Film controversy over model who became beggar in India
A new film in India has attracted huge attention with its unique plot. Indian film Director Madhur Bhandarkar , known for making socially relevant and hard hitting films based on contemporary India, has been embroiled in controversy over his new film Fashion. The film is an off-screen triangle love story between 2 male famous designers and a budding male model.
Even before the film was released Madhur Bhandarkar was in news. He was accused of portraying one Geetanjali Nagpal, a top model from Delhi who couldn’t cope up with the pressures of the industry and was found begging in the suburbs. She was bedraggled and not quite in a balanced state of mind. . However, Bhandarkar was quick to dismiss the allegation and said that his film is not based on her life.
She was a model who fell from the catwalk to the sidewalk. Gitanjali Nagpal, a raven-haired 32-year-old who a decade ago was better known for slinking down walkways, was last year discovered living on the streets, begging for food.
As a celebrity who fell to earth after years of hard partying, drug taking and heavy drinking, Nagpal found her story prompted articles in newspapers and magazines looking at the underbelly of India's fledgling fashion world.
Now the Delhi Commission for Women, a government body which promotes the interests and welfare of women and which rescued the former model, is attempting to stop the release of a Bollywood movie that is said to feature a character inspired by Gitanjali's fall from grace, saying she is "too vulnerable for her life to be exposed by the movies".
The film, Fashion, is a "realistic" look behind the scenes of India's fashion industry. It follows the lives of three young women who seek stardom but have to face the seamier side of fashion life.
Starring models and actors, the movie has already raised eyebrows with the conservative censor board which asked for sex and drug scenes to be deleted before the film could be rated as "family entertainment" - a prerequisite for any blockbuster.
But the director, Madhur Bhandarkar, refused and the film is to get an "adults only" rating.
With the film's nationwide release this week, the commission told the director that the movie is "insensitive", given that one of the characters, played by the actor Kangana Ranaut, is meant to be based on Nagpal, a convent-educated daughter of a navy officer.
"The publicity has stated this movie was inspired by Gitanjali's life," said Barkha Mathur, head of the commission. "We took Gitanjali off the streets. She is now recovering from her experience and this movie comes at the wrong time.