A shameful confession first; Fashion is the first Madhur Bhandarkar movie that I watched. From what I have heard and read, his movies oozing of reality is no news. But sometimes, stating the obvious is necessary - Fashion is an impressive movie with oodles of colour and reality.
I thanked God I never aspired to be a model when I watched it (fashion world should also thank, I think :P). I don't really know if that is what Madhur intended to do - create the impression that fashion world is not for those who are emotional, weak at the heart and with principles; that you should be ready to lose it all if you want to make it big out there. In whichever case, a real bad impression about the industry unavoidably forms in the heart of every viewer. I have a complaint here that it cannot be after all, that bad. So there was a bit of 'non-reality' deep inside all that reality.
Ahead, I have all praise for the movie. The screenplay of the movie effortlessly flows until the last half an hour of this slightly long-ish movie (2 hour 45 mins). The film is about the lives of three different women in the fashion industry - Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) is a smalltown girl who leaves home yearning to make it big in Mumbai, Shonali Gujral (Kangana Ranaut) is the reigning fashion queen, Janet Sequeira (Mugdha Godse) is a seasoned model who never got entry into that big league. The predictable plot of Meghna realizing her dream and losing quite a lot of other valuable stuff on the way has been done with quite a lot of punch. The parallel plots of Shonali's career biting the dust due to the new entrant and Janet chosing to live a life of compromise by getting married to a gay designer engages the viewer really well too.
I am surprised by Piggy Chops' acting prowess. Seriously. Stellar performance is all what I can say. Her transition form the tensed smalltown girl who does not know the Don'ts (like not to kiss the cheek when people do the customary cheek rub while greeting) of the industry to the arrogant super model who is blind with success was phenomenally believable. One of the most memorable moments of the film for me is her expression when she woke up nude in an unfamiliar room and looked to her right with totally negative anticipation - who is sleeping next to me? It was drop-dead real. Her success track and downfall forms the livewire of the movie.
I have got bored of seeing Kangana in the crazy robe. She yells too much in all her movies. No matter how well an actor does a role, you get bored if you see the same thing a third or fourth time. She is convincing as a fantastic super model though even with her curls and not-too-lean look. Also, watch out for her wardrobe malfunction scene which supposedly got the movie an A certificate. Ridiculous is all I would say. It is too aesthetically shot and performed for an A certificate. Jai Indian moral police!
I am impressed by Mugdha. A very subdued performace which not once reminded me that its her debut movie. For once, Arbaaz Khan did a great job, and so did others of the huge cast - Arjun Bajwa, Kitu Gidwani, Harsh Chhaya, Sameer Soni.. One doubt remains though. Is it possible for such a huge percentage of people in the fashion industry to be gay? Let me stop that thought right here to avoid the risk of sounding sexist or whatever! But even otherwise, the males in the movie have little to do. It is totally a women's movie. :)
The dialogues of the movie need a special mention. They are truly power packed. Some of the punchlines:
- Yahaan pe jitna kum sochogi, utna zyaada kamaogi.
- Success ke bare mein hamesha wahi log lecture kyon dete hai jisne success kabhi experience hi nahi kiya?
- "Model banne aayi ho?" "Ji nahi, super model."
May be, I did not sound too convincing; but when ou see the movie you will know what amount of power these dialogues hold in those situations. The scene where a drunk Meghna exposes the real colour of Abhijeet Sarin (Khan) to his wife has been written really well too.
The movie post Meghna's downfall drags a bit though. It is great that the otherwise depressing (due to hard hitting facts) movie ends well, but the rising of the phoenix took a while to happen and tested my patience. A little trimming of the flab there, and the movie can be rated AWESOME doubtlessly. Ya, with a repeated thought : Is the fashion world that bad?
I guess we don't have a choice but to believe Madhur since most of us are not going to be insiders there. Unless thats happening, you should definitely watch this movie. :)