Review: Fashion (2008)

Madhur’s best work till date

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Starring: Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut, Arbaaz Khan, Arjan Bajwa, Sameer Soni, Kitu Gidwani and introducing Mugdha Godse

Director: Madhur Bhandarkar

Fashion begins in Chandigarh, where aspiring model Meghna Mathur (Priyanka) expresses her wish to go to Mumbai to her parents. While her dad (Raj Babbar) out rightly denies her permission, her mom (Kiran Juneja) is supportive. Against her dad’s wishes, Meghna leaves her house with dreams in her eyes to strike it big in the modeling world. But it is not a path of roses for her as she experiences some major difficulties in her initial days in Mumbai. But she gets a good helping hand with an old acquaintance, Rohit (Ashwin Mushran) an aspiring designer who assists big shot designer Rahul Arora (Sameer Soni). She keeps bumping into another struggling model, Maanav (Arjan) while making the rounds of modeling agencies for auditions. Meghna becomes good friends with Maanav and even starts sharing his apartment after she faces accommodation problems. Meghna gets noticed by India’s top modeling agency Panache’s top official, Anisha Roy (Kitu) who brings her to Panache boss, Abhijit Sareen’s (Arbaaz) notice. Abhijit gets impressed by her ambitious nature and go getter attitude. Panache’s face is Shonali (Kangana) but though very successful, her drug habit starts becoming a problem for her and subsequently for Panache. Abhijit decides to terminate Shonali’s contract and ropes in Meghna in her place. Soon, Meghna is everywhere – right from being the showstopper at the biggest fashion shows in town to fashion magazine covers to print ads to TV commercials. The overnight success spoils Meghna and the budding love relationship between her and Maanav also comes to an abrupt end. What happens after Meghna reaches the pinnacle of success in the modeling world and how her journey also invariably leads to the downfall of Shonali and what shocking things further await Meghna forms the rest of the film.

After Chandni Bar, Page 3, Corporate and Traffic Signal, Madhur has hit a master stroke with Fashion exposing the murky underbelly of the most glamorous profession in the world. Never getting preachy and avoiding stereo types Madhur efficiently handles the subject without getting judgemental even once. He has outshined himself in the technical department making Fashion is most slick product till date. His perfect casting also lifts the film to a completely different level. In fact one wouldn’t be surprised if Madhur manages to win a National Award with this film as well! Also, perhaps for the first time his climax is not dark where the protagonist ends up being a loser! The film has a bitter-sweet ending.

The screenplay by Madhur, Anuradha Tiwari and Ajay Monga peeks deep into the reality of the fashion world and touches every single aspect of the industry such as casting couch, gay designers, wild lifestyle of models who can’t handle success, backstage dramas during major fashion shows, manipulative head honchos and attitude problems of successful people. After holding the audience’s attention captive for a major portion, the screenplay tends to drag towards the finale moments. Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues strike a chord.

Priyanka in the most challenging roles of her career, delivers the goods successfully. Kangana despite a short role ends up giving an award worthy performance. Even though it is her debut film, Mugdha Godse shows extreme confidence. Arbaaz Khan is good and so is Sameer Soni. Arjan Bajwa acts well. Kitu Gidwani is graceful whereas Ashwin Mushran is very likeable.

Fashion is a must watch for many reasons so go for it and trust us you wont be disappointed.

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