A good dressing down, literally!
The story predominantly revolves around three women who have distinct ways of dealing with the positivism of success as well as the negativity of loss and dejection. Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) is a young woman from Chandigarh who comes to Mumbai to make a mark in the fashion industry after winning a local beauty contest. Despite being dismissed by her own father as well as people she comes across during her struggling days in Mumbai, Meghna rises to a point from where there can be no return. She turns out to be the ultimate in the fashion industry and is hailed as the newest wonder girl. In all this, what escapes everybody’s attention as well as her own is the series of compromises she has to make to get to the top.
Mirroring Meghna’s decline, but more severely and rapidly, is Shonali Gujral (Kangana Ranaut). A veteran in the industry who is used to being the showstopper, Shonali’s life comes to a standstill when she realizes her days are over in the world of fashion. With a devastatingly disturbing personal life and drug problem to blame, Shonali sinks deeper into the abyss of denial.
Janet Sequiera (Mugdha Godse) is the third face in the trio. Amongst the three, Janet is the only unsuccessful model. She’s street smart and in a way, the proverbial tragic figure who beholds misery as it happens and learns to accept it. ‘Fashion’, to a great extent, explores the relationship between Janet and Meghna which also is an important cue to the shattering climax of the film.
‘Fashion’ has been a success predominantly for its pluses. The highs of the film are most definitely the performances. Priyanka Chopra can actually hope to begin a new era of glamorous yet thinking actors thanks to Fashion. Kangana, too, has done an excellent job. The druggie and demented aspect about her, though, seem to be a rip off from her past performances in ‘Gangster’ and ‘Woh Lamhe’. Mugdha Godse, considering ‘Fashion’ is her first film, has given a considerably good performance in the limited screen time she got. Even actors in smaller roles like Sameer Soni, Harsh Chhaya, Arbaaz Khan and newcomer Arjan Bajwa stood out to give the film a different edge.
Moving over to the negatives, the very first thing that seems irksome about ‘Fashion’ is its duration. Not disregarding the pains Bhandarkar has taken to portray the glamour world through ramp shows, the film might as well have been shorter. Another striking flaw in ‘Fashion’ is the course of generalization the director has chosen to take. Bhandarkar needs to be reminded that all fashion designers and make- up artistes are not homosexual! After ‘Page 3’, Fashion appears to be blander especially on the Chorus front, one of Bhandarkar’s signature inclusions.
Apart from a glitch here and there, ‘Fashion’ is a clear winner. Like in all his other films, this time around too Bhandarkar has been successful at scaling the heights to achieve the standards of superbly crafted cinema. And no matter how a certain Ms. De criticizes the basics of the movie, ‘Fashion’ is most certainly here to stay and rule hearts.