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Movie Review: Fashion – Madhur Bhandarkar Gets Some Refinement

One of the biggest open secrets of Hindi cinema is that Madhur Bhandarkar makes the same film again and again. All he does is take the same character-and underdog it in an ugly world-and just change the settings. The only twist in the tale is the microcosm that he draws parallel with all the problems of the world. So it could be a Page 3 party (Page 3), a traffic signal (Traffic Signal), a political party (Satta), the corporate world (Corporate) or a dance bar (Chandani Bar), you can’t mistake a Madhur Bhandarkar film. This time around Bhandarkar talks about the high life in the fashion world.

Fashion Story Synopsis

Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) is as small town as they come. This Chandigarh lass lands up in Mumbai to become a model… no correction, it’s supermodel. There’s no real obstacle in her path as the current ‘show stopper’ Shonali might be the cynosure of the town but her addiction to drugs and booze coupled with her wayward lifestyle have already started her downfall. Predictably Meghna climbs the ladder to success but not before going through her share of struggle where she has to do a lingerie ad, schmooze in parties for money amongst other things.

The ad gets her thrown out from her family friend’s house and lands her at Manav’s, her love interest. But the higher Meghna goes the lower she falls. Her attitude transforms into arrogance and takes her away from everything dear to her. Her clandestine affair with her much-married boss gets her pregnant.

Meghna ends up becoming just the kind of person she hates. Unable to see herself in the mirror she runs back to her family. Away from the glitter she is still depressed and it’s only her father’s changed belief in her which gives her the confidence to start all over again. Once back Meghna saves her soul by taking it upon herself to save Shonali, who is now homeless. Fate gets her back to the top but not before testing her limits.

Critics Opinion on Fashion

One can safely say that the ghost of ‘Chandni Bar’, Bhadarkar’s breakthrough film, can finally be laid to rest. ‘Fashion’ might have the regular ingredients of the director’s formula but it is a better film than his previous few works.

Sure the in-house digs are a plenty and everyone is caricatured, Kangana Ranaut’s character mirrors Geetanjali Nagpal’s and it’s surprisingly predictable at times but the film is well mounted.

One complaint is that the screenplay could have been much better. For instance there is no real reason for Meghna to initially loathe Shonali and her transformation into a Naomi Campbell like diva isn’t really justified. Even the reason for models to have a certain ‘lifestyle’ isn’t really scratched further.

Bhandarkar doesn’t explore stress or high pressure of the glamour world as a reason for breakdown. Rather he is happy keeping it as simple as day and night. Oh, the things that could have been done…

Fashion: Priyanka Chopra dominates

As far as the performances go this is a Priyanka Chopra film all the way. She is ably supported by Samir Soni, Mugdha Godse and Arbaaz Khan. Kangana Ranaut shines as the tormented beauty though she can work on her diction a little more. Kitu Gidwani as the high priestess of modelling world is pure elegance.

‘Fashion’ sees Madhur Bhandarkar finally moving from his staple digs-a-dozen kind of treatment to a more refined approach.