After making his mark with realistic flicks like Chandni Bar, Page-3, Corporate and Traffic Signal which portrayed the underbelly of dance bars, high society, boardrooms and the streets respectively, Bhandarkar has repeated his realism feat, this time with the glittery world of fashion. With scenes inspired by real life events, a la Carol Gracias’ wardrobe malfunction and Gitanjali Nagpal’s sad fate, Fashion is a worthy film.
Following her idol supermodel Shonali (Kangana), Meghna (Chopra) arrives in Mumbai from Chandigarh to make it big in modeling. Her confidence soon gives her too much success too soon when she loses herself and hits downturn. By then, Shonali is already down into drugs and begging on streets. And there is a struggling model and free spirit Janet (Mugdha). The following drama is about Meghna pulling her life together.
Going by his earlier flicks, Madhur Bhandarkar portrays strange relationships again; with gay designers, model coordinators playing the contract muddle, changing attitudes with changing fortunes, power abuse by a leading design house, accusations of stealing designs and lecherous socialites amongst others. Fashion’s biggest enemy, as is with realistic flicks is its predictability giving you a feeling as if you knew the story fully!
Talk of showstoppers and Priyanka Chopra has delivered her career best in a character that transitions from a sweet small town girl to a trample-all bitch to someone desolately lost to rediscovering herself back again. Complimenting the performance are the five distinct looks by stylist Rita Dhody. If at all it doesn’t lift her sagging box office fortunes, this one-time Filmfare winner has just inched closer to a possible second.
Kangana has successfully portrayed a psychopath again; the girl seems to have carved a niche for herself. Yet, her dialog and diction are as poor as ever. Mugdha Godse is a revelation for a first timer. Samir Soni and Ashwin Mushran shine as the gay designers and benefactors of the protagonist. Chak-de girl Chitrashi Rawat too makes a mark in a small role. Music is reasonable with the score feeling too repetitive towards the end.
Timing it to perfection as the Deepawali release, the audience are steadily flocking the screens. But as you near the end of the 150 minute run time, replete with overused terms like ‘show-stopper’ et al, you can sense the restlessness of the audience. In the end, barring a few clichés, it leaves with a sense that you got your money’s worth. But you are left wondering why in the censor’s wisdom was this certified an adult movie!
Rating: 6/10 – Bhandarkar delivers again! Priyanka Chopra is a real showstopper!