Banner : UTV Motion Pictures & Bhandarkar Entertainment
Producer: Madhur Bhandarkar, Deven Khote, Ronnie Screwvala, Zarina Mehta
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut, Mughda Godse, Arbaaz Khan, Kitu Gidwani, Arjan Bajwa
For director Madhur Bhandarkar it is almost as though he has caught onto the path of portraying a sense of realism in the most commercial manner possible. No doubt he has made some incredible films like Satta, Chandani Bar, Page 3 and Traffic Signal, but then fashion is what you’d call the most sober of the lot. Yes it’s about the fashion industry and yes all the deceit and glamour that goes into making the industry is also there, but the Bhandarkar ardor that is seen in all the other films seems totally missing.
With a giveaway title like fashion, you obviously don’t expect to see a kid flick. As clichéd as the title sounds, the film is basically everything about the fashion industry. The film to take the audience through this journey of the fashion world, hooks onto Meghna Mathur (Chopra) a small town girl who is out to make it big in the fashion world. Who soon dethrones Shonali (Ranaut); a supermodel and the muse of scores of designers. While Shonali is on the downward slope, Meghna is on her way up; but as the saying goes what goes up come down and hard. Arrogance turns to humility, true meaning of success is revealed and in the process you witness tons of models strut countless clothes in the film titled Fashion.
Honestly this is not a bad film; however it is a long film. The word long is used not to discuss the duration of the film, but to state that the film seems stretched to no end. A brilliant fare that could have ended much sooner and made a bang is stretched. Additionally the film at some point gets lost in the numerous catwalks that are displayed on screen through the film. True, it is but necessary to have catwalks to further drive the notion that you are indeed watching a film about the fashion world, but not to an extent that your plot becomes inconsequential to the catwalks and clothes. The film beyond a point becomes so predictable that you know what the outcome is going to be. It’s almost like showing you a movie stereotype of a suicide bomber and asking you to guess what he’s going to do next. Everything from the relationships to the depths of the characters just seems unexplored, something that is very unlike what one has seen of Bhandarkar. Also the film seems to drive a point which honestly is very tough to get. If by including the likes of Karan Johar and Prahlad Kakkar you are trying to bring a sense of realism, then how about having them do something to enhance it?
Even the dialogues are done to death. Lines like “Tum model banna chahti ho…model nahin, super model” or the million odd times Ranaut uses the word bas*ard does nothing for her character but shows the lack of importance in replacing the word with another abusive word to bring out her character more strongly. Undoubtedly there are some scenes that you take notice, like the scene where chopra lashes out on Bajwa or when Ranaut confronts Chopra, they are few and far between. A character like Khans’ or even Godses’ which actually act as catalysts for the narrative of the film are treated with extreme superficiality that they are nothing more just additional characters meant to stay in the film and play just another part. The film undoubtedly has a fantastic theme but something that just lacks the magic touch and the editing scissors.
While first half is great, the second half moves around in circles. After having established the characters and their importance, the film keeps hitting on a nail that has already been hammered. Bottom-line the film is about the fashion world, colours, textures, character looks, lighting and so many other elements could have been utilized to make it seem that extra convincing but clearly hasn’t. To catch a glimpse of what could have been done, look out for the finale scene where chopra freezes on the ramp and the blue lighting highlights her expressions, fantastic. But alas that is just a glimpse of what could have been. In all honesty the clothes are good, but the manner in which some are teamed up are and the look is put together does no justice either to the characters or the film. Neither does the manner in which the whole thing is captured.
If anything this film is worth watching for some of the performances. Ranaut is outstanding; she pouts brilliantly in scenes that require her to and performs to the T in scenes that require her character to be concentrated. Even Chopra performs her role convincingly for most parts, but then one has seen her perform better in other films. Godse is ok for most parts as is Soni and Khan. Gidwani in her little role does a fantastic job; almost reminding you of the Cruella Deville kind editor from The Devil wears Prada.
While a sex and the city and The Devil wears prada has the element of fashion and eccentricity ooze from every corner. A film like GIA had powerful characters and even better performances. The idea behind mentioning these films is not to bring a sense of comparison, but to highlight elements that seem missing in this film. Does fashion provide a glimpse into the fashion industry? Absolutely, but not in the best possible manner. Fashion is certainly a worthy watch, but it is not the best. Go loaded with popcorn and a pillow, it’s a long journey into the world of fashion; especially because you bear witness to the making of a “model nahin, supermodel.”