigued by the idea of finding what goes on behind the ramp. Fashion industry is huge today. Every year a lot of media mileage is given to the fashion weeks. Everyone is enticed by the sheen and glamour, but a lot that goes behind it.

Is it pegged on Gitanjali Nagpal's life?

No it's not. Ever since I announced the film, there have been many speculations about it. First, I was making the film on Carol Gracias's wardrobe malfunction, and then it was about Gitanjali. The latest, I heard was, that my film is about the gay designers in the industry So far: I have been given many options by the so-called rumour mills.

If it's none of these, then what is it about?

In a nutshell, it's a journey of a model, played by Priyanka Chopra. She is a girl, who comes from a small-town to make it big in the fashion industry. The film is about her emotional upheavals.

You're accused of sensationalising your films.

I know that but it's not true. Soon after the release of

Chandni Bar

, bars got closed. After


, sting operations started. With


, the whole Coke and Pepsi argument began. I don't make films out of DVDs. My films are straight out of reality.

Be it the child sodomy in the juvenile house that I showed in

Chandni Bar

or the paedophile in

Page 3.

People gossip about these things and enjoy it. But when I show it in my films, I am told

ki zyaada ho gaya



You started your career with a flop,



Oh and it made me the man I am today. Before that, I was just a boy, who would deliver cassettes from the video parlour. I started my film career as an assistant to Ram Gopal Varma.



, I got my big break as a director. I made


, which had all the elements of a successful Bollywood film, including an item number, bikini-clad girl, three young heroes and a pet. But the film bombed. Nobody even reviewed that film.

And you were written off...

Yes. I would go to parties and other directors and actors would avoid me as if I was a plague. But then I made

Chandni Bar

. Now I am tagged as a director, who makes



In Bollywood, a woman is just an object of desire. But in your films, she's like a phoenix. Don't you think that's the reality?

In India, women do bare the brunt of everything that happens around them. There are lots of subjects in the country which look great from a woman's view- point. I take pride in saying that I had the guts to show a Bipasha Basu in a simple cotton suit and gelled hair, despite her being the biggest sex symbol.

Back to Fashion. You have been talking a lot to editors and fashion designers these days...

Yes, and that is how I make my films. I do an extensive research through an ensemble source. In this film, my styling is done by Rita Dhodhy Narendra Kumar Ahmed has I done the entire look of the film. Even Wendell Rodricks and Falguni and Shane Peacock are very close to the film.

Lastly, can a viewer expect a romantic film with a happy ending from you?

(laughs) Why not? I will definitely make I such a film, but in my way.