5 November 2008 | bobbysing
Madhur is back with his brand of Realistic Cinema, but should have called it "Models" instead of "Fashion"
Madhur Bhandarkar's all earlier films, were no doubt based on realistic themes, but with "Fashion", he dives more deep into the human psyche of ambition and greed. Unexpectedly, "Fashion" comes out to be a more emotional and psychological experience along with being hard hitting on the fashion fraternity.
Everyone was expecting that "Fashion" will target the designer world and would try to reveal its hidden secrets like we had seen in "Page3". As expected everything is there in it, the casting couch, the gay world, wardrobe malfunction, women jealousy, professional rivalry, one night stand, all is in there. But "Fashion" goes beyond these commercial inserts and comes out to be a more powerful movie with some great shocks and performances. Truly speaking I was not expecting the strong philosophical and emotional angle in the second half from Madhur Bhandarkar.
In business sense, "Fashion" may not be a huge successful movie as many viewers can find it too emotional, slow and preachy. It can also be said that Indian audiences are not used to this kind of cinema as in the west. Indian viewers believe in more glossy and imaginative world of movies, so I have my doubts on "Fashion" being accepted by them. But since we are all developing our tastes with World Cinema in our home TV channels, so let's hope for the best.
Coming to the movie content, it has beautiful ladies with gorgeous looks, delivering best performances of their entire careers. The top most performer is the girl with the minimum scenes and dialogues in the movie but she still manages to burn the screen with her hot talent. She is "Kangna Ranaut". The Bhatt camp has a great sense of talent discovery, this is a proved fact again as Kangna was introduced by them. Kangna undoubtedly gives the best of her career after "Woh Lamhe". In one way the role is an extension of what she did in her debut movie. But here she says it with her eyes and on the ramp, she just gives shivers to all real life ramp walkers.
Priyanka Chopra too scores on the performance chart and after "Aitbaar" this is her best movie till date. She is expressive, especially in the second half. The scene when she wakes up and finds a Negro sleeping next to her is mind blowing and one can just imagine the state in which a girl would be after experiencing that unwanted tragedy. We see her best when she loses his confidence and freezes on the ramp and also in the scene when she is given the news about Kangna just before she is going to step on to the ramp. Another actress who wins your heart is Mugdha Godse, as Priyanka's close friend who introduces her to the city and its lifestyle. She really acts and acts well. A great find by Madhur, who once again proves that models can be actors.
All others in the supporting cast have also contributed their best. Arbaaz Khan however seems to be stiff. Suchitra Pillai, Harsh Chhaya, Samir Soni and Kittu Gidwani get full marks. Raj Babbar and Kiran Juneja don't do anything new as Priyanka's parents. But one more performer stays in your mind, and he is the bald gay friend of Priyanka, who later also takes her back in his show with open arms. You must have seen him in many TV comedy shows. He gives a superb performance and his contribution must not be forgotten under the shadow of big names.
Musically, the film has one great song, "Fashion Ka Hai Yeh Jalwa", which should have been used as the theme music with repeated play at times in the background. But Madhur, opts using it only once in the ramp show. No other song was needed anywhere in the narration.
Now, onto some weak points I felt needed attention. First in a movie called "Fashion" there are no major talks, discussions or display of designer clothes. Instead there are more talks of advertising agencies and their top models. There are only indications to the rivalry in fashion designers but the story revolves more around the models and their agencies. Secondly, its hard to digest that a small time girl coming to Mumbai, bags the supermodel tag with only minor struggle in the city and manages to meet the right persons with luck. And lastly, post interval, the movie becomes a bit lengthy and heavy which leads to loss of interest.
Madhur did his extensive research before writing the script and he adds all the real life incidents in the story innovatively. It's really impressive how he uses the wardrobe malfunction and the mentally disabled Delhi model references in the movie with dignity. But it's not all glossy, shining and fashion all the way. The long awaited movie has its moments to enjoy but at the same time it is also slow and dragging in its last hour.
So if you want to see a sensitive movie along with entertainment, then "Fashion" is a must watch, but I think instead of "Fashion", it should have been titled "Models".