I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch Fashion shows on TV, but as a woman, I am very fond of having my own style, which exudes my confidence. There is a fine line between showing your attitude and developing a flair of arrogance…Fashion tackles this topic with aplomb.
If you are familiar with Madhur Bhandarkar, then you know that you will get a film where the topic is researched and the characters are never mere caricatures of real people. What we see in Fashion is the story of one girl whose ambition takes her to the top but her way of dealing with fame leaves her with a longing void of being completely alone and a loss of her self-respect.
Meghna (Priyanka Chopra) is a simple small town girl who moves to Mumbai because she wants to be a supermodel. Achieving entry in the fashion world is very tough: it’s not how you look first, it’s who you know. She obtains a contact through her acquaintance Rohit to work on little contracts in advertising. She becomes quite lucky by making her presence shown and starts working in real shows, but her ultimate dream is to achieve the status of a supermodel like the famous Shonali (Kangana Ranaut).
We see Shonali’s downfall quickly, as she smokes, drinks, snorts drugs and with her arrogant behaviour , is fired from a big contract. The owner of a fashion label, Abhi Sareen (Arbaaz Khan), decides to make Meghna the brand ambassador, and so begins her rise to the top, but at what cost? By the interval she ends up letting success get to her head and she breaks up with her live-in boyfriend Manav (Arjan Bajwa).
Meghna’s character is one of Priyanka’s finest roles to date. She shows the right amount of confidence as a supermodel, just like she does as a woman scorned by her own actions. The real show-stopper is Kangana as Shonali, who displays similar characteristics as her character in Woh Lamhe, but with more maturity. When she is fired from Sareen’s company, her silent anger when she signs her termination letter is superb. Mughda Godse as Janet is excellent as a down to earth, human and forgiving friend. Other cast members provide adequate support with Arjan Bajwa standing out in his debut and Samir Soni as a (closeted) designer.
The film is infused by good music from Salim-Sulaiman, that adds further glamour as it stays in the background. Technically, Bhandarkar has made a movie to make us think, but it is not as gritty as Chandni Bar or Page 3 because it drags in the second half. However, the movie is entertaining, despite the predictability of the main character’s rise and fall. The fact that Meghna realizes how similar she is to Shonali is a revelation that is true to most people. Having one achieve their dreams is exceptional, but sticking to reality is harder than one thinks; we cannot forget where we came from to become who we are.
One cannot find true direction without getting lost…so get on this fashionable journey and watch it with an open mind.