The journey of the rise and fall and phoenix like re-birth of India`s number
Set against the glittering backdrop of the glamorous but ruthless world of
fashion, this tells the story of one small town girl with a dream and the
determination to make it a reality
Meghna Mathur knew in her bones that she was meant to be famous. Ever
ambitious and bright with stars in her eyes, even as a girl with conservative
parents from a small north Indian town – she dared to dream of bright lights
and the big city…
The world of fashion – the clothes, the colors, the make-up. . . all of
these form a part of a fascinating world that Meghna`s longed to be a part of.
Meghna never wanted to compromise on anything on her journey to success –
as she puts it - whoever said intelligent women couldn`t be glamorous?
She reaches the peak of her success and rises to walk the ramps for leading
designers across India.
The fashion world lies at her feet – the parties, the brand endorsements,
the photographers, the models, the romance and of course - the shows, the shows,
However karma catches up with Meghna as she slowly starts to pay the price
for her fame and her journey to the top.
Her attempt at a comeback was going to be a near impossibility . . .
However she was never a woman to turn away from a challenge…
Fashion explores the world of style through the emotional
personal journey of the key people that make the industry - the dream-weavers of
that elaborate world of glamour: the models, designers, photographers,
businessmen, agencies etc.
In the world of image – makers - is it possible to conquer it and remain
true to yourself?
Somewhere in the second-half of the
heartrending evocation of the tragedy that underscores the glamour of the
fashion world, all dialogues cease, as Madhur Bhandarkar, in his inimitable
style, records Priyanka Chopra`s character`s descent into hell.
It`s as though the music and the zing have suddenly decided to go out of her
This is where we realise the truth about all works of art. The sum-total of
Bhandarkar`s vision is far greater than the captivating components that
characterise his protagonist`s journey to painful self-realisation.
If we look at the issue of morality in Bhandarkar`s cinema, then all his
protagonists reach a stage in their life when they cannot look themselves in the
That moment of reckoning in Fashion reflects itself effortlessly in
It`s her character Meghna`s journey from the innocent aridity of Chandigarh to
the corruption of Mumbai`s modeling world.
This remarkably resonant film is arguably Bhandarkar`s most accomplished work to
date, though Page 3 comes close in terms of etching out even the
smallest of characters.
Mahesh Limaye`s cinematography is a little predictable in its bustle-and-bristle
images. Fortunately the storytelling is anything but predictable.
Screenwriting has always been the greatest strength of Bhandarkar`s cinema. The
screenplay conveys a lived-in `overheard-at-a-party` kind of conversational
Rhetorics and high-drama are exchanged for fearless transparency in the
characterisations and conversations. What we eventually look at is not a
tantalizing dekko at the beau monde but a breathtaking map of a heartbroken
humanity who occupy the upper crust of the urban social order and eventually
have to slow down to wonder, `Is this really worth it?
By the the time ramp queen Meghna Mathur reaches this self-searching stage,
Fashion becomes not a macro-cosmic view of the ramp world, but a
story of two women, one who already `has-been` there (Kangana Ranaut) and the
other who just about saves herself from catastrophe in the nick of time.
The sequences between Priyanka and Kangana are the highlights of this bumpy
journey into heartbreak and desolation. Some sequences leave a lump in the
throat like the one where the ousted ramp queen Kangana confronts and warns
Priyanka in a restaurant loo, or later after they bond.
Whether it`s sexual or emotional, Bhandarkar has never flinched from telling it
like it is. Fashion shocks us with its brutal forthrightness on
matters of the heart.
Samir Soni performs a complex tight-rope as a closeted-gay designer, who
balances a lover with his mother`s demand for a wife with a marriage of
convenience with a stunning model friend played by Mugdha Godse.
Mugdha is the female discovery of the year. With a great figure and face that
registers a spectrum of emotions, she gives a compelling consistency to her
goodhearted model`s character.
What Kangana does in Fashion, no other actress can do. But there`re
no surprises in her performance as she has done it before.
Priyanka catches you completely unawares. Her transformation from the bubbly
Chandigarh girl to the super-ambitious supermodel, who dumps her boyfriend and
conscience to pursue her dreams, is achieved with a gentle subtlety and bridled
This is Priyanka`s coming-of-age film. She looks like a zillion bucks. And acts
like a woman who connects with the darkest, most desperate human emotions
without wallowing in them.
Every character is written to accentuate the specific actor`s grace in the given
space. The performances of Kitu Gidwani and Ashwin Mushran stand out. Harsh
Chaya`s `gay lisp` was the only annoying appendage.
Also, the ramp walks could have been done with slightly more élan and subtlety.
Eventually, the evocative screenplay decides to give its fallen heroine a second
chance. But that seems more like cinematic liberty.
Bhandarkar takes us through a labyrinth of emotions, some devastating in their
gut-level directness. But at the end, we come away with a film that gives us
something to hold on to permanently even as the characters on screen lose
practically everything worth holding on to.
A truly outstanding film.