Fashion Moview For Free: Review!!

Director: Madhur Bhandarkar 
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut, Mughda Godse 

The only unreal aspect about Madhur Bhandarkar movies are the disclaimer tag before the opening credits. Sure the characters and situations in his films are influenced, if not aped, from real-life and paradoxically this is the most original inspiration in our imitated industry. One line in the film says, “Fashion mein jitna kum sochogi utna zyada kamaogi” (the less you think in fashion the more you earn). However the converse is true for Madhur Bhandarkar who has applied adequate thought in weaving a story taking the fashion industry as the backdrop. 

The story is of an ambitious small-town girl Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) who wants to make it big in the fashion industry as a supermodel. In the city of dreams, Mumbai starts her struggle to reach the top. Paving her way through model coordinators, portfolio photographers, talent managers, fashion designers, media moguls and business magnates she finally gets to rule the ramp. 

Meghna clearly understands than the ramp calls for some attitude but with success her attitude upgrades into arrogance. And this overconfidence gets her tumbling down the slope of success. Back to square one, it’s nearly impossible for Meghna to make her comeback. But she isn’t the one to accept defeat. 

The structuring of the screenplay is as complex as easy the spirit of the story sounds to be. The writing by Madhur Bhandarkar, Anuradha Tiwari and Ajay Monga is neither short on detailing the operational intricacies of the fashion world nor slack on the essence of the protagonist’s core conflicts. Priyanka Chopra’s character graph in skillfully sketched from an aspiring model to an ambitious showstopper to a brash supermodel and subsequently to a faded manikin, desperate to make her comeback. In each phase her character exudes contrasting gamut of emotions. 

There are distinctive Bhandarkar-brand of revelations on the glamour world like how wannabe models get pay-packets for being eye-candy at elite events or how eminent designers tag their labels on apparels from Bangkok’s Indira Market to pass-off as their own creations. Madhur also employs his trademark technique of inducing subtle realistic humour through junior artists comprising of paparazzi, petty models, et al. 

The characters in the film have a straight-faced unfazed demeanour towards the compromises they make in life. Like the model (Mughda Godse) who gets married to a prolific gay designer (Samir Soni) with complete knowledge of the situation. Much reminiscent of Sandhya Mridul from Page 3 who marries a much elder industrialist for an affluent lifestyle! The exploitation of the protagonist’s psyche when she poses for a lingerie commercial is much more efficacious than the commercial (ab)use of bikini babes by most Bollywood filmmakers. 

The narrative does resort to a few conveniences though not clichés. The two contending designers in the film are portrayed as gays. Nothing against the characterization but the director clearly discriminates their conduct by presenting the good guy (Samir Soni) as more subtle while the vicious one (Harsh Chhaya) as a hyperactive overtly lisping irritant. A male model (Arjan Bajwa) gains ‘hero’ic certification for not compromising in his ‘back-stabbing’ profession. The romance track comes in unwarranted but is thankfully hurried. 

One attribute that differentiates the film from Bhandarkar’s earlier attempts is its culmination. Fashion opts for an optimistic end unlike the abrupt termination ofTraffic Signal or the neorealist endings of Page 3 and Corporate . The director seemingly extended the concluding portions (while I was still apprehensive that the screen might blackout anytime) to accomplish the reconciliation of Priyanka’s character. 

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